Monday, February 09, 2009

I found the perfect diet

Warning: side-effects may include amputation and death.

So, what you do is you catch a bacterial infection. One that's hard to pin down.

Symptoms (starting on the evening of Saturday, January 31st):

  • A throat tickle (where you keep hem-hemming because it feels like there's something thick and oogy in there that doesn't want to come out).
  • Five of the lymph nodes on one side of your neck swell up to the size of quail eggs, all in a row, like little ducks following their mummy. They flood you with much pain and are very tender (but not in the romantic sense) and hot, restricting you from bending over to tie your shoelaces (burning pain), turning your head to check your blind spot when you're driving (hot hot pain in the city), and lying on fewer than three pillows when you sleep (if you disregard this rule, burning pain will follow). It feels like you have been stung by five bees in synchronised flight.
  • Your boyfriend restricting any physical contact with the excuse, "Your skin feels like molten lava." (Unfortunately it is the middle of summer, otherwise he would be leeching my warmth, trust me.)
Follow this up on Wednesday morning (the soonest I could get an appointment), with a visit to a distracted GP who is trying to shuffle through patients as quickly as possible.

She thinks nothing of the fact that you have had a fever for the past five days, orders a full blood count test, and tells you to take a couple of paracetamol four times a day. (Paracetamol, pffft. They did nothing! NOTHING.)

On Wednesday evening you take a turn for the worse. Every night after that brings fever and night sweats which smell awful (like sweaty fruit juice, because that is all you've had the strength to consume this past week), followed by savage chills that a doubled-up comforter fails to subdue (I did say we were in the middle of summer, right?)

On the plus side, you've lost 2kg in four days!

On Friday you call the doctor's office, as instructed (you called on Thursday as well, but the doctor wasn't in, and no one else there gave a sheet), to tell them that the fever is worse and now you are getting bad chills, accompanied by fatigue and muscle pain.

The doctor passes on a message via the chirpy nurse, telling you that your blood test has come back normal, and to come in next week if you still have swelling or fever, which would make that about ten days of mysterious lymph node swelling and fever. YEAH, RIGHT.

At this point you are too tired to argue and resolve to spend the weekend in bed, hoping that you will be able to drive yourself to the emergency department if you start to hallucinate, or become too weak to go to the toilet by yourself. (Yep, that's what I was thinking. Obviously the fever was boiling essential brain parts.)

Luckily your bossy sister calls in at lunchtime, and is alarmed that her sibling a) has been ill for so long, and b) looks like an extra from a Rob Zombie movie.

Sister: You look AWFUL.

an9ie: What do you mean?

Sister: Your skin is really pasty and you have these high spots of colour in your cheeks.

an9ie: (Well, let's not hold back or anything, Missy.) Of course my skin is pasty! I have an indoor desk job! (As opposed to an outdoor desk job? Remember, high fever = brain not work good.)

Sister: I'm very worried about you. I asked my doctor friend about your symptoms and it sounds like you have a bacterial infection. I don't want you to end up like that Brazilian model who had to have her hands and feet amputated and then died anyway.

an9ie: ...

Sister: I'm going to make an appointment for you with another doctor and I'll take the afternoon off work to take you.

an9ie: (I do like my hands and feet.) OK.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the new doctor put me on antibiotics, and after the first couple of doses I started feeling better right away. If I had listened to the first GP I visited, and if I didn't have such a pushy, caring sister, I would have spent the weekend confined to my bed, shivering and rambling (more than usual).

In fact, I might not have gotten out of bed at all, and a few weeks later, MFC, finally noticing my absence, would break in to find my dessicated corpse huddled under a comforter.

I love my bossy sister.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I hadn't heard about that model. I can't believe she died from an un-treated UTI! *shock* =O

I'm glad you're better :) Being sick is just awful. (duh)
& you know, you can have an "indoor office job" & not be TOO pasty. I once worked by a window and got a SLIGHT tan through that ;D

ps- was it worth it to lose the 2kg? that's my dream, to lose 2kg. not much weigh but it's SO HARD! D:

Blandwagon said...

Next time just go to the Emergency Department. Go first thing in the morning to avoid the queues, and stick with Sir Charles Gairdner so that you encounter fewer riff raff.

Oh, and buy a convertible and tan while you drive!

an9ie said...

@Gen Meh,the weight came back on as soon as my appetite did :-p But I'd rather be a little overweight than bedridden. It's nice being able to do the laundry and not be exhausted afterwards!

@Blandwagon What's the definition of first thing in the morning when it comes to EDs? Aren't they 24/7?

You and your convertibles - you're not making a convert out of me, bucko! I like a car with a nice, solid roof.