Remember the Dr. Seuss alphabet book with the occasional tongue-twister thrown in for good measure? “Big S, Little S. Silly Sammy Slick sipped six sodas and got sick, sick, sick.”
I’m sick, but not for any reason as interesting as chugging Mountain Dew until my body cried foul. At first I thought it was an overdose of the lovely new variety of bleu cheese I tried this week – I’m not lactose intolerant by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have to be a little careful with bleu cheese since my tummy apparently has limited patience with it. (Oh, but it tastes so GOOD!) At 2 a.m. on Wednesday, I woke up with a nasty taste in my mouth and laid there in the dark, half-awake and pondering with the tiny useful corner of my brain, “Do I want more desperately to sleep or to barf? Will I get a choice?” As it happened, I did not, and I hauled my sleepy self into the bathroom and that was that.
I assumed I’d be better in the morning, but instead I wandered into the kitchen looking like I was coming off a three-day bender. I thought (very slowly and carefully, so as not to joggle my brain) about whether or not I was up for an hour’s rehearsal playing Celtic music with a harpist. I determined that I was not, and managed to track her down between classes and cancel. I figured I’d get better by the afternoon, but when I realized that “getting better” was going to mean accompanying a saxophone player at close range, I had to reluctantly admit that I wasn’t THAT much better.
I got an unprecedented 10 hours of sleep last night, but then the effort of fixing breakfast and getting my son onto the bus wore me out and I had no choice but to play computer games all morning. I made the mistake of thinking I had enough energy to do a few drive-through errands (bank, library book drop) and pick up some nice mild food at the health food store. I got home and scraped together enough energy to actually eat the nice mild food, and that totally knocked me out. I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch the kids hang out on, which is so disgustingly well-used that I am quite sure I’d have trashed it years ago, if it wasn’t navy blue and therefore able to hide any and all stains.
It’s not very dramatic, though, you know? I’m not projectile vomiting a la the girl in the Exorcist. I don’t have a scary triple-digit fever. I haven’t fainted, lost seven pounds in 48 hours, fallen into a fit of shaking and chills, or done anything interesting and visible. I’m just bone-crushingly tired and I ache from the back of my neck down to my ankles. Things ache that I didn’t know could ache. My eyeballs ache. If it wasn’t scientifically impossible I would accuse my hair of hurting.
I’m so far beyond tired now that I’m just … you know. Mellow. Relaxed. If I don’t move, things don’t hurt quite as much. The sun is out (for once), and it’s making me feel all warm and fuzzy. (I think it’s the sun doing that, I’m not sure – it might just be the germs.) My brain is slow. My speech is slow. I think my blood is moving slower than usual. I’m even blinking slowly – I’m starting to feel vaguely like an iguana.
If I had the energy, I’d order pizza for dinner. But I don’t, and I don’t really have the energy to cook either. I wonder if age 11 is too young to teach a kid to make spaghetti using the time-honored method of hollering instructions from the next room …