Sunday morning, I wake up with the spins. Instead of going to church, I kneel on the cold bathroom floor praying to the porcelain goddess. Hazy and dizzy, I crawl back to bed. This is some bug I’ve got.
On Monday, I swear I’ll never eat again. But, fearing dehydration, I force myself to drink watered-down juice. I sleep a lot, awaken drenched with sweat. The relentlessly-ringing phone saves me from delirium. Robo-calls alternately congratulate me – I’ve won a 5-day stay at a Florida resort – or warn me there’s a warrant out for my arrest. And my mother, keeping a long-distance vigil over my weak, limp body, wants an hourly update on my fever – which has climbed from 101.5 to 102.7.
It’s Tuesday and I haven’t showered for two days so I look and feel disgusting. After a long, hot shower, I still look and feel disgusting but at least I’m clean when I go to the doctor.
She shakes her head. “You’ve got the flu, all right. You’ve got it good.”
“But I got a flu shot,” I whine.
She hands me a prescription for Tamiflu. “Take it with food,” she warns. “It’ll mess with your stomach.”
Wednesday, toast and Jell-O are my only friends. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. The silver lining? Surely I’ve lost a couple of pounds. Unable to sleep, I binge watch several TV shows I’m too embarrassed to name.
By Thursday, the medication’s done a number on my stomach. I must be down four or five pounds. I drink flat Pepsi and eat graham crackers. Just not at the same time. Bored with television, I answer work email.
Come Friday, I’m out of clean sheets, towels, and PJ’s so I muster the energy to go down the basement and do some laundry. It’s enough to wipe me out; I take to the love seat, wrapped in a fleece blanket, and moan, in between sips of soup.
Sometime over the weekend, I manage scrambled eggs for breakfast, and broiled chicken with soupy mashed potatoes for dinner. The worst is finally over.
Monday morning, it’s time to rejoin the world, go back to work. I step on the scale, anticipating my dramatic weight loss. No! It can’t be! The scale has not budged.