I think the viral hell is nearly over. I can’t be sure. For it has now had, count with me, FOUR rebounds. Just when I think maybe I’m clearing out and the skies are looking especially blue, this damned thing bounces hard and comes back at me with something new. New and novel.
Now I gotta say, novel is not the word I want to use when describing a virus. But what, pray tell, do you call it when a simple cold has tricks up its sleeve capable of so much pain you almost don’t make it to the bathroom because you cannot manage getting yourself up and out of a chair? I call it novel. Do with that what you will.
Right away when this cold hit, it was strange. I had a sore throat for a few days, sure, but the sidecar of explosive back pain was novel.
I didn’t mention that before, did I? No, I don’t think so. I was in denial (this is a bit of a habit with this bug). Honestly, this is not the sort of thing that comes with a cold. Am I right? Absurd, that’s what it is.
Well, while I was suspicious that it was indeed part of this viral cocktail, as I have a knack for collecting the absurd, I certainly wasn’t proclaiming it publicly, hence my failure to mention it. Much more likely I needed to stop driving the clutch, or lowering my aging frame into said miniature vehicle. Possibly this was that last home improvement project throwing a chaser of misery in, weeks after the fact, just a reminder from an old friend. Certainly it wasn’t part of a virus.
Well, I was wrong about that. This is a special virus, and it harbors feelings of inadequacy, with the common accompanying need to show off. Fine.
All I know is it was nasty. Wild bilateral low back compression. Utter tailbone revolt. Erratic and relentless muscle spasm. Only weird… different. Strangest damn thing, not at all like any other normal-person back thing—or even me-person back thing—that’s what it was, and it went on for almost four days, me just walking around like an old lady, getting up like I was pregnant, lifting my rear end with my hands to just turn over in bed at night.
Anyway, it was day three, I think. Days one and two I wake up with the throat mess, standard. Day three I wake up and stumble into the shower, all is well aside from the wild cucumber stuck in my throat, and then I attempt to step out of the shower, as one does, and I’m wracked with pain. Like I’d just spent three days chucking logs and otherwise misusing my body (which my sainted husband had done, but not I). Like I’d been carrying an extra 100 around on my shoulders, you know, for fun. Couple of grain sack stoles, just to prove my beef. You know me.
Honestly, I wondered there if it were possible to overdose on zinc, and if so, if it might look like electric shocks across your low back and a withered sacrum. Possibly I’d overshot my kidneys with too many zinc lozenges.
I was assured by someone questionably smarter than me that that wasn’t quite how a glut of ingested zinc would manifest. Well, fine. (Same jackwagon that would soon insist that my jaw was A-OK, that he was innocent of all crimes, and that I had a sinus problem on my hands.) He also suggested that these novel low back symptoms were part of the virus, a little short-circuit of the nervous system bonus. For I was structurally just fine, no swelling, no nuthin’. Strangest damned pain.
And then it was gone. By the time the throat had handed it’s microbial passenger off to my shonz, my back was back. A departure just as mysterious as its arrival. Baffling. I could have spent more time pondering the mystery, but frankly I was just glad it was gone. I don’t need to ever see another bug that holds that in it’s carpetbag, thank you very much. Also I stopped driving the clutch, just in case.
Fast Forward with me… The shnoz eventually drippeth itself dry, and we are left with more throat clearing than anyone in the immediate vicinity of me can gracefully handle. It signals it’s goodbye once or twice, but never quite makes it out the door. Like the damned door was cling-wrapped. Almost gone, and then there it is again, Garpy with Hack.
Let’s blow through the Sinus Rebound and all that was already chronicled, and move right into the third bounce. The sinus rinsing takes a few days to really relieve the full pressure, but it does the trick (proving that DrJ was right, and I was wrong, which is never pleasant, but I embrace the relief anyway), and I’m once again ready to jet back into life. I wake up with big plans, I hit the shower, thrilled to be back in the land of the living, and I once again, like a fool, attempt to step out of the shower.
I know, I know. Clearly the shower is conspiring against me.
I feel the twang, if you will, and my eyes shoot open, disbelief draining from my face right down into my repopulating gut. I very slowly maneuver myself back to my bed. Careful-like. I’m thinking at this point that I might be able to trick it. Just slither back out of the bathroom, lay flat and quiet (keeping eyes plastered fully open, of course) and pretend I was never up.
Keep on steppin, little man.
Twenty minutes pass. Thirty. I feel fine. I’m far too terrified to move any part of my body inclusive of my eyeballs, but in paralysis there is no pain. If nothing else I am brave, and I finally wiggle a toe. All is well. I slide my arms off of my stomach. Nuthin. I close my eyes and hope.
It was not to be, fooling that beastard bug. I’m pretty sure I could have stayed there all the live-long day, and he still would have been waiting. So we’re right back to day three, only this time we’ve ratcheted the intensity up several notches. New realms. Novel.
And here is where we catch up with ourselves and find me sitting in my rocking chair, once again in disbelief, this time pinned with pain, trying in vain to figure out how to bear my entire weight on my elbows. Which doesn’t help, by the way.
There was nothing for it. It had taken me ten minutes to get up out of the bed. Probably another five to lift my feet and shuffle out to the living room. Getting down into that chair nearly elicited a phone call to the ambulance boys. By the time my bladder made it’s request known through all that pain, there wasn’t much time to push it off. And I’m not in any way exaggerating when I tell you it took at least six tries and multiple whispered screams to eject myself from said chair.
Then we had the whole circuit to the bathroom to navigate. Three miles tops. With my proximity alarm raging wildly. And what when carpet gives way to vinyl and eyes are on the prize? I know you’re not going to believe the cruelty of the universe, but the toilet seat was down.
Now if you’re familiar with the proximity alarm, you know that that one little hurdle can be a rather large annoyance when things are dire, but in present circumstances, this was fully a time for tears. The distance between my fingers and that lowered lid felt like stories. Seven, maybe eight vertical stories down. Bending, at all, was impossible. Squatting, equally preposterous.
So there I am, ever-so slowly draping myself across the vanity, attractively depositing the bulk of my body there atop the sink one careful ounce at a time, so that I could dangle and arm, hook a finger under the lid, and open the loo. Yes, yes… then the whole thing in reverse. A crane would have been handy. Let’s not even talk about lowering myself back down for the glorious moment we’ve all been waiting for.
It was not good, folks. Not good at all. (I did make it, though, so don’t let that thought muddy up your minds.)
This was all before 8am. All I can say is that the rest of the day wasn’t much better.
I admit to having a bodily composition that lends me to a bit more pain and grumpage than the average, but it is rare that things get this real. There were some bouts with torticollis (One, and Two). There was childbirth. Good god, there was the burnt lip. (This was nothing like the burnt lip, may it live forever as by far the worst pain I ever experience.) But this is pretty stanky. I made the doc make a special trip to the office for me this weekend. (I apologized to the man for blaming him for the whole sinus debacle. This softened him, a tenderizing of sorts, so he would be nice to me and my screaming back.)
And was there relief? Yes. Some. He managed to calm just a little of that inferno, and brought me back to the early-virus back-attack pain levels. Which is something I suppose. Things have been slowly, steadily improving as the bug works it’s way out (I have checked the door for cling wrap).
All the normal-person cold symptoms are all but gone, with the exception of some throat clearing. Normal person throat clearing.
I still can’t reach the toilet lid without the help of the vanity next door, but I can walk, nearly upright, and sometimes the whole length of the driveway. Baby steps.
I said four rebounds, didn’t I?
No sooner had we crested the pain peak with the back-attack, and the sinus monster returned for a little backhanded action of his own. Just one more little jolt, pushing immediately into the ears. Not like that first little ear pressure that tipped me off that it might be my sinuses all along, but like the full on shooting-pain plugged-ear neck-hurts earache kind of jolt. The usual garlic oil and some pinned to the bed rest managed to clear that one out without it getting a foot hold, but seriously.
And that is all. There is no more. There will be no fifth rebound. There will be no more pain and misery.
For I have passed the bug on to the husband.
If you need me? I’ll be clearing my throat, checking the door obsessively, and ushering the beast out on a stream of moist heat and Vitamin C,