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My year has suddenly hit me with setbacks to my original plan. Things started off wonderfully. I was working, drawing a paycheck, was able to buy myself a new phone, getting a leg up on the goals that I had in mind for myself this year. Then, I went to work on the first Saturday of the year. I left home at six and by ten I was coughing like there was no tomorrow. About midnight, I started running a temperature and by the time I came home at seven Sunday morning I was ready to just crawl in bed and die.A0305-Flu_leader

Now, you may have heard that there is an epidemic of the flu all over the USA. Here in our county in East Texas the latest count is 6 deaths due to H1N1 flu virus. And this seems to be attacking people my age. At least, that is to say, the deaths have all been close in age to me. This is really nothing to play around with.

Within 24 hours my fever had spiked to 104.9 and even with a healthy dose of fever reducing medication we were unable to get it under 100.3. So to the hospital I went at the behest of my mother who was worried. She told me today that in my 35 years, she had never seen me that sick. Not even when I had my gallbladder removed in college (which is what I recall my sickest point).

The ER did x-rays and a nasal swab. Which I can only describe as a nurse (the condescending one from triage in my case) taking a small bottle brush and jamming it in your nose. A little later, they came in and told me that I tested positive for flu. They went on to tell me that they don’t test for H1N1 specifically unless you’ve either died or you’re admitted to the hospital. And since they were confident that I would pull through with home care and medication, they gave me and the family a prescription and sent me on my way with instructions that I stay at home for ten days.

That’s right… ten full days of being at home on doctor’s orders. For some people that might seem like a major break. I was miserable though. In fact, I slept more than my share of hours. Mom woke me up for meds but, otherwise I was stuck on the chaise. Now, halfway through my quarantine I’m itching to get out and about.

I had work call today to see if I was feeling up to it. I don’t think they quite understood what I was saying about needing 10 days when I initially called them on Monday. I no sooner picked up the phone when they surmised that I wasn’t up to it. I sound like a frog when I can speak. So I explained the 10 day thing to them again. (In their defense, they are really busy at that desk. Usually all they hear is the word “sick” and they mark the caller off the list for the shift.) So, I’m off the list until the 17th and then I’ll likely go on call. Which means that my paydays are going to be seriously out of whack for another month.

Trust me, I would much rather be working than dealing with all the fatigue, coughing, and mood swings. At this point, I’m starting to get cabin fever. I want to get on with my workout routine that I had full intentions of starting before I got sick. Not being able to breathe and having little energy to do much of anything is prohibiting my plans. That being said, if it is still warm tomorrow and I am feeling froggy, I think I will pick up the pedometer, and get out in the yard and walk around anyway.

In the meantime I will just have to pacify myself with music and get myself lost in manuscript. I might as well make the most of my time off by getting some writing and editing accomplished.