You Know I Can’t Sleep, I Can’t Stop My Brain

I’m sick, again.

I actually think it’s the same sick I’ve had for the last month or so, although Chloe promises me that I’ve been healthier than I remember; nonetheless, there’s been an air of a cold hanging around me since the holidays, something that was both boring and annoying me before this past week underscored just how much I really should have gone to a medical professional some weeks ago, instead of thinking, it’s just a cold or something, I’ll tough it out and be fine.

It strikes me, writing that, how much of that attitude comes from a mindset that belongs to a younger me that honestly could just power through such things far more easily. I’m in my mid-40s now, I shouldn’t need a night of mild terror to make me think a doctor is a good idea. And yet, that’s exactly what happened.

”Mild terror” is overselling it, perhaps. I’d been feeling a little tired, but mostly fine, for the last week or so before chills and nausea descended on me Wednesday evening. It frustrated me but little more — Chloe had a bad cold, and I figured I’d picked up an aftershock or something. A few hours later, though, it felt like something else entirely.

It wasn’t just that I couldn’t sleep that night, nor that I was fevered, with hot and cold flashes mixing with sweat in a manner that was more gross to experience than to read. Nor was it the coughing, constantly, or the accidental snorts of snot when I tried to take in air. Instead, what genuinely scared me was the realization that I was actually, literally, delirious for a number of hours in the middle of everything — obsessed with old pirate ships, time travel and the writing of some story connecting the two that I thankfully can’t remember now but couldn’t stop thinking about then.

The next morning, I went to get checked out, where I discovered that being tested for flu involves having the world’s largest q-tip inserted into the back of your head via your nose (as pleasant as it sounds) and heard the thrilling phrases “I want to send you for a chest x-ray, your oxygen is low, and I think it might be pneumonia” — it isn’t — and “well, if the fever just started last night, you’re definitely infectious for the next three or four days.”

I’m writing this on day three now, lying in bed after an interrupted, coughing-filled night of sleep. I know I’m getting better, but I just wish it could happen that little bit faster. I’m so bored of being sick.

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