I was a giant, sniffling, drooling, coughing, whining baby.
Well, that is to say, more so than normal.
I was kicked in the groinular region by that flu. You know the one. It’s like the three bullies from the Simpsons simultaneously taking your lunch money, giving you a wet willy, delivering a super-wedgie and calling into question your sanity.
Sadly, my wife was not around to “enjoy” this spectacle. As I mused on social media during a rare lucid period last week, “If a man moans from the flu and his wife is not around to hear it, does he still make a noise? Yes, and it’s still really annoying.”
Those body aches were fabulously entertaining. The only way I could get any sleep was to put on Forensic Files, lie in a giant pile of pillows, and rock in the fetal position. The dulcet tones of the FF narrator seemed to act as a lullaby for me. The subject matter would often remind me that it could be worse: “His liver and kidneys were destroyed by weeks of poison secretly added to his morning coffee.”
How these mental giants think they can get away with these murder schemes is puzzling. One guy was busted because he stepped on a tomato and left a specific shoe impression — from his prison-issue sneakers. A black widow was busted for poisoning her husbands with antifreeze, which caused odd crystals to form in their blood. Even in my man-flu stupor, I was able to determine that Darwin will have his hands full with some of these heroes. There were times when I started to drift off, and the bright colours emanating from my TV from the sciency B-roll would reflect in my room. It was as if Walt Disney was dancing on the ceiling.
The only series better at dropping the soothe is Aerial America, but I couldn’t find that show in my week of need. The most dulcet of tones ever dropped comes from narrator Jim Conrad. It’s vocal Xanax.
The true test of whether the flu is lifting for me is my appetite. In the early going, I couldn’t even think of food. If I did, I would audibly shudder with a meek “ooooogghhhh.” I managed to down the odd smoothie or protein shake, but I did not enjoy them. Luckily, this morphed into a complete shutdown of the taste buds. “Look, if you’re not going to eat anything interesting, we’re out of here.” It’s like they were a sister union walking out in sympathy.
Because this strain of flu seemed to like to keep things interesting, my attentions quickly turned to the tiny green creatures taking up residence in my throat and lungs. It was a battle for the ages. Details of this fight are too gory for these pages.
I’m likely back to 75 or 80 per cent, now. What’s funny is 75 per cent feels 150 per cent better than peak body-aches time. It’s easy to get cocky when the worst of it lifts, though. “I’ll just work 12 hours to make up for those few days.” “No, that’s not going to happen, buddy.” And down I went for 10 hours of sleep.
I decided early in the fall that I would skip the flu shot this year because a friend’s third cousin twice removed heard from her parrot that it’s good to skip every few years. This, perhaps not surprisingly, turned out to be craptacular advice. I’ve since read reports that this was one of the better years for the flu shot.
OK, I get it. And I will, from now on.