Sorry it took so long to write about the last day but it seems I smuggled some illegal immigrants into the country with me. More on that later.
We were originally supposed to fly out at around 3pm which would have had us leaving the hotel at noon which was pretty perfect really. Unfortunately, the blizzard of the year had backed up all the flights in and out of Toronto so our flight was delayed by about 12 hours. We had checked out at noon but the hotel was kind enough to give us a courtesy suite until 7pm after which we just hang out around the resort killing time. It sounds great to get an extra day but it really wasn’t since we were in limbo, packed and ready to go without much to do and the weather hadn’t really recovered after the thunderstorm anyway.
Finally we got on our plane after only a few issues. You know, minor stuff like my mom nearly fainting and needing to rest in a wheelchair while we got our tickets and went through security. Both my parents were feeling poorly but made it through the flight. Sharon and I were doing okay, me especially since I had slept a couple hours on a couch at the resort. So we landed in Toronto, picked up our cars, grabbed a coffee and said our goodbyes. On the road again, heading back to Ottawa.
The original plan was that Sharon would sleep while I drove and then she could take over at some point. I was feeling pretty good so I made it 3/4 of the way to the last rest stop at Brockville where we stopped for a snack. Then, when we got back in the car, it hit me. Fever, hammering me so suddenly my body seemed to go into shock. I’m normally warm in the car and have the heat turned down with no jacket while Sharon is wearing her parka. This time is was me, curled up in my seat, parka and mitts on, hood up, heat blasting, shaking uncontrollably with my teeth chattering. I could feel the warmth on my face but my core body felt like I was in an October rain. We drove the last hour to Ottawa like that and when we arrived, it was all I could do to help Sharon unload the bags. Oh, and pose for a picture so we could show everyone how much snow we got. All I could do just to stand there so no smile for you. I almost forgot to mention, this fever came with severe bone and muscle aches as well. Fun.
I was shaking so badly I could barely drink enough water to down some Tylenol before I put on a big sweater and crawled into bed. The next 12 hours or so became an exercise in temperature management. I could feel the heat of my body coming out from under the blankets but I couldn’t stop shivering. Eventually the fever transitioned to where I actually felt hot so I could take off the sweaters but my temperature peaked at 39.1C (102.4F). Not a record by any means and no doubt the Tylenol did a good job to keep it down but either way, not very comfortable. Sharon kept bringing me cold compresses for my head and water to drink.
My mind gets funny when I have a fever. I frequently get delirious. Here’s an actual conversation, taking place with Sharon reading a book and me lying on the bed, writhing in pain, sweating from fever:
me: Wanna fool around?
her: God no!
me: Me neither!!! Bwahahaha
(several minutes of uncontrolled laughter)
her: Are you delirious?
me: Probably. Given my past history with fever, you should probably watch me because I tend to throw up in interesting places.
her: Huh. Where’s the dog when you need her?
me: Here Casey….come get some leftovers….bwahahahaha
(several more minutes of laughter)
me: That wasn’t funny….she was a good dog….
It’s true folks; you can’t make this shit up. So anyway, the fever kept transitioning from dry to sweaty, the sweaty bringing my temp down a bit (and soaking the bed), the dry spiking it and bringing the weird head trips. Eventually the diarrhea started. In retrospect, I wish I had some sort of counter type device that I could have used to keep track of the frequency but I wouldn’t be shocked if I went more than 50 times over 24 hours. And let me tell you, the average human bunghole is not made for that kind of mileage. Fortunately when your butt is acting more like a super-soaker than a cake decorator, there’s minimal wiping but I sure wish someone would invent Chapstik for that end.
So kids, here’s a little detail they don’t teach you about the Montezuma’s Revenge in school. This is not the “gurgle gurgle, whoosh” diarrhea most of us are familiar with. This is the “Aieee, someone is probing my guts with a huge knife, get it out, get it out, get it out!” variety. On the bright side, you actually have to force it out so there are no “accidents” when you are just trying to make it to the bathroom. On the dark side, there’s the whole “knife” thing.
Later in the afternoon I noticed a certain pinkish quality which I attributed to the red coating on the Tylenol. The pink kept getting redder and redder so I got Sharon, who had come home early, to take a look. “That’s blood. You’re going to the clinic.” I had been holding out, hoping I could avoid having to sit in a waiting room, but large quantities of blood from that particular orifice freaked me out. She went ahead, got me on the waiting list at the walk-in and came back to get me so I wouldn’t have to wait for too long. As predicted, the doctor gave me Cipro and some dietary instructions and sent me on my way. Roughly 24 hours later the Cipro has kicked in and I’m starting to feel a little better. I can make it up the stairs without crawling. I can stand up straight without holding my guts. I can eat a banana and a piece of toast. I can even sit upright in a chair long enough to write a blog entry. The weird thing is, I’m the only one who got it. My parents got a bit sick and feverish but it didn’t sound nearly as bad as this and Sharon was fine. The other couple who were there with us were fine too.
When I was young I had pneumonia and learned what it felt like to be in the grips of something that could kill you if you didn’t intervene. A cold or flu makes you feel rotten but there’s a certain quality to the big sicks that scare you. Make you feel like they want you to slip up so they can take you. If only you were a little weaker or didn’t have antibiotics or enough water, we’d get you and you’d spiral away and die in a pool of pain and filth. I tried to imagine what it would be like to be in a mud hut in the jungle with something like this tearing at your insides. We’re lucky to live where we do in the age we’re in.
I weighed myself in Cozumel before I came back and I was up 10 pounds. Now I’m only up 3. 7 pounds in 48 hours. Now that’s dieting folks, that’s dieting.