The Alien

The last two weeks have been a fevered blur to me. Something, likely a virus, has taken over my body and rendered me senseless. This is not a good thing for a person who feels responsibility for keeping the world running. However, the frailty of the human condition sometimes intrudes on our perceived invulnerability.

I’ve been a lucky person. I’ve only been hospitalized for births: my own and those of my children. Doctors were around for inoculations and an occasional antibiotic. Suddenly, I am seeing my doctor three times in a single week and the people at the lab look at me with sympathetic eyes and the four bottles of tabasco sauce (blood) I gave them to culture give me an insatiable taste for tomato juice.

Which leads to the next problem: everything tastes awful. I barely eat. Excellent, I’ll lose weight, I think (always looking for the bright side)… but in fact, after two full weeks of near starvation, I have gained 8 pounds. And… I have no swelling in my fingers or ankles that would indicate it’s fluid. Is there an alien being growing inside?

I know that it’s not growing in my abdomen, because I had an ultrasound yesterday.

So I sit and ponder and have faith that soon this will be a distant memory and both the alien and the fever it brought with it will depart.

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  1. Rona, your descriptions of how you have been feeling brought to mind how I dug for information before Matt and Daniel visited Africa. Before the trip there was a review of all the illnesses that can cause the symptoms (like you describe) followed by a trip to a travel physician just to make sure we knew of all the possibilities.

    It could be just viral, but as I knew and got a refresher in, there are a host of other “alien” things out there now that when I went to nursing school were not on the list as possible causes! So I guess my advice is to make sure they know of your recent travels. CDC has some information on its web site, but there are also specific companies who provide detailed stuff to these travel doctors.

    And, I sure hope you start feeling better soon. Your friend, Edie

  2. Yikes! I hope you feel better soon!
    -Anita (email friend of Rachel)