I would have loved to have followed my last post with another post about yet another wonderful Alaskan summer day which I enjoyed with the boys, Brooke, Gayle and Jim. Unfortunately as with every seemingly amazing step forward in this cancer canyon I was hit by some random falling rock. I guess the truth is I was hit more by a little pebble this time. After, my wonderful 10th anniversary day with Brooke I was awakened in the middle of the night with a painful pressure in my ear. This pain grew through the early morning hours and did not let me sleep. Eventually as actual morning time arrived I was wondering if my ear drum was going to rupture. The lack of sleep and obvious acquisition of a virus left me exhausted. I guess some of the fatigue could have been from the hours of wonderful activity the day before. The ear pain was clearly not from the activity though.
I spent the 2nd longest day of the year restlessly sleeping and wondering if I had a fever. Given my immunosuppression the idea of a fever is a scary proposition. I am supposed to report to the Emergency room if I do develop a fever. Luckily although I felt feverish I never hit a temperature of emergent concern. For the first time in many weeks I didn’t get anything done and felt quite useless. Gayle was around and without her I think I would still be suffering as I would have had to entertain or at least direct the boys all day. She was wonderful with them though. They were active all morning, did projects in the afternoon, and had a sun and water soaked evening in the summer light of the backyard. The greatest part was they were quiet and so the few periods I did fall asleep I was never awakened by crying kids.
As the day drew to a close I still felt awful. I was able to get a little walk in but I got a fair number of “I hope that guys okay” looks as I slowly strolled almost shuffled down the trail near our house. All I could think of was the drastic difference from day before. The change was a mini reminder of the rapid loss of ability last summer. Quite different from last year though, I have returned to a relatively functional state in only a couple days of uselessness. I still can’t hear to well but my ear pain is resolved, I don’t have the persistent nausea of the last 36 hours, and I don’t look like I am about the keel over.
The fear which comes with these, normally little viral illnesses, is much more drastic than the inconvenience they used to cause. Despite having spent the last year immunocompromised I have not had many occasions of a rapid onset of sickness. I have experienced a few child induced upper airway infections but usually I can see them coming as Liam, Finn, or any other kids we know and spend time with are sick and I can’t avoid their illness. This episode came out of no where (although Liam’s return from the Cove is pretty well timed to have been the culprit). The consequence is simply that I mentally freak out about going back to work in a hospital setting which leads to the continuing fear of what I would do if I wasn’t able to return to what I love to do. As I mentioned I have recovered to a state of functionality but I spent a whole day in bed which I wouldn’t be able to do if I was working. Of course, most people don’t have that luxury either which could be why these viral issues drag on for people.
My anxiety has abated a little as my weakened immune system seems to be dealing with this so far. Obviously I may not be done with this bug but at least I think I can sleep tonight. Funny, tonight is the shortest night of the year, a time for most norther clime dwellers to celebrate the light and bounty of having dealt with the dark months and all I want to do is sleep. At least I will be in my bed and not the hospital or in
Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure.