Wanton Hussy - Column for 12/4


So on Friday the 20th, I went to dinner with friends, and I got this horrific headache.

Still had it on Saturday. Like a migraine - nausea, vomiting, sobbing with pain. Never had migraines before. Went to Urgent Care and got a shot of Imatrix (dunno how to spell that at all, to undialite the blood vessels in my brain), a shot of Demerol (for pain), and another shot of something for nausea.

On Sunday, I still had the headache. Back to Urgent Care we went, more shots of Demerol and anti-nausea drugs. Sunday night, we went to the Emergency Room at the hospital, and spent a lovely 6 hours there. Got an IV because I was so dehydrated, plus some more anti-nausea drugs and morphine for the pain (I didn't know they still used morphine!). Then I had a CAT scan to see if there was anything like bleeding or a tumor in my brain.

Monday, still no better. I saw my chiropractor, got my neck straightened out, saw the homeopath who gave me belladonna (isn't that toxic?), but still no change. Went back to ER, this time for a 7-hour visit. Another IV, this time a LOVELY combination of morphine, anti-nausea drugs, and valium. Then a spinal tap (also called a "lumbar puncture" -- a phrase that should NEVER EVER be uttered around someone about to have one).

Finally a diagnosis -- viral meningitis.

I always knew my brain was out to get me.

I had a high fever Wednesday and Thursday, but mostly I'm "better" and just have really annoying common-cold symptoms. My sinuses are more full of snot than I thought possible, and there's a constant ringing in my ears that hasn't ceased in about a week. It's like the steady hum of a helicopter about to take off, in my head, all the time. I'm achey and fatigued and every time I get a headache, I panic.

But that's not the most annoying part.

The most annoying part is that I missed finishing my class work and had to take incompletes. Now, true, I do have more time to not stress. But I feel like shit and I was so so SO looking forward to being FINISHED. You know, that kind of "it will be utter hell and my work will suck, but at least it will be OVER" kind of feeling? I was looking forward to that. And I didn't get it.

Finally, a few words on illness - being sick sucks. I mean, duh, but I never really knew how much being -really- sick sucked more than just the average cold/flu. It's nice to have everyone concerned and care about you, but really, I'd rather be healthy and only get attention when I do something worthy of notice, you know? Something more worthy of pride than 'I got dressed today' or not vomiting.

Not that I don't appreciate the love - I do. It's nice to feel cared about. A bit weird, though, as I don't quite know what to do with it. I think my mom realized for the first time that I was mortal and could conceivably die before she did. I don't think the fact of my mortality ever really hit her before. So she's freaked out and sending cards and stuff. Being emotional. Being weird. The best thing is my grandma, though. She sent me a $100 check "for pills." So that's, what, five hits of E? Thanks, Grandma, and happy holidays to you, too!

Columns by Wanton Hussy