Hey gang! WOW. It has been one hell of a week. Where do I begin? Let’s start with where I last left you – after my fantastic swim on Monday night.
Tuesday morning we had a blood drive at work and I donated double the red blood cells. So they hooked me up to the machine, drew my blood three times, spun and separated it, then pumped it back in three times, along with saline to help replenish my fluids. A half hour later, I had made friends with everyone in the blood mobile (what up blood people!!), I downed a cranberry juice and a pack of raisins and went on my merry way. The nice man even made me a bow for my bandage because I was such a good girl:
Not pictured: my smug, self-satisfied smile.
That evening, I started feeling a little off – nauseous, headache-y, exhausted, achy, etc. After dinner, when I tried to tell my husband that I couldn’t hold my head up any longer but actually said the words, “I can’t get my head open now”, he smartly realized it was time for me to call it a day and go to bed at 8PM.
After 13 hours of sleep (!!), I attempted work on Wednesday but still had to leave work at noon because I felt so cruddy. I slept for another 6 hours that afternoon before bed, and Thursday I woke up feeling better. I was on my feet rushing around for my company’s 25th anniversary party from 8AM through 7PM, but I felt good! UNTIL I walked out of the building and my throat felt like it was closing up and my head threatened to burst open with pain. What the ever loving hell?? I got home, walked in the door in tears from the pain, collapsed on the couch (still in my dress, jewelry, and party shoes!) and slept for 3 hours. When I woke up with a 102 degree fever and the chills, I popped some motrin and passed back out.
Fast forward to Friday, when the doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong, my fever was up to 102 again, and I was ready to go to the ER. My throat was so swollen and painful that I couldn’t manage anything beyond water, my appetite was GONE, and my body felt like I got hit by a bus. That night the fever broke, but that just meant I was entering phase 3 of this wacky illness: the blisters.
AKA the part where you want to cut your hands and feet off
Those of you with children (or who read the title of my post) are probably well aware of where this is headed, but I spent all day Saturday Googling “fever + body aches + blisters” and diagnosed myself with everything from scarlet fever to ebola. Until I stumbled across “hand, foot, and mouth disease“. It’s also known as coxsackie, which I’d heard of and laughed at before – laughed at it, that is, until I caught it.
Because let me tell you: This shit is NO JOKE. The pain, itching, and discomfort of my hands and throat had me in tears at least 3 times a day, making sleep (and eating solid foods) a distant memory. I had read a handful of stories where this lasted from 7-10 days or more in some people, and I just couldn’t imagine dealing with it for the rest of the week. I cried myself to sleep that night and woke up Sunday morning to find my throat feeling mildly better while I still wished my hands would magically fall off. I went to bed that night praying that it’d be better the next day and woke up to find my wish granted. Finally!! I could use my hands without wanting to tear the skin off them! I could swallow a smoothie instead of room-temperature broth! Well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, because my feet finally started to swell and sting. Eh, I could live with that if everything else got better.
I worked from home and felt progressively better throughout the day, finally asking hubby to “take me for a walk” like an invalid down the waterfront park for some fresh air after dinner. I limped for 2 full miles to beat the stir craziness, and my feet paid for it later with screaming blisters that I had to soak in a hot Epsom salt bath. But it was worth it!
That’s the face of freedom right there.
So now we’re up to speed on my week! I came in to work today feeling pretty good, my throat and hands have held up beautifully (although they both look all scarred and terrible and are good at keeping my enemies at bay), and my foot blisters are starting to calm down. I think I’ll be at 100% tomorrow, which is great considering I thought I was looking at having this for my birthday later this week.
The one thing to note is that we discovered that this was all hubby’s fault. See, he brought it home from the school he works in and had a mild version last weekend, which I then picked up from him. We didn’t know that his fever and smattering of non-painful blisters on his hands were a related thing, and so that’s how I ended up catching it. Sharing is caring!
So I’m sorry I don’t have any running updates for you, but at least this was an interesting story with some funny science-y words thrown in for good measure? 🙂 Have you ever heard of coxsackie? Or even worse, have you ever had it? Any other random weird illnesses for me to be terrified of? Tell me in the comments!