Technically, this one probably ought to be titled “Why I hate MY hay fever, reason #7” or something.
Because my overeager immune system reacts to apparently every pollen, every spore, and every mold it encounters, and because I live in the Pacific Northwest on the west side of the Cascade Mountains (where winter mostly consists of lots of rain with the temperature only occasionally flirting with freezing), I have mild-to-horrid hay fever symptoms for a minimum of ten months out of the year.
And the variation from mild to horrid and back again is not predictable. Sometimes the pollen count goes down, but the symptoms get worse, for instance.
This particular reason is a consequence of all those aforementioned things:
I can’t tell the difference between the first few days of a cold or flu and just waking up on a given day.
So, Wednesday night/Thursday morning I didn’t sleep well. It wasn’t a night of tossing and turning, staring at the clock, wishing that I could fall asleep. I slept. I just woke up about every 40 minutes or so for no discernible reason. It wasn’t until the second alarm went off in the morning and I dragged myself to the bathroom that I realized that I was too fuzzy headed to actually attempt to do any work. So I called in sick, took some Nyquil, and stumbled back to bed.
Even then, I was taking the Nyquil because it felt like a worse-than-usual hay fever day and I hoped the Nyquil would make me sleep for real for a few hours. I didn’t take it because I thought I was sick. It just felt like a slightly worse than usual hay fever morning.
I vaguely remember Michael saying he was leaving for work. I blinked. I rolled over, and saw that more than six hours had passed.
I felt better only insofar as my brain was capable of thinking in whole paragraphs, rather than just simple sentences. My head, sinuses, and throat all still hurt. But it was, still, only at the “worse than usual hay fever day” stage.
I logged in remotely to work and took care of a few urgent issues. I ordered pizza for dinner, chatted with Michael, and so on. It continued to just feel like a worse than usual hay fever day, though with added time disorientation because I’d slept most of the day. I went to bed early, this time taking Nyquil before hand.
Friday I woke up still feeling like a worse than usual hay fever day. Friday is my usual work from home day, so I slept in a little as usual. The only real difference from a usual work from home day was that I took non-drowsy cold tablets.
Friday night, after we got home from dinner, Michael crashed because he was feeling worn out. But he often does that on Fridays, particularly during hot and hottish weather, because he works all week in a warehouse.
In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Michael woke me up. It wasn’t intentional, he was just feeling extra cold and trying to get the blankets that had bunched up under me. He muttered something about thinking he had a fever. My thought at the time was, “Darn! I’ll have to drive to our friend, Sheryl’s place, without Michael.” And I conked out.
Hours later, when I shuffled to the bathroom, I slowly became aware that my aching sinuses, headache, ringing ears, sore throat, and queasy stomach were not all hay fever symptoms. And the house felt cold, even though the thermometer said it wasn’t.
I thought back about when I last took any medicine that had acetaminophen or something else that would mask a fever. It had been about ten hours, so I got out a thermometer.
Fever. Not a high one, but higher than my typical low-grade fever.
So I called to beg off on Writer’s Night (we weren’t hosting this month). I made some breakfast. Checked on Michael, then spent a few hours trying to work up the energy to go to the store to get soup and juice and general groceries.
I only had three dizzy-ish spells in the store.
The hardest part was putting the groceries away when I got home. I really just wanted to collapse.
I sat down, intending to just rest a bit before calling to cancel gaming tomorrow.
I conked out for almost four hours.
And that pretty much brings us to now.
I don’t have a fever any more. Throat and tummy are no longer being icky. My ears are back to their normal level of tinitus. My sinuses and head still hurt more than a typical hay fever day.
But I have developed a mild cough.
Not that I would have necessarily done much differently if I had realized Thursday that this wasn’t just hay fever. But it’s still irritating to realize I was probably sick for two days before I knew it.
I hate hay fever.