Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The Warning Signs
Let's see: my first time was during church and I woke up to dad flapping his hand in my face and Wayne Chaffee offering me a cup of water; then there was the time in Dr. Wulff's office when I watched him burning a wart off my finger; the time in Chicago when I got to ride in an ambulance; the other time in the shower just after I'd sprained my ankle; the time when I had the flu and wasn't sure whether I needed to hurl or put my head between my knees. Oh yeah, and this morning, in the shower again.
I'm not really sure what brought this one on; usually, they're triggered by a sudden burst of pain, but this time, I am afraid I may have brought it on myself. My doctor thinks I have suddenly developed an allergic reaction to something in the spring air, which might just be the case. For three weeks, I have been coughing and sniffling and muttering imprecations at Kleenex manufacturers. It hasn't gone away. At this point, I'd prefer to be allergic to something because being SICK for three weeks is an insult to my state of healthy living.
So yesterday, a helpful colleague, upon hearing my croaking voice, offered me a Claritin, saying it helps alleve her allergy symptoms and warning me not to take another for 24 hours. I downed it immediately, and I did feel somewhat better--although each class of students continued to chuckle at my raspy froggy voice (sigh: teenagers) (good thing I love attention and sympathy).
By the time evening came, I was feeling somewhat better, but very tired, and as soon as I laid my sleepy head down on my pillow, the irresistible tickle flared up in my throat. I picture it as a very small sentient white feather that is lodged down there--an evil, insidious feather that enjoys torture. I probably coughed for an hour straight before I stumbled out of bed and poked my head in the medicine cabinet.
A drink of water wasn't enough. I needed drugs. NyQuil did the trick. When I got back to bed, the coughing was finished and I don't really remember anything at all after that. The alarm woke me and, groggy, I stumbled into the bathroom for a shower. As I was waiting for the water to warm up, the lights still off, I had to lean against the wall. But I shrugged it off as allergic drowsiness.
Just as I was starting to get my hair wet, I felt them: the warning signs. My skin felt hot and prickly all over and I smelled that strange smell. It smells like warm silver, I think, or some kind of heated metal. Really, I don't know how I had enough sense to turn off the water and lie down in the tub, but I did. Next thing I knew, my thoughts were flickering in and out and I was making a very piggish grunting sound. Apparently, it wasn't loud enough to wake Clint up, but he was lucid enough to realize something was wrong when I stumbled back into our room and fell into bed, still soaking wet, with a towel wrapped around my head (not sure what I was thinking with that one).
Kindly, he deciphered my mumbles and called a sub for me. I spent the rest of the day finishing my book, watching a movie, and...hmm...not much else.
I still don't know what made me faint this time. Maybe I shouldn't have taken NyQuil 14 hours after a Claritin. Maybe I got out of bed too quickly. Maybe my ears are plugged from all the yucky stuff sloshing around inside my head. All I know is this: I'm glad I stayed home. Froggy voice plus woozy head is not a good combination for a girl who has to lecture on World War II and the Salem Witch Trials.
Here's to hoping for a cough-free night and fully-conscious (well, or nearly-conscious: let's not get too greedy) shower in the morning.