smackshack: a crude digital self-portrait (Default)
I'm not good at being sick. Contracting diseases I'm good at, but the business of being sick is something I just don't like. When I was a kid I sometimes threw stuff across the room in frustration from being bed-bound and unable to go out and play. Imagine what missing this made me throw. Or rather, want to throw: when your fever is over 102 F it's hard to muster a lot of energy.  It's also hard to work from home when it takes 30 minutes to compose a 30-second e-mail.

(Is it just me, or do we now feel not only the traditional guilt of missing work from illness, but also an additional layer of guilt if we don't actively try to cheat ourselves out of our sick leave benefits by working from home?)

This bout of the flu has been a bit weird, with two or three distinct false recoveries during which my temperature dropped down to normal for a brief period before shooting back up again.  It began to feel like the damn virus was playing cat-and-mouse with me. Feeling good?  That's nice, run around...just a little more...WHAM

As a result I began to start thinking of the flu not as a routine disease but as The Enemy.  It is not just an infection to be endured with bed-rest and liquids; it's an invading force that merits the full treatment of war, including especially sufficient anthropomorphizing to lay the foundation for a subsequent campaign of calumny and dehumanization. The enemy must be made less-than-human in order to justify killing it, but that only works if the enemy starts out human enough to be worth killing in the first place.  Or something like that. 

Let's just say I've spent a lot of time screaming extremely rude things at the virus in my mind.

Still, being reduced to a state of fevered torpor does give one time to do the things one might not attempt when well.  Like re-watch the entire extended edition of The Lord of the Rings.  And re-read the whole Usagi Yojimbo series.  And listen to a couple of old-fashioned formula mysteries as audio books.

(Speaking of which, in M. C. Beaton's Death of a Nag, it is revealed that a trip to church is just the thing to fix a group of people traumatized by murder, for "there are no agnostics on the battlefield."  Moreover, it is also revealed that being an atheist means that kindly old spinsters with lifetimes of otherwise unspotted virtue will find it easier to commit murder in what they think is a good cause because an atheist would believe that neither the murderer nor murderee risks suffering in an afterlife.  If only Ms. Beaton possessed a conscience about making her readers suffer in this life.)

But I need to stop. I feel the enemy encroaching again. The last day and a half have been like a slow sine wave, with my temperature swinging up and down as the body tries to repel the last pockets of resistance, seemingly one-by-one.  Load the flame-thrower, attack the next pillbox, rest.  Repeat until done.

The sweat and fever of combat descend....

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smackshack: a crude digital self-portrait (Default)
smackshack

June 2012

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