On Getting Sick Alone

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I get the sniffles a lot. Every change of seasons, I always expect to get slight sniffles and maybe a bit of cough here and there, nothing that lots of water and orange can fix. For a few weeks, I felt feverish and had cough that just wouldn’t go away. Since I was so confident on not getting sick a lot, I powered through it and continued to work as usual. I guess my body had a lot of plans for me since at some point last week, I experienced the sickest moment in my life so far.

For a few days, my temperature did not dip under 38 degree Celsius. The highest I had taken was at 39.4 degrees at the doctor’s office. I tried every method I knew to lessen the fever: Tylenol (maybe double dosed at some point), tepid sponge bath (ALONE!) and literally blasting the heater close to my body. None of these helped and the heater just made my cough worse as it made the air around me dryer. When I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor after three days of suffering, he prescribed me 10 days of antibiotics and did not even tell me what could have been wrong with me.

For the next few days, I would cough as if my body was trying to get rid of all of my sins but cannot find it. I lost sleep over it as I would get an hour of sleep then wake up coughing like I was dying then have trouble going back to sleep since I would still get some residual coughing. I had zero appetite so I wasn’t feeding myself well. I tried cooking but even the thought of eating just one egg made me gag. I had to force feed myself with some bites of rice and eggs just so I could give myself some sustenance. I knew that I was very sick but I also really tried hard to take care of myself while at it. I still took showers and brushed my teeth, then went back to really bad sleep. I was essentially sleeping the whole day and was still tired every time I wake up because of the coughing.

By the third or fourth day of the antibiotics, my fever started to go down and my coughing got less. But I coughed so much before that that my lower back actually started hurting. I never thought this was possible but here I am, trying to suppress my cough just so my lower back wouldn’t hurt. So I was sick, in my period, and have a lower back which could barely let me sit straight. There were times when I would literally cry because I was so sick and so alone. Growing up, every time I was sick, my grandma was always there for me and would take care of me. She would wake me up every 6 hours just to make me drink medications for fever and give me sponge bath and change my shirt. I would just be there lying while she does all the work. But now, I live alone and no one can do that for me except for me. It was such a bad feeling.

For good five days I suffered. I can barely stand from the bed and walk my ass to the washroom. I didn’t clean nor cooked. I barely ate but I was very much hydrated throughout this time. I was so tired that just taking a shower would take so much toll on me that I would immediately lie down after and go to sleep. My voice barely existed, and my head, throat and back hurt every time I coughed.

When I started feeling okay, I forced myself to get out of the house. I was cooped out in here for a few days that I really just wanted to get out and go somewhere. Of course, what people saw was me already feeling better, all glowed up and ready to take on the world. What they didn’t see was me feeling broken and tired and sick a few days before. When people finally saw me when I was better and told me that I didn’t look sick, it made me mad since these people knew nothing of what I’ve been through. I had to suffer alone, set alarms so I don’t miss my medications and go through fainting spells alone. But I didn’t tell them anything about it. I just smiled and let the comment pass.

I’m better now. Barely any cough and the small ones I can suppress since my back still hurts. No more fever but that still doesn’t stop me from taking my temperature from time to time since I was so paranoid about getting one again. I have finally started cleaning my place and in a day or two, I can bring it back to a clean condition again. My appetite had come back but I find myself eating less that what I used to which is good for me and my ‘, weight loss journey. I’m finally getting a good night’s rest with barely any breaks in between. I’m trying to get back my lost sleep since I still feel tired in the middle of the day from all the energy that was drained from me from a few days past.

Getting sick alone is not fun. No one was there to take care of me, give me medications or cook for me. Thank goodness grocery and food deliveries existed. This is definitely one thing that I would never want to experience ever again.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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