My previous post was about an 11 mile hike. I assumed that the pain I was feeling was a direct result of allowing Julie to drag me through the woods. Turns out, that was only part of it.
The rest of the pain, as well as the fatigue, muscle cramping chills, dizzying fevers, and general feeling of overall poopiness are a result of a tiny little tick bite. I am trying to find a valid way to blame Julie for this, but the timing/incubation period simply won't cooperate with my wishes.
I started feeling pretty lousy on Saturday, the day after the hike. I thought I might be getting the flu. So, naturally, I hung around in our blow up pool and drank fermented beverages in an effort to restore myself to peak operating condition. Saturday night I had chills so badly that I went to lay on the couch so my shivering wouldn't wake Kerri up.
Then, on Sunday, Kerri noticed this decorative rash adding a warm splash of color to my otherwise pale hip.
"Um... I think you may have Lyme Disease," she suggested.
I was actually relieved. In the wee hours of the night, my imagination had extrapolated my burgeoning sickness to include: EEE, Spinal Meningitis, and Leprosy.
I called the fine folks at Ask-A-Nurse, whom I cannot say enough about, and they advised me to haul myself to the local Urgent Care Facility. After a 65 minute wait, the doctor popped into the room for–I am not exaggerating–60 seconds. That included introductions, a few quick questions, and the quickest, most cursory exam I have ever had.
"Um... I think you may have Lyme Disease," he announced as he disappeared through the door.
I sat in the exam room for another 10 minutes, awaiting his return. A nurse came in to draw some blood.
"Will the doctor be coming back in?" I asked.
"Nope. He's all done with you." she answered.
So I walked away with a prescription for some heavy duty antibiotics and a hefty medical bill.
All was well until about 11:30 last night when the chills started up again so badly I feared that I was going to chip my teeth. I took out the thermometer and got a reading of 104.7 in one ear and 105.3 in the other. Those numbers are fine if you are an FM radio station. If you are a human, it means that things are not going well for you.
Once again, I called Ask-A-Nurse.
"My temperature is about 105. Should I be dead?" I asked.
"Well, not dead, but probably not as perky as you seem to be," she answered.
She suggested that I go purchase a more reliable oral thermometer.
"Now?" I asked.
"I'm afraid so," she said.
"It's midnight on a Sunday night," I reminded her helpfully, "Plus, also, I live in the boonies where things shut down for the night at about 5 pm on a late day.
"You might have to drive for this," she said, "But you really need to get an accurate reading. If your temperature is really that high, you need to be in the hospital."
So Kerri and I had the pleasure of a midnight drive through Manchester to locate an all night pharmacy. When we finally did, my temperature on the new thermometer was 100.4. But then at home, the new one and the old one gave me the same readings. But at least I wasn't afraid that I was going to burst into flames in my sleep anymore. So I spent the Fourth of July Sleeping like this.
I'm not posting this to get sympathy, though any sympathy you'd like to send to Kerri will be greatly appreciated. I am not a low-maintenance sick person.
I'm posting this as a warning. I've been wondering if there isn't some cosmic sort of retribution being levied against my closest friends and me.
Julie nearly drained of blood by black flies on a recent hike.
My daughter, Tori. The same hike.
Ben's back after The Warrior Dash.
Julie's thigh after The Warrior Dash.
I'm not trying to scare you all off. I'm just thinking that you might want to keep your distance from me until this all clears up.
Who knows what might happen to you otherwise...