Thursday, April 14, 2005

I did a poor job of reporting on the tournament in Charlotte because of my illness.

I will now give an account of my three weeks of pain. I can't imagine that anyone will be very interested in it so I excuse all my loyal readers. Rather this is an exercise in getting over it, puttting it behind me.

After the game on Sunday night, Jay and I went back to the Motel 6 in Charlotte. He was getting ready to leave, wanting to put a few miles behind him so he could go back to work on Monday.

I was trying to get him out the door before I collapsed. I did not want him to know how I felt because he would be concerned but there was nothing he could do.

I recognize now that there were signs I was getting sick, but I ignored them because I was having a good time.

Friday night I mainly just sat during the second half of the game with Stanford. Jay tried to enliven me but I told him I was saving myself for the next game.

During the game Sunday night, I was interested in the second half, I wanted to win, but I just sat and watched rather than being a participant. I did not stand up at all.

After Jay left, I turned the TV off and did not turn it back on for 36 hours. Since all of you know what a TV addict I am, you know I was really sick.

It is hard to explain how I felt. I hurt all over. I had fever. I was hot and then I would be cold. I was incredibly weak. I remember once tying a pair of pants over my head trying to get warm. I only had aspirin to take and it didn't seem to do any good.

Finally Monday evening I decided that I needed to do something, no matter how bad I felt. I looked up a walk-in clinic in the phone book that was on a street I knew.

I should have taken the phone book with me but I didn't and I couldn't find the clinic. I came upon a Charlotte library; it made me so happy because libraries are my favorite places and I knew they would help me.

I went to the desk and a woman was typing and another woman was standing there. The standing woman walked off and the typing woman kept on typing. Finally she asked what I wanted. I told her a phone book and she said the only one they had was behind the desk. I asked to see that and she hand it to me but when I opened it she told me no, you can't use it here at the desk, someone might walk up.

I took it to a chair, again looked up the address again, returned the book, and left. I went to the Walgreen's across the side street and asked for the location of the clinic but no one knew where it was.

I went back on the street and found the clinic. I went inside, threw up in the bathroom, and filled out all their forms.

They measured my temperature as 102.5. I was given a slip saying my diagnosis was bronchitis, sinusitus, with flu symptoms, and a prescription for three medicines. I gave them $120.

I went back to the Walgreen's drive through pharmacy but they did not have one of the medicines. I didn't want to get just part of it so I didn't get any. I don't know what I would have done in my right mind but my feverish mind made that decision.

By then I could not take anymore and I went back to the motel and went to bed for another 14 hours.

Tuesday morning I was no better but I had to get medicine. I went to a CVS pharmacy where they also did not have all the medicine. They had the cough medicine, no Tamiflu, and only 3 tablets of the antibiotic. This time I took what they had.

I also bought some regular Cokes. I had been drinking diet drinks and eating nothing but figured maybe a few calories might help. I was still eating no food.

I had gotten to the drugstore by making two right turns. I was unable to figure out that simple pattern and got lost going home. I got on the interstate and them on the bypass, but finally made it back to the motel.

I took the medicine. I then had a reaction to the antibiotic. It would not let me sleep. Also it gave me kidney problems.

Tuesday night on the Charlotte they told of a Charlotte woman, only 35, who had died of flu.

I thought that is what is going to happen to me. I will die and hereafter when my name comes up, someone will say "You know, she died at a Motel 6 in Charlotte."

I determined that the next day I would find a better hotel to die in.

I had been keeping in touch with Julia by phone. She and Frankie wanted to come get me but so tempting as that was I absolutely would not allow them to do that. I did not want anyone else to get this sick. My brother John also chided me for not letting him come get me.

I did not notify the Hendersons in Florence, SC, that I was sick. Julia wanted to let them know but I forbade her from doing that because I also did not want them to come get me.

Tuesday night I was awake until 4 in the morning. After about 4 hours sleep, I checked out of the Motel 6.

The medicine kept me awake or I never would have made this trip home. Leaving Charlotte I went south on the interstate and then took the bypass around Charlotte so I missed the traffic. I made it to Newport, TN, just over the state line from NC. I checked into a Best Western motel that Julia and I had stayed in before. It has the best TV lineup I have ever had, including SoapNet.

I went to a grocery store and bought some fruit and starting eating a little.

Thursday morning I went to a CVS pharmacy to get more antibiotic. I was there at 9 o'clock when the pharmacy opened. I sat in a chair by the prescription window while the pharmacist opened all the windows, talked to her fellow worker, did chores. Finally after a long while of being ignored, I just left.

I got to Nashville and stayed at a Hampton Inn at I-40 and Old Hickory road. I took the long bypass south of Nashville because I could not face all the decisions going through Nashville. It was spring break for schools so when the bypass ended I decided to drive by Anne's to see if the children were playing outside. I did not intend to stop; I just wanted a glimpse of them. They were not at home.

I reported my progress to Julia and she made an appointment with Dr. Frix for Friday afternoon.

I made it home, went to the doctor, got more medicine, and suffered through another weekend.

I went back to the doctor on Tuesday. I was no better and now had a bladder infection from the antibiotic reaction.

Each day of suffering just blendedinto another. i continued to have fever; eventually I had fever for 20 days straight.

I went back to the doctor after another 10 days. I now had a lung problem. I got new medicine. This antibiotic was so old that the 10 day supply costs $7. It did the trick and two days later I had no fever.

I am now much better but still weak.

Being so alone, so sick, and so far away, did have a bad effect on me. I have cancelled a trip to Peru that I was going on with Beth and Laura. I am worried about the altitude and I do not want to get sick away from home, especially not in a foreign country.

I have a lot to look forward to: my friend Doris Carroll is coming for the First Sunday in May, Denee's and Anne's graduation, the kids in a play at school, and Desiree's wedding.

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