New Castle News

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May 18, 2013

Josh Drespling: Sick and tired of being sick and tired

NEW CASTLE — I'm sick of being sick!

It has been over a week now fighting this ungodly pestilence that has settled in my body. Despite my best efforts, this plague has taken a firm hold of every avenue of my being. It has become the most constant and present force in my life.

As much as I talk to it and try to coax if out of its evil lair, there is no winning against this despicable and vile epidemic that has infiltrated my humble body.

It all started simply enough. On Monday of last week I felt just blah and tired. You know, like a bad case of the Mondays. I went to work and pushed through with an ever-present hint of a headache and all-over feeling of not wanting to do anything nor really caring if anything got done.

As Tuesday came to life, it was quickly apparent that it was to be an exaggerated version of Monday.  The headache was no longer hinting at its existence, but rather flying its flag high, announcing its arrival and staking its claim in this new-found land. The listlessness also grew to mountainous proportions. To say I would have been content to sit in a chair and stare at the wall would have been an understatement.

On Wednesday the symptoms seemed to be waning a bit, and I thought I was out of the woods. Oh, how wrong I was! What was a simple pushing match between myself and this illness, soon became a battle for dominance in my body. After work, I plopped down on the couch and began my slippery slide to becoming a member of the walking dead. The only problem is that I was still cogent of my degraded condition. The brainless motions of the zombies would have been much more pleasing than alternating between extreme shivering and sweating buckets.

Every single joint in my body hurt. To move even a finger took extra effort and thought. To stand up and move across the room was a lesson in endurance and humility.

My temperature was bouncing around 103 degrees and then suddenly it would drop the normal range, then back up again. One time it actually dropped down to 97.5, which baffled me even more.  

My body was raging some incredible war inside of me. Copious amounts of drugs, hot showers, cold showers, and vitamins had only minimal effects on this alien intruder from the depths of Hades.

I called off “dead” from work on Thursday and slept the day away. I ate very little and forced myself to drink lots of water. Water which would soon be turned into sweat and deposited with the rest on my soaking-wet pillows.

Then came Friday morning and my wife nudged me and asked if I was going to work. I quickly did a self-assessment and decided that I could do this. Big mistake!

The day started out great. I actually felt better than I had in a long time. I told my story of woe to my co-workers and explained how great I felt. Before long, my situation diminished greatly. Like a great coaster on the top a death-defying hill, I quickly plunged back into the misery that had been my past few days. Only this time, I was lucky enough to be in even more pain.

I spent the remainder of Friday and the whole of Saturday doing absolutely nothing. Fading in and out of sleep as beads of sweat ran down the back of my neck and shivers kept me bundled in several layers of blankets.

It’s been another four days, and here I sit on a late Wednesday night with an ice pack on my head, Gatorade in my hand, and a thick winter blanket at my side for the next time my body flip-flops its temperature range.

I'm getting better ... slowly. There are fleeting moments of almost feeling human again. I have begun to gauge my relation to the rest of the world in percentages. Today was perhaps the best day at around 75 percent of normal operating ability, but on this evening I have downgraded myself to no more than 60 percent.

Looking back, I would have to measure a couple of those past days around the 15 to 20 percent mark.

Maybe tomorrow will be 100 percent ... I mean tomorrow is GOING TO BE 100 percent. I can feel it and know that I will finally be able to shed this shroud of sickness for good.

If not, I might try the vodka and tequila method and drown it out!


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