Tick Tock

So . . . a couple weeks ago I got slammed with bone-wracking chills and fever. Of course, everyone said “Covid”. My family and friends brought me those home tests (dropped them off and ran like hell). But I was already vaxxed, boosted and re-tested to within an inch of my life, and my life is the epitome of “isolation” (I prefer to call it solitude). I was pretty sure this was something else.

So then ‘everyone’ said “flu”, except that I’ve had flu lots of times and this didn’t fit. For one thing, I had absolutely no stomach or lower problems, except for a complete lack of interest in food. I could smell it and taste it, I just didn’t want it.

For three days, I hurt in my muscles, joints, whatever. So I couldn’t sleep much either. I barely had strength to get up to go to the bathroom, so I didn’t bother calling for a doctor’s appointment because I didn’t know how I’d get there. The amazing tiredness (like nothing I’ve ever felt in my life, even after giving birth twice) made diagnosis even harder. Depression? Apnea? Anemia? Heart disease?

Finally, my daughter-in-law sent me a text: “Tick bite.”

A great light dawned. A week or so earlier I’d found what I thought was a spider bite on my shoulder. It didn’t burn or itch, and I forgot about it. I looked up tick bites (thank you, Google) , and bingo! Right down to the loss of appetite, the rash around the bite, and what my doctor later reported as “incredible fatigue”. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and folks, I don’t recommend it, not even to research for a book. Not worth it. It’s enough to make you never want to walk in a field again, and I still jump a foot every time some little bug lands on me.

I was on antibiotics for ten days, which confused things, because they always make me feel tired anyway. But I’m feeling pretty good now now. Actually, I’m feeling better than I have for weeks. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I laughed out loud, until I spent two weeks feeling like I never wanted to laugh again.

Oh, another symptom: Hard to concentrate on reading a book. My mother would have said, “Yep, she’s sick alright”, and she never put up with gold-bricking. I spent two weeks lying around listening to audiobook after audiobook. I hardly remember most of them, but a voice in the dark was a good distraction.

I think I’ve actually caught up on some sleep, and the fatigue is receding into memory. So it’s time to get back to the keyboard. Too late to enter a couple short-story contests I had in mind, but since I cancelled umpteen Zoom courses, webinars, book clubs and volunteer stints, I now have lots of time for that novel I’m still trying to write!

I’ve always loved this picture of my great-grandson. Now . . . not so sure.

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