I’m sick of being sick.
The new year sneaked into our house under a fog of pharmaceutical haze — one in which both the time of day and any ability to reference a somewhat accurate date on the calendar are lost to dreams of dancing bears and fireworks. A fever will do that to you.
Apparently, this is one of the worst flu seasons in a good while. According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47 of 50 states are reporting widespread outbreaks. Apparently Maine, New Hampshire and Hawaii are good places to be right now if you wish to avoid the outbreak. I’ll take the latter, if you’re asking.
I’ll admit that not getting a flu shot is hardheaded, illogical, and can be medically threatening to someone who carries an AARP card. Add to the fact I’m a guy and still harbors misguided beliefs that most ailments will cure themselves if you simply try to walk them off.
Being guilty of all of the above probably made me a prime target for an extended dance with this year’s All-American, star-spangled flu.
A few weeks ago, a friend told me about his personal journey through the forest of bright lights, fever dreams and all around body-draining experience.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” he said. “But I kept seeing this one word — Berry — blinking before my eyes like a neon sign. And the image just kept coming back with my fever.”
If you know my friend, nothing takes this guy down. Tough, focused, not going to let a little discomfort keep him from engaging the day. That is until he ran across this year’s electric Kool-Aid themed flu bug.
A week later, fireworks and dancing bears filled my head all from the vantage point of being wrapped in a blanket on the living room sofa. I could only imagine this was akin to Timothy Leary experiencing Jimi Hendrix perform at Woodstock.
For those of you who have not had this year’s mode, here are the crib notes: prepare to suffer and hunker down for a weeklong cycle until you return to a shell of your previous self. Most of us wake up early, feel a bit woozy, and then, like cresting atop a tall roller coaster, quickly descend into a furious ride through a funhouse of haunted terror. Not trying to scare you, but this is a miserable journey.
I lay down with plans of what to do the next day — celebrate New Year’s Eve, catch the college playoff football games on New Year’s Day, and draw up an annual list of goals — only to wake up as a twisted and modern version of Rip Van Winkle.
When the fever finally broke, we were already a couple days into the new calendar year and people were talking about an epic double-overtime football game as old news.
And to add to my disorientation, it was already Tuesday.
So yes, I’m sick of being sick. I’ll live, but count me in for a flu shot next year.