In fact, I can barely think at all. My head feels as if it’s being crushed. Did a rock escape from atop Haleakalā via my bedroom, I ponder? But I find no boulder on my pillow.
The freckles on my face are frying with fever.
I am in a world of hurt, and though I am in such discomfort, I can’t seem to gather the strength to change positions, so I lie there enveloped in a blanket of paralytic pain.
Debra Lordan · Editor/General Manager
I gather the strength to activate my muscle fibers and force myself out of bed. Destination Advil. With monumental effort, my feet reach the carpet. Lightening bolts of pain zap through my body from toe to brain and back again.
As not to add to my malaise by ulcerating my empty stomach with Advil pills, I grope the snack shelf for some insulation. A slice of bread reveals itself. Saliva seeps, sending shooting pain through my teeth and tongue.
Fever. Headache. Exhaustion. Nausea. Pain. Repeat.
Day five—I think I may live. But there were times during the last blur of days when I really didn’t think that passing away in my sleep was all that unattractive of an option.
If only I had taken my own advice and made it a priority to get a swine flu shot. Then I could have celebrated the governor’s Influenza Vaccination Week in style instead of throwing my own personal seven-day swine flu pity party.
Vaccines stimulate your immune system to develop specific antibodies to a given virus (for example, to H1N1), so your system is ready when the actual infectious virus comes along. If and when it does, the antibodies produced from the vaccine will rather viciously tear the invading virus apart and destroy it chemically so it can’t make you sick.
I am not addressing those of you who are certain the swine flu vaccine is an evil plot spawned by a covert branch of the evil empire. So please don’t call me, email me or stop by the office to threaten me. You can’t scare me now. Nothing can.
But there is an upside to getting the flu. When it is over, you will have a renewed appreciation for health and wellness—and eating without vomiting. And you will no doubt lose a few pounds due to the overwhelming and perpetual nausea you may experience. You might even look really svelte, if not a bit fragile, when you finally recover in a week or two.
I’m not a doctor, so this is not medical advice—but the H1N1 vaccine is now readily available on Maui.
I don’t need to take the 30 minutes off work to get a shot now. I did it the hard way.
Some of us do everything the hard way.