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Monday, November 21, 2011

Fever Dreams.

Right about the time I was writhing around on the bathroom floor literally wailing in pain two nights ago I had one of those frightening moments of clarity that follows a complete moment of insanity.

I, for a solid minute, was sure I was becoming a zombie.

I had no other explanation for what I was enduring. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, had some mystery illness mutating within my own immune system into some monster of a thing burning me alive from the inside, consuming every molecule of energy I once contained and disposing of it recklessly, leaving me unable to do much of anything but sleep and dream.

And let me tell you about those dreams.

But I'll back up a minute.

We took Kiedis to the doctor, was told he had a double ear infection, given a prescription for an antibiotic and sent along our way. My brother had chronic ear infections as a young child, so I was not phased by this. I filled the prescription, administered the first dose upon arrival back home, and went about my day being mom to an ill, non-verbal toddler.

As the next day broke out in deceptive sunshine but blustery weather, my little boy was nearly back to his normal self, not at all resembling the whimpering child who clung to me and sobbed in his sleep, eyes crusted shut with mystery goop. Nope, he was asking for yogurt (a new quasi-word he's acquired) and to watch The Incredibles for the umpteenth time and there was much rejoicing in the Wharzinger household.

That is, as much as I could manage because OF COURSE I woke up feeling like crap. And not just your usual crap, but an extra-heavy load of crap with dizzy spells and reduced reaction time and general sinus fog creating a haze around every processing orifice on my compressed head.

And then the cough started. Followed by the nausea, the shakes, and the eye crud. Oh, the neon-green eye crud. And by that night I was running a 100+ degree fever, my entire body ached, and the only thing I wanted more than life was sleep.

Ear infection, HA.

So Kyle agreed to stay home from school so I could sleep and we went to bed.

And I dreamt of zombies. More of being one, of waking up and rolling over and finding Kyle sleeping peacefully next to me, back bare and exposed right up to the soft spot where the brain stem enters the skull and leaning in to that spot above the collarbone, where the flesh gives way so easily and ... and you can imagine the gory details.

A vivid imagination knows no bounds.

And I dreamt of my children sleeping upstairs angelically in their intentionally-darkened rooms, and how they smelled still of newborn on the tops of their heads, of watching a greyed and decaying finger caress the still-existent soft spot on Tova's crown and then being distracted by the sounds of warfare outside and seeing characters from The Walking Dead ride down my street on horseback and being torn between the feeling of going with the good guys and realizing that I was no longer qualify-able as a good guy and then trying to decide who would be the most delicious -- the people, not the horses, because that would be cruel.

Because, you know, zombies ponder things. They also cannot eat their own children. At least I can't.

Thank you brain for having your limits.

There was also some crazy burlesque thing in there, that one of the teachers at the studio didn't care that I was undead and was making me perform over and over as my body parts literally fell off of me, yelling at me to glue them back on, there was an audience watching and just feeling so very very tired and hungry but unwilling to risk my non-life to eat anyone around me at the time. Too many stilettos at the ready to gouge me.

Needless to say I woke up from that nightmare with a dangerous fever that ended me up in Urgent Care Friday, taking four people to cover the tasks that usually just I manage to do in a day. And actually, that was just the basics of logistics. The mountain of laundry waiting for me is still daunting.

But anyway. So I go to Urgent Care and get a prescription for a Z-pack since I'm allergic to sulfa drugs and penicillin derivatives, and I'm all "yay, no more zombie fever dreams" and am looking forward to feeling normal again.

Except when I take the first dose of the Z-pack, my body decides I just am not allowed to have antibiotics ever again.

I fight throwing up for two hours because I know if I do I'll lose the medicine and won't get better and with everything being closed for Thanksgiving this week that means another week gone to this horrific supposed strep infection posing as an ear/now/throat/eye thing, but the pain starts to resemble something like having my insides torn apart by an industrial combine and finally it beats me, sucking all air from my lungs in those guttural wails and defeating me, and I spend the next hour or so vomiting the very little I've managed to eat for the two days prior.

And yes, I did try to eat with the pills to have them settle. The most I'd eaten in the two days prior combined, probably. Did diddly squat.

While I writhed on the floor I heard myself saying to Kyle, who looked on helplessly, that I was dying, that it was killing me, and then BOOM, there it was in my head, clear as day.

This is how it starts. I'm the bringer of the zombie apocalypse.

Enter moment of clarity post insane thought moment.

My clarity did not focus around the non-existence of zombies, nor the improbability of me being the person to begin the infection of the masses that results in the world as we know it coming to a halt.

Nope, it was that no matter what, I did not want to be the end of my children. I did not want to become a zombie a room over from where they slept because I didn't want the temptation of their tiny little brains to bewitch me and make me do horrible things that not even my own twisted brain could dream up under the influence of the fires of Hades burning under my skin.

And it felt much like the opposite of how I felt two years ago, when I thought for sure that my existence in their(then just Kiedis') life was the worst thing that had ever happened to him and that everyone would be better without me around ruining everyone's lives.

My, how the years have changed me.

I immediately felt guilty about Kiedis being this sick, though I tried hard to be rational in my choices about when he needed professional care and when he didn't. I knew I needed to stay the eff away from Tova lest she catch this awful plauge and perpetuate the misery in our house. And I needed to rest and trust that Kyle and my mom and my brother and my dad would pick up the slack and get everyone through, because that's what families do.

Sometimes the Mom has to be sick. And that has to be okay.

So for the majority of the weekend I pretty much locked myself in my room and slept and sweat and wretched and coughed and took my medicine on schedule and fought against my own brain about zombie-centric dreams and reminded myself that my self-imposed quarantine was for the greater good of my family even though it was jacking up everything we had planned pretty much for the rest of the month, zombification or no.

And now here I am. I am physically far from healthy though I'm gaining strength (and the ability to eat) back slowly as time progresses, but mentally I'm here again for the most part, between naps and moments of complete pain-induced head fog. Gratefully Kyle has this whole week off of school anyway, so he'll be able to help in the inbetween, which is such a relief.

And no sign of the zombie apocalypse in sight. Just some really miserably sick people looking at a probably less-than-stellar Thanksgiving experience this year.

So I'm sorry I dropped off the face last week. I'll try to be better this week.

I've just been a wee busy saving humanity from it's impending doom.

Which if you've met my daughter when she's unhappy (ie, sick), you'd realize isn't actually hyperbole at all.