Monday, April 20, 2015

This Is Your Brain On The Flu

Well, actually, it is my brain, but I have to think, all of my personal quirks aside, that brains that have been numbed by the flu are pretty much similar.

Flu B, though, is a bit of a different viral animal.  The people at the clinic told us so, when my wife and I were simultaneously diagnosed.  The fever doesn't get as high.  Some people don't get a fever at all, which makes it harder to diagnose, because who is going to go to the doctor without a fever?

Still, flu, any flu, takes you down.  When we were at the clinic, we sat in the waiting room with a SWAT guy who thought he could best it, could work through it, but he couldn't and it took him down.  When we saw him, he could barely move.  Like us.

But as I sat for a week in a room with my wife, both of us hoping that the other would take care of us, and both of us hoping to feel better, I started to take mental "snapshots" of what it was like to have a flu brain because I knew that you would want to know.  And here are those observations, in scattershot fashion, because this is your brain on the flu:

--You'd think that the brain on flu is not hungry, but it is.  It just isn't hungry for typical bland "sick food" like soup and toast.  Oh, it will eat that, but what it really wants is flavor, and mainly in the form of salt, salt, salt because it is dehydrated.  For my wife, the vegetarian, it was hamburgers.  for me it was hash brown casserole at Cracker Barrel and spaghetti with meat sauce and other comforting, salty things.  Sweets, sugar?  No appeal.

--I walked into Wal-Mart and I felt invincible.  That broad swatch of humanity, they will not infect me, no, I will infect them, as I search for a dehumidifier.  It is the only time I have ever entered Wal-Mart and thought, "I am germ-bringer."

--Zombie.  I look at you.  Zombie.  You look at me.  I think nothing.  You thing nothing.  Let us turn our heads towards CNN and let the news repeat itself on into the night.

--Our healthy daughter comes home and wants to know if we have spent the day sterilizing the house.  No, I think, we have not.  We have spent the day being sick, staring at each other, often not moving or drifting in and out of sleep and thinking, CNN.

--It is early morning.  I am home.  I am not at work.  I think of the day and the things that I will do.  There are so many movies that I will watch.  My wife and I will watch movies together.  I will read books.  I will get some work done.  I do none of it.  We sit, instead, and watch CNN and discover that yesterday's "Breaking News" is still breaking today, and we are still fascinated by that.

--Phone call.  No.  Why?

--People want to bring us things, mostly things to eat, and we want them, and we want to eat them, but we don't want to see those people and we don't want to commit to being here to accept those things, even though we will go nowhere else and we have little else to eat.

--Our daughter has fled, and we sterilize the house in hopes that she will return, but we hope that she will not question is to see if we have done so, because we have done it and now we want to nap with CNN in the background.

--We share everything, because we cannot make each other sick, and we cannot make our dog sick, and we have a room where we can be sick together, and it has become our world and we only step out of it if we have to, like when one of us needs to take care of the other.

That, plus fever, cough, and lethargy, is the flu.

1 comment:

rodle said...

Who knew the flue could bring out the funny? Great post.