I Didn’t Know Eyeballs Could Rattle

I thought I was having an allergy/asthma attack with the sudden onset of coughing yesterday at school. Lots of pollenous hell flowers out there in bloom. The jasmine is particularly potent. The temperature at school was in the low to mid 90s yesterday afternoon, so I thought the dragginess I was feeling could be attributed to the heat. I did a deep watering of the classroom flower garden before heading home for the weekend because there is *no* rain in the forecast. By the time SwampMan arrived to pick me up, I could barely keep my eyes open except when paroxysmal coughs tore through me. Crap. Probably NOT allergies.

I went home and took my temperature. Great. 100 degrees. One hundred degrees isn’t that big a deal, except my normal temperature is around 97.6, not 98.6. Always has been. When my temperature is at 98.6, I’m running a temperature (grin).

I staggered through today as best as I could. I finished my morning chores that are normally finished by 7 a.m. by about 2:00 p.m., then rode to Home Depot with SwampMan against my better judgement. Then we rode out to the grocery store so that I could pick up some milk, we got something to eat (SwampMan got lunch and dinner; I had my first meal of the day) and then stopped by SwampSon’s house so that I could do his livestock chores and plant waterings, and then home to my livestock.

I looked at my chickens. The horizon tilted crazily in my yard. Weird. I reminded myself that if I put one foot in front of the other, I would get there, although the front yard looked like an impossibly long way from the gate and rather steep, considering that it was flat ground. I fed two pens of “orphan” chicks that had been hatched out and abandoned by ducks. I fed a pen of 15 ducklings in the large round pen. I fed two pens of layers although I did not move the pens. I didn’t think I could move them. Perhaps in the morning. Then behind the house to three pens of chicks, then to the back of the house for a hen on a nest and a pen of pullets just beginning to lay. Then to the back pasture for two large pens of layers and one small pen that I’m introducing to the pen that I would like them in. By that time, I was moving like a robot or zombie. Step. Step. Step. Put feed in feeders. Check water. Ignore eggs. Step. Step. Step. Wait. Did I feed the chickens in the back of the house and in the front yard? I didn’t remember. Backtrack. Step. Step. Step. Wait! Did I feed the chickens in the side yard or back pasture? Step. Step. Step.

Okay. I can do this. The headache was like a tight band tightening around my head with every step, and the horizon started darkening and narrowing to a little spotlight of light out at the horse stalls, and Breeze neighed impatiently. My vision cleared. I had work to do. Okay. On to the stables. I can count the steps! One. Two. Three. Uh, where was I again? Oh, right, gotta check the chickens in the wooden chickenhouse and close them in for the night. They need water, too. The turkey poults are calling. There are wild turkeys in the woods, and they might hear the adults calling to one another. Back to the gate for the sheep feed. One. Two. Three. 105. 106. 107. 108. Scatter corn for the rams and dry ewes. 109. 110…..115. 130. 135. 140 and climb over the fence. I’m nearly trampled by ewes and lambs rushing up, running around in front of me, through my legs, and jumping up on me like dogs. Put feed in managers, avoiding stampeding sheep. Step step step back to the house, almost done. Take hamburger out of freezer for Puppy, about two pounds’ worth, and put it in his bowl. He can wait for it to thaw; he has a dozen boiled eggs to eat. Feed Momma cat dry food instead of her beloved canned feed, and take a scoop of dry cat feed out to the back of the horse barn for three cats. Two of them are SwampDaughter’s. I dunno who the hell the other one belongs to, but he apparently thinks we belong to HIM.

I went back into the house and downed a couple large glasses of sweet tea. The tightening band around my head eased. Just dehydrated a little. Did I have much to drink today? Probably not, I didn’t feel like eating. I took another look at my temperature. Now it’s 102. The temperature inside the house is in the high 80s or low 90s, but I just want to wrap up in a blanket and shiver for awhile. I think I will. SwampMan wanted to hover for awhile until I told him to get the heck OUT before he got sick, too.

“I’m glad you’re not a pussy when you get sick like I am!” he offered. Is that a compliment or a criticism? I dunno. I don’t care. I wish I hadn’t taken microbiology those many years ago so that I wouldn’t know that the muscle pain is coming from destroyed muscle cells that the virus has reproduced in and then burst open with little viral replicants to infect other cells, and that the temperature is my body’s attempt to make the body unfriendly to the invaders. Bastards. Explode MY cells? I don’t think so. My body is a battleground tonight and I am ground zero.

SwampMan helpfully left the military channel playing “Ike” for me. Why couldn’t he have left something helpful, like a bottle of hard liquor? Oh, right, *we* don’t drink. I turned on “How It’s Made” instead. I bet it would be MUCH more entertaining with a bottle of medicinal liquor except for red wine. Red wine gives me migraines. I already have one, thank you very much. Maybe red wine would help?

Now I’m tired out. Gotta go cover up and shiver again, then shed all my clothes and stand under the fan a few minutes later. Good times, right?

3:45 a.m.

Back to myself for a bit. I’ve been having fever dreams with lots of bright colors in which I keep trying to do things over and over that I cannot remember with no success. Temperature is down to 101 again. I dunno WHAT this thing is, but it seems to be making the rounds of schools. My next door neighbors told me that my friend, who works at a different school system than I do, had a racking cough and hadn’t gotten out of bed all day. If you have children in the school system, beware!

More pacing the floor because muscles hurt too much to stay still. What I had planned to do this weekend was more T-shirt painting/tie dying along with felting. I felted a flower onto my T-shirt for a school function, and it turned out crude, like many first attempts do, but…not bad. Not bad at all, considering that I was doing it about midnight and suddenly realized I had to go to sleep IMMEDIATELY in order to get five hours’ sleep. If I had done something like sketch it out first instead of doing it free form, it would have probably undoubtedly been a lot better.

Anyway, I had wanted to make some brilliant colored little baby shirts for Zoe with things like fishies and bugs and dinosaurs and flowers (not all at the same time) felted on them this weekend. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not feeling up to it!

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kcduffy said,

    Except for the work involved, I sure wish I could keep some chickens, just for the eggs.

    Felt kinda off Wednesday, but was better Thursday. Kaylee’s not in public school, but I wonder if it’ll hit there, too – hope not, it means I’ll be full-time Grandma Daycare again. Much as I adore her…

    I hate water – I drink decaf sweet tea. More of it this week.

    I won’t tell you to rest and drink plenty of fluids. BUT! Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, chicken soup if you can, and take something for that fever!

  2. 2

    swampie said,

    Ugh. I can’t eat. I’ve had one meal over the weekend which was half an omelette. I sip iced sweet tea when I’m awake and aware, which seems to be about an hour to two hours, then back to sleep for six or seven. The only things I’ve done this weekend are feed the livestock.

    • 3

      kcduffy said,

      I’d say you’re doing everything you need to do, then. If you can’t keep yourself from sleeping, it’s cuz that’s what your body NEEDS you to do. Take care. Call if I can help in any way.


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