Monday, Jan. 03, 2005
Dear Diary:

"I didn't realize that you came with a Best Before Date of Jan. 1, 2005," the spousal unit teased. If I hadn't been so sick, he would have received a sound thrashing for that remark.

Things have been toboganning downhill at a rapid pace since Wednesday. Thursday I woke up with killer headaches and a fever. Oh man. The Mississippi of Phlegm had given me what ever bug she had. Crap.

Friday saw things get a bit worse with chills thrown into the mix. I could only hold down liquids, but this was still consistent with a 'flu so I wasn't worried, just ticked off. Saturday I got the added bonus of sweats and a dry cough. Oh happy day. I told myself this was as bad as it would get and if I just hunkered down I'd be better in a few days.

Then Sunday morning The Rash began. It made a lovely filigree up my legs. Then it went to my wrists and traipsed up my arms. I have had sarcoidosis and this was a completely different rash.

I could feel real panic starting.

Then, Sunday night, my joints got red hot to the touch and began to hurt. Whatever I had, it wasn't the flu. The spousal unit wanted to drag me back to the hospital but I told him there was no way no how he was taking me back to the Palace o' Pestilence. I would tough things out until the morning and go in to see my family doc.

Monday morning we headed into town and even though it was a holiday, my doctor was on duty at the walk in clinic. Bonus! I told him about the symptom progression, he reviewed all my heart stuff from the hospital, did the usual blood pressure, temperature, lymph node checks, listened to my heart, palpitated my abdomen and then looked at my rash.

His eyes widened. He was quiet for a moment.

Because I have the maturity of a four-year-old, I immediately began imagining the worst.


No, wait, Monkey Pox!

Or maybe Ebola!

Why think rationally when you can fear the absolute worst, right?

"I wonder if adults can get this?" he muttered under his breath, turning on a lovely, shiny Palm Pilot and scrolling through some sort of medical database.

Wait a minute Did that mean I had some sort of childhood illness? That I had been flattened by something kids get? Oh, the humiliation.

My doctor says my rash and symptoms are consistent with Fifth Disease something that normally hits kids aged between 5 and 15.

Fine. Even my illnesses are immature.

I will go in for a blood test at the community clinic on Wednesday to see if Parvovirus B19 is in my blood. If it is, the mystery is solved. If not, back to the drawing board and more testing.

Technically, I don't feel any better right now than I did this morning. I still have a fever, headaches, it hurts a bit to breathe, my joints are sore, and my rash is bugging me. Oh, and a big honking cold sore is starting to fester on my upper right lip because hey, if your body is going to erupt in viral pestilence, why go at things half way, eh?

But oddly enough I do feel better because just knowing what this is and that it will get better with time without any long lasting effects makes it all bearable, you know?

I took the long gradual ramp instead of the stairs when I was exiting the doctor's clinic today because my joints were so painful, clutching the spousal unit's arm for balance. I was walking with the fluid grace normally associated with The Mummy.

I heard a discrete cough behind us. It was a woman easily old enough to be my mother, someone in her late 70's, early 80's. I was moving too slowly for her. Let me repeat that. I was moving too slowly for her. The spousal unit and I squeezed off to one side so she could blow past us.

The spousal unit pretended to check her out. Then he turned to me, wiggled his eyebrows in a faux Groucho Marx leer and said, sotto voce, "Huh, maybe I should look into getting a saucy septuagenarian on the side."

I adore that man for being able to make me laugh, even in the worst times.


P.S.I want to thank my three loyal readers for their great suggestions about bike seats and how to track down the manual for the P-3300. A special huzzah goes out to the mighty, all knowing Lava Notes who got an actual manual and e-mailed it to me. Rockie Mountains, here I come. One day. When my knees don't feel like they need a buttload of WD-40.

Mileage on the Marnometer: 0 miles. You have no idea how it pains me to write that

Goal for 2004: 1,250 miles - 2000 kilometers

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