Monday, September 26, 2011
A Weekend At Home
I was contemplating writing this entry around four o'clock in the morning, which, in the moment, seemed a rather convenient time to do it. Lest you should think I was in the mindset I usually seem to occupy while composing very early morning posts, let me assure you that I was not drunk earlier today--unless by "drunk" you mean delirious with the fatigue of Death.
I had a rather unexpected weekend, and in several ways.
After returning to school on Monday, September 19th, I realized that I'd forgotten the bag of clean clothes and towels that had been a large part of my reason for visiting home in the first place. Irritated, I resolved to double back to Mountain Town on Wednesday night, retrieve the clothes, and be on campus again by Thursday afternoon.
"Are you leaving, dude?" Patrick (my roommate) asked as I headed out the door.
"Are you skipping class?"
"No, I don't have class on Thursdays. I'll be back tomorrow."
Little did I know.
I arrived home with a failing voice and a persistent cough on Wednesday afternoon and began a strange twilight weekend that was ushered in by my mother suggesting I see a doctor.
"BB, why don't you go into the clinic today?" she asked by phone on Thursday morning.
"I mean, I have a cold," I said. "Do I really need to go to the doctor for a cold?"
"Well, you never know," she responded. "It would be better to be safe than sorry."
I was a bit disoriented by this changing of our roles; usually I'm the one bringing up reasonable, legitimate concerns, and she's the one shooting them down as melodrama. What happened next confused me further.
"Well, going to the doctor would cost money and I kind of need to watch it right now," I said, figuring that closed everything.
"I'll just swing by and cover the co-pay," my mother said. "Get dressed and head down there before they get crowded."
I was thoroughly mystified by this point and couldn't think of any reason not to head into town, so I threw on some clothes and hopped into my car. If anything, I thought, the doctor could give me something to help the cough pass. And that is when I got my second big surprise.
"You have pneumonia," the smiling physician informed me.
"What?" I asked.
"Mmm-hmm," she tapped my bare back with a friendly chirp. "There's definitely something rattling around in your right lung. How long have you been feeling this way?"
"About a week," I answered.
"Yeah," she said. "This could be early pneumonia or even just bronchitis, but the only real difference between bronchitis and pneumonia is time and you've been letting it marinate, so..."
She prescribed me a steroid and antibiotic treatment (which my mother inexplicably offered to pay for) and sent me on my way. In that instant my plans for the weekend changed pretty abruptly. Sicker than I'd realized and evidently contagious, I faced the prospect of either returning to school in a diseased state or blowing off classes to stay at home where it was comfortable and warm.
I think you can guess which choice I made.
Stricken with pneumonia as the leaves turned red and the sky turned grey, I happily retreated into a soft cocoon of long sweatpants and billowing hoodies, velvety blankets and cushioning pillows for a five-day weekend of recuperation. Beautiful Cousin was home from her university (she moved into the dorms this Fall at the start of her Junior Year) and between the two of us and Thomas we went through plenty popcorn and other snacks.
The dogs seemed happy to see me as well.
The only downside to having pneumonia has been actually having to have pneumonia. Sleeping was and remains difficult, with the few hours of rest I've gotten over the last week or so coming from a bottle of Robitussin. The sickness seems to be waning, at least, and hopefully within a few days it will be gone. Either way, I was happy for the forced relaxation. It's the kind of thing I enjoy from time to time.