December 17th, 2011



Being sick and bedridden for a week and a half does not make for exciting blog fodder. Disgusting blog fodder, maybe, but who wants to hear about that? I have not weighed myself to see how much weight I have lost in the past 8 days of not eating anything because today I ate. Actually I ate yesterday, too, but it was pretty minimal, and it was MEDICINAL and also, full of love vitamins: Anders made me chicken soup from scratch. Wasn't that nice?

There is a little bit left, and since there was also leftover macaroni from yesterday, I'm going to add some macaroni to the last bowl I have for lunch tomorrow. Before that all I had ingested since last Saturday night was ginger ale, water, and gingersnaps. My mom laughed out loud when I said gingersnaps, but ginger settles your stomach! And it's not like I kept them down, so mostly they didn't count anyway. And I probably only ate about a dozen the whole week. Can you imagine? Living on ginger ale, water and a dozen pepperkakor for 6 days? I am glad I can eat again, though I am taking it VERY slowly and eating very small portions and my stomach was still kinda jumpy after each meal today.

Fever Dream
Justin Bieber french-kissing a baby calf. There was a lot of tongue involved. I grossed myself out thoroughly.

On Tuesday, when I realized that I was panting, and that I couldn't breathe deeply and it hurt, in fact, to try and do so and that I could actually HEAR my lungs creaking (never a good sign), I realized that my old friend pneumonia had snuck in while I was under the weather and I panicked a bit. I could barely get from the bed to the bathroom that day and was feeling pretty low. Anders was at work, and the kids were both at school and MAN the days go slowly when you are sick and alone and can't even read.

I've had walking pneumonia a couple of times before which is how I knew what it felt like and so I called my health insurance company around 10 a.m. to ask them what to do.* They told me they could get me an appointment with a doctor that day, but I told them I couldn't get there: I couldn't drive. So they gave me another number to call (1177 for those of you in Sweden who might ever be in need) which is the Healthcare Advice Line or something like that. I called and talked to a nurse and explained (in English because I was near tears and incapable of translating all the horrible things I was going through) and they said, "Hey! Don't worry! We will send a doctor out to your house!"

And they did. In fact, they sent two. They couldn't tell me what time the doctor would arrive, just that it would be during the afternoon, so I panted my way shallowly through the hours and tried not to throw up again. At some point I moved to the couch because I was too hot and laid there like the dead for awhile instead. I was wearing a long pink nightgown and fat white socks like the ones Holly Hunter wears all the time in Always when she's moping around in the front of the fireplace over her dead husband, only she looked about 100 times better in them since she's tiny and slim and tan, of course.

The doorbell rang, and I stumbled over and opened it and took in the fact that there were TWO men there, not one like I had expected, and I put a hand to my sweat-styled bedhead and waved them in. One was the doctor and the other was ...maybe a resident? A nurse? Since he was carrying the big bag and being told what to do. The doctor was the nicest guy EVER. He looked EXACTLY like a shorter, kinder, fatherly Stanley Tucci, with big round wire-rim glasses and he kept patting my shoulder and telling me not to worry, while I explained that I thought I had pneumonia.

He told the other guy who was much younger and quite good-looking in a curly-mopped Italian sort of way to get out the infection-prick-test thing they stick your finger with to take blood. And while the other guy was doing that, Stanley had me pull up the back of my nightgown and he stuck a stethoscope on my back and moved it around, humming and hawing and making increasingly excited noises. WHOA! he said finally, and told Italian-mop to put the finger-sticker away. He said he'd never heard such a classic clear case of pneumonia and made Italian-mop come listen too. Then they gave me 3 penicillin tablets and a prescription for more and he repeated the instructions on when to take them several times as if he was sure I wasn't tracking well.

And then they left and I took the first antibiotic and my panic subsided quite a bit. And 2 days later I started feeling human again and taking an interest in life once more. I'm very grateful that I called when I panicked and got the help I needed so quickly.

Anders went shopping all day today and finished off the presents I was worried about and now I'm hoping that one more day of rest will be enough to allow me to get back to work so I can stop stressing about being a week behind there, since that is NOT restful.

And you can bet I won't be eating another damn pepperkaka for the rest of the holidays.

*I know that I could have called Anders at work and he would have zoomed home and taken me to the hospital immediately, but the idea of spending any time at all out of bed, especially for the several hours an emergency room visit was bound to take, was a horrendous thought that contributed to the panic.