This morning, I woke up feeling rested and clear-headed. That’s a good feeling when the past week or so, you’ve been down with Typhoid. Typhoid, apparently, derives its name from “typhus” which, in Greek, means smoky or hazy – the state of mind associated with that illness. I totally get where they came up with a name like that from. Smoky, hazy, fuzzy, disconnected, spaced out and generally zonked vaguely describes how I’ve been feeling the past several days.
Last Thursday after lunch at work, I suddenly realized I couldn’t stay at work any longer and within half an hour or so, I was home. Nothing precisely was wrong then, apart from the beginning of a headache – it was more a premonition that something was going to be wrong. Much to my surprise, when I got home I went straight to bed and covered myself with a blanket to boot. I didn’t even wait to change out of my office clothes.
Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday passed in a haze of fever, body ache, and tiredness. It’s the flu, I thought. I had it this time last year as well.
By Monday morning, the fever was gone and I sat down to work from home. That afternoon, the fever shot up to 103.6 – which looks more like an FM radio station than a reading on a digital thermometer. I sighed and scratched tennis off my calendar for Tuesday.
On Monday night, Amit handed me a Crocin which I swallowed. I spent three and a half hours sweating profusely as the Crocin worked to send my temperature down. Then two hours shivering uncontrollably as my body worked that much harder to send the temperature right back up again. Amit said it was like sleeping next to a freight train.
On Tuesday morning, we went to the doctor, who suggested a blood test. I hate those things.Over the last couple of years, all these nurses have become absolutely hopeless at getting blood out of me. You’d think I was a stone. They tapped the crook of my elbow doubtfully. They told me to tighten my fist. Then they rolled up the sleeve on my right arm, tapped some more. More doubtful looks were exchanged. One of the hapless girls got up the nerve to stick the needle in and they poked and prodded around under the skin as though hunting for lost treasure under the sea. When I started yelping, they actually had the audacity to eye the veins on the back of my hands and suggest that it wouldn’t hurt a bit. At last they got some dark red fluid in the syringe. One nurse was gustily mutilating my arm in a stranglehold, but the blood was limping out one drop at a time. They had to start all over again just to get the requisite 2 ml – less than half a teaspoon. I came away with four puncture marks on my arms. Couldn’t they just have sliced my finger tip?
After shrugging down a couple of mouthfuls of lunch, I headed to the room for a well deserved nap, and stuck the thermometer in my mouth out of habit. When it beeped, I thought I must be seeing things, so I called Amit. Strangely enough, he saw the same things – 104.7! That didn’t even look right for a radio station. And it got Amit into a real state. He yanked me out of bed and poured mugs of cold water on my head. It was sheer torture and I screamed blue murder – but it brought the temperature down to something over 103 and a double whammy of Crocin was left to do the rest.
A couple of hours later the lab confirmed Typhoid and that evening I started on antibiotics. The fever and body ache passed, but the tiredness and the foul taste in the mouth stayed. My appetite and my brain remained on vacation.
This morning, I woke up feeling rested and clear-headed. But the feeling didn’t last too long. Now the day is back to hazy and smoky again. That’s typhoid, I guess.