Hazy or Smoky, In Greek

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.


6 Responses to Hazy or Smoky, In Greek

  1. mrwhatsit says:

    Wow, typhoid. I wasn’t even aware that it was still active anywhere. That’s pretty serious…does it respond to anti-biotics? The wiki site shows areas of the world where it still exists, but it’s virtually non-existant over here. And wow, what a fever! Anything over 103 is considered serious in an adult. Drinking a lot of water helped me the last time I got the flu and got dehydrated. I called some hospital and they told me to drink gallons of water. Also when you’re mostly recovered but still feeling week, my Dr recommended drinking a lot of Gatorade, which helps replace one’s electrolytes (not sure if that’s available in India, but it’s a sports drink.)
    Meanwhile, hope you get back to feeling 100% recovered very quickly.
    Take care, and avoid the last place you dined out at and also mosquitos. And move to Chicago, you’ll be safer here except for the occasional gunfire.
    Feel better!

  2. poupee97 says:

    Hi Doug: I love how your responses always make me laugh. 🙂 Apparently there are 21 million or so cases of Typhoid a year – so I’m just a statistic, not an oddity. (Though I wonder how they count ’em all over the world.) I’ve not been drinking water at all – I have this taste in my mouth that makes water taste awful. I’ve been getting by with soup and juice and soda. Don’t even feel like beer, sadly. We do get Gatorade. I’ve never had it. I guess it’s a bit expensive, but mostly because it’s a pumped up sports drink and who needs it?

    I’ve been trying to find out how long this disease takes to develop, so I’ll know which restaurant to avoid – it could even be the office cafeteria.

    As for mosquitos – they love me. If I’m in the room, it’s like a dessert buffet for all the mosquitos in a one mile radius, even if I’m covered up from head to toe. Amit could be standing next to me butt naked, all seven feet of him, but the little buggers would still come and feast on my hands, face, and feet. I’m a mosquito magnet – they should extract my secret from my blood, patent it and sell it. Then when you want to amuse yourself, you buy it, hang it up, and watch the mosquitos eat till they burst. That would be fun, right?

    But mosquitos don’t cause typhoid, I think. Malaria and dengue, but not typhoid.

  3. Saish says:

    Miks – you dont sound hazy at all in your post!!!! but typhoid does sound horrendous. 😦 You pls take care!!!!

    P.S – The hubby sounds so romantic!! – the “sleeping next to a freight train” part!!! I couldn’t stop laughing at that one.

  4. poupee97 says:

    Saish: 🙂

  5. ruby says:

    By now you must be half fine at least, one thing I know about typhoid is that you lose hair so take care, had it in the 8th standard and looked so skinny till the next two years. I thought I was dying, at this age I think you’ll survive that too with so much drama, you don’t sound ill at all. How did the twins manage with their caretaker so ill. Take care and eat well once you start feeling well.

  6. poupee97 says:

    Ruby: Am back to normal now. It was bad, but it wasn’t as bad as typhoid can be. I think I didn’t lose any hair. And I definitely didn’t lose any weight! The kids were fine – their dad is another story. 🙂

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