Aya opens my door and wakes me with just a few words.
“Ms. Denise, your next client is here early. I hate to wake you, but I thought you might want to know.”
“Oh thank you, Aya. I appreciate you cutting my free hour short. This is my last for the week. Let me gather myself and I will be right there.”
Engrossed in Dick Foth’s Known with my trusty tea, I notice I am unusually tired after lunch. Sitting up slowly I become painfully aware of a throbbing headache across my forehead and a queasy stomach. I touch my tummy. Whatever I ate for lunch is sitting rather long and hard, feeling as though its stuck in a quagmire. Surely, this cannot be. I am still getting over being sick with something the beginning of the month and my cough remains. I am never sick like this, WHAT IS GOING ON?
I claw my way through the last hour, and other than the surprise I see on my client’s face when I end things right on time. I am sure I cover my illness well. No one suspects…at least I am hoping that is the case. Lately, I am realizing how badly I cover my true feelings.
I drink some water, take an allergy pill, and gather my briefcase. I pull up Greg’s number as I head for the car. We have reservations for his celebratory birthday dinner on Hutson Alley at 8pm. A quaint, string of Holy City Hospitality restaurants are tucked away in the lovely Radcliffeborough of +Charleston. We are to have pre-dinner drinks at The Dewsberry, Living Room, my absolute favorite…and Greg’s too. After all, it is his birthday. I hit the call button on my phone and Greg’s voice pours into the car.
“Greg, I am coming down with something. I am afraid dinner is out.”
“Well, we can just order take out. Get in bed and I am on my way home.”
“I need a hug right now.”
“Well, let’s wait and see what you’ve got first.”
“Don’t be cute!”
I snuggle up in the fetal position on our bed when Greg walks in and feels my forehead and arms. I fear my hypochondriac-freak flag is flying. I don’t handle nausea well.
“Do I have a fever? Our Walgreens thermometer I fear cannot be trusted.”
“You aren’t very warm, but it’s your call.”
“I’ll call off our reservations on the drive to urgent care. I am afraid this might be something more than allergies.”
Arriving at the doctor’s office, I know I am in trouble. I find myself barely making it with the contents of my tummy. As bad as that is nothing compares with warning the assistants of a cleanup needed on Aisle 7.
The doctor sits with me patiently. “Most likely this is a bad sinus infection and the nausea is from the excessive drainage. Let’s test for the flu for good measure.”
In a few minutes she enters my exam room, looking shocked.
Oh, God, no was my initial thought. “WHAT IS IT?”
Sitting in her seat slowly, she gets out, “Ms. Broadwater, you tested positive for the flu. You must have caught it very early, your fever isn’t even set in yet. I will call in the scripts, get home to bed. I want you to take it easy this weekend.”
From the arrival of my first symptoms until my first dose of Tamiflu is less than 4 hours. And in 24 hours, Tamiflu and my immune system kick the green grunge. I know I dodged a bullet…If I had lay in my bed for wait and see, this story may have ended very differently. While I am still resting, I am seeing my way clear.
MORAL: GO TO THE DOCTOR, IMMEDIATELY from one hypochondriac to the rest of the world. Trust your quesy gut.