09 January 2006

Public service message

I'm fighting the worst fever I've had in more than a decade. So a word to the wise, especially in the SF Bay Area where this bug is apparently going around: if you're feeling crummy, break out the digital thermometer and start taking your temperature regularly.

In my case, I just felt a little tired for a few days and then whammo, I was flat on my back with fever. A friend told me that it sounded like a nasty bug that had been going around which had put a friend of hers in the hospital, so I started watching my temperature, which I don't ordinarily do.

I'm glad I did it this time. My temperature bounced around a lot. At one point, I thought I was feeling a bit better --- I was tired but lucid, and able to get up and move around a little --- when my temperature started climbing precipitously. At 103° I sat in the bathtub with an ice pack on my head and started running cold water into the bath. At 103.5° I was up to my chest in very cold water. This is not fun, but less fun was watching my temperature climb to peak at 104°. It dipped back down --- to 103.5° --- but held there for a discomfortingly long time. After an hour in the tub, maybe a little more, my fever suddenly just broke completely for an hour. (Then made a comeback, but never again quite so bad. I'm pretty steady at 100.5° today.)

No harm done: 104° is actually sustainable for a little while without ill effects. But if you get up to 105°, your brains start to cook. I dread to think what might have happened had I not been watching the thermometer.

My point being: if you're feeling bad, start checking your temperature. The bug going around is a doozy.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Wow.......this is the same bug I had about 5 years ago. No other symptoms just a week of high fever. I couldn't eat but pumped fluids. I lost about 15 pounds over the next 6 weeks as I tried to get my appetite back. When I went to the doctor she checked me for meningitis because she had put several patients in the hospital during this time. Get it checked out, my dear! Am so sorry you have been suffering this but your cure was as good as anything else. Hope you pumped ibuprofen too!

Love, Mom