The z-pack should be called the zzz-pack. I can barely stay awake, and when I do manage, I’m confused and vaguely nauseous. (Or, currently, really nauseous.) I’m back on antibiotics, and the strong stuff, because I seem to have relapsed. The strep is back from the dead. Zombie strep.
Zombie strep is re-animated by heat and debauchery. I have the sun/rugburns to prove it.
Naturally, after two weeks of staying in and minding my health, I poured a little liquor on my wilting party monster. It scrapped up and bared a smile of disorganized, razor teeth. More? We drank Jameson that wasn’t Jameson (I’m a little concerned no one would tell me what it was in that bottle), lost a game of darts, avoided the hot tub (!), lost our white rabbit ears… Party monster started to feel alive again.
Then, after 1 hour of sleep, on Sunday, I co-hosted The World’s Worst Yard Sale. When the other host switched from Saturday, I knew we’d miss out on all of the churchgoer traffic. Since I dislike most churchgoers, I thought we might get a more interesting crowd. True, when we did have ‘customers’ they were ‘interesting.’ A woman who said she just got out of a 20-year coma grabbed a chair between us and told a slew of cow jokes:
What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.
What do you call a cow with one leg? Steak.
What do you call a cow with two legs? Lean beef.
What do you call a cow with three legs? Tri-tip.
What do you call a cow who just gave birth? Decaffeinated.
There were more, but, as if she wanted to make up for a quarter-of-a-lifetime of silence, she spoke too quickly for me to catch them all. Her brother bought an Masaru Emoto book and they left.
Then we mostly sat, drank beer, and overheated. Beer helped. Beer helped a lot, but it did not make me invulnerable to the rage of the sun. No one, by the way, ever tells you to put sunscreen on your feet. They started burning first, and as the sun crept under the shade of the garage door, my sleep-deprived effort to slap on sunscreen revealed itself in red patches on the inside of my upper arms, weird lines on my thighs, and the tops of my knees. I crawled off with my 5 bucks (I think we made $20 all together) and slept in feverish discomfort. Literally feverish, probably, but I didn’t know to suck on a thermometer at this point.
When I woke up Monday morning with a sore throat, I opted to work from home. By 2:30 I signed off. (I started work at 11. I didn’t make it 4 hours.) I tried to ignore my building fear. I peered down my nose at the numbers growing on the digital display. First reading: 100.9. No. Not. This. Again.
Desperate, I allowed a doctor’s appointment at 8:30am the next day even though that is an hour I meet only in the stupidest of circumstances, like a yard sale on a Sunday morning. Because I fear known enemies more than novel experiences, my inner hypochondriac started to bargain for something more exotic than strep. What if it’s Toxic Shock Syndrome? My sunburns became rashes, my next temperature reading confirmed I’d be up to a deadly fever in a few hours. 911, I need an ambulance, I’ll be in the pool trying to lower my temperature… It’s not like I really wanted this, but my fever brain likes to trip on weird scenarios to keep itself entertained.
But it’s the strep. It’s the goddamned strep all over again. I guess debauchery has its consequences.