Christmas Fever: literally


All I wanted for Christmas was a nice, relaxing holiday with my family. What I got was a virus.

On Christmas Eve I noticed that my throat was increasingly dry and itchy. I didn’t worry too much about it. I could see clouds rolling in, and snowflakes starting fall. I assumed that I was just getting some sinus irritation from the air-pressure changes, as I often due when storms blow in. Assuming I would feel better in the morning I went to bed dreaming of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. After all, who gets sick on Christmas?

I do; I am the loser who gets sick on Christmas.

On Christmas morning snow coated the ground, and mucus coated my throat. I croaked out my Christmas wishes to family in other states, and coughed through my morning routine. “It’s just a little mucus” I told myself and my grandparents when we gathered in the living room for cinnamon rolls and coffee. “Really, I’m fine. No one gets sick on Christmas” I assured my sister and her boyfriend as we opened presents by the fireplace. Deep down, I knew it was a lie. My head was pounding. My eyes were heavy. My nose and throat were stuffed and scratchy- but I refused to accept my fate.

Being sick is just a state of mind, right?

From breakfast to gifts, I kept my coughing at bay. With some cough syrup and hot coffee (not at the same time) I manage to suppress the urge. By our late Christmas luncheon, I was clearing my throat of irritations. By dessert, I had given in; the coughing was in full force. Still, despite all evidence to the contrary I refused to believe that I was ill. “I just need a nap” I told myself as I drove home with my Christmas present haul.

My nap was my undoing.

Unfortunately, sleep was what finally brought my body into full acknowledgement of it’s state. Upon waking up I was forced to face the fact that I was sick. Realizing I had no traditional way to check my temperature I used my meat/candy thermometer to check for fever. At 101.1 Fahrenheit, I hung my head and went back to bed. Cuddling with my cat, my much-loved copy of Little Women, and a cup of peppermint tea, I spent the remainder of my Christmas (and the week) in bed.

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