If you read my Haiku this week, you already know that I’ve been tired. Sickness seems to be going around our house. Gwen missed school last Tuesday with tummy issues. I started up last Wednesday evening and felt ill the whole next day. Yesterday Dylan stayed home from school (to his great displeasure since it was Hungry Howie’s Pizza Day in the cafeteria and he’d been waiting all month for its arrival) because in his own words, “I was barfing.” He seems much better today but was down and out for at least 24 hours.
I haven’t been quite right since last week. I’ve been tired and intermittently hot and cold. Tuesday my elbows, shoulders and knees started to hurt. Wednesday night the muscles in my back hurt so much that I proclaimed, “I think I’m dying.” My husband just shook his head at me. When I put my socks on yesterday, I had to sit down because I couldn’t get my knees to bend far enough to reach my feet.
My first thought was that perhaps I had given myself botulism poisoning. It’s rare, but you can get it from improperly canned goods. I thought maybe a jar of salsa I ate caused the stomach issues last week followed by the aching joints this week. I was certain that my limbs were slowly seizing up and that complete paralysis would be next. Fortunately, my canning methods were fine and I do not have botulism. What I do have, it seems, is Fifth Disease.
I work in a school. Cooties are all around me. I actually do a pretty good job most of the time at warding off the cooties. I am a diligent hand-washer and when I see the kids cough, sneeze or (ick) pick their noses, I send them to wash their hands. My assistant, Ann, does a wonderful job of keeping the shelves and materials wiped down. Despite constant cootie combat, occasionally I lose.
Yesterday the signature lacy-rash appeared on my arms. My feet started itching incessantly and my torso started to itch and rash up. This morning my hands and feet are swollen and when I woke up my right arm felt as if it were asleep despite the fact that I had not been sleeping on it. So, the good news is, I am not dying. I do not have botulism. I do not have to quit canning for fear of killing my friends and family. The bad news is that I have managed to get a childhood disease that ordinarily is a mild illness with few symptoms and end up with the worst-case-scenario. At least I’ll live. 🙂