Saturday, November 22, 2003

Hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride...

My day started last night and... well... I wouldn't say it's gotten worse from there but it sure has had some high points, some low points, some terrifying points, some surreal points and some paranoid points.

I finally got to bed last night around 11:30pm. Notice I didn't say I got to SLEEP at that time. Sleep did not come for me until almost one o'clock in the morning.

Wait... let me back up a few days and fill in some important historical detail. You'll recall that my GP diagnosed me with Trigeminal Neuralgia and prescribed medication. It was shortly after taking one of these medications on Wednesday night that I started to feel ill. The room began to get colder and my muscles started to ache from the chill. The thermometer confirmed it, I was sick.

By the time I went to bed Wednesday, my fever had topped out at 101.5, Tylenol wasn't touching it, I had a monster headache, a stuffed-up head, and two layers of clothing and a down comforter were all that were staving off the chills.

Now, you would think that, after a flu shot and a round of anti-viral drugs, I wouldn't get the flu but that sure is what it felt like.

Thursday morning, the doctor said it was a sinus infection and prescribed antibiotics, cough medicine and fluids.

To sum it up, I was suddenly taking even more pills and I felt much worse for it. I had even bruised my ribs and pulled muscles in my back from coughing so much.

To my benefit, I have a boss who cares about me. It may be that he was just tired of doing my work but I know different. Ron called me Thursday evening and offered to bring over this homeopathic blend of apple cider vinegar, garlic, garlic juice, a couple kinds of tree bark extracts and some other herbs I can't remember called Anti-PLG, also known as Anti-Plague. I would link to it because you can apparently purchase it but there does not appear to be a single manufacturer. You can find several recipes on the web to mix your own, including one that instructs you to begin the mixture at the next full moon.

Damned if this stuff didn't kick the ass of whatever it is I have. By late Friday morning the fever had all but broken and my head no longer felt like my brains were going to explode out the top.

By now, my mind has taken circumstantial coincidence and come up with 2+2=5 for substantially large values of two. Because this thing kicked off shortly after taking my latest dose of a new medicine (the anti-convulsant), I stopped taking it in the paranoid and probably irrational thought that it somehow allowed me to get sick... this will become important later.

Now let's get back to where the story began... Sleep did not come for me until almost one o'clock in the morning on Saturday morning. Because of the congestion from the cold/flu/sinus infection, the soreness from coughing and fatigue of clearing up some last minute errands, I could not get comfortable enough to sleep.

Our flight on Saturday is scheduled to leave the Tulsa airport (a little over an hour away) at 6:05am. We have decided to get up at 3am. By 12:30am, I'm getting a little frustrated that sleep will not come.

I realized most of my discomfort was from the sore muscles. I began to wonder where my menthol sports rub might be hiding when I come to a realization: Medicinal chest rubs are menthol-based. I KNOW where the chest rub is. To my delight, slathering my lower rib cage with chest rub relaxes everything enough to get me a couple of hours of sleep.

We made our flight in time... just and I commented to Shelly that the flight was not entirely unpleasant, considering that I had a "sinus infection". It was shortly after making this comment that I realized that the problems usually appear during descent. I had some trouble with a feeling that someone was trying to poke holes in my ears with an ice pick but it was tollerable.

The second leg of the flight was the real problem. I think I got a feel for just how bad Trigeminal Neuralgia can be.

During our descent into Reagan National airport, I got a sudden, searing, burning pain in the space between the top of my left eye and my brow ridge. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, this was a 15. I have never felt anything so sudden, intense or excruciating. I would seriously have gladly dug my left eye out of its socket with my bare hands if I thought it would have helped. I could do nothing to stop it. If I rubbed it, it would abate for about a second, then the rubbing would fuel the fire. The best I could do was hold my hand over my eye and cry, writhing in pain. It lasted less than a minute but it didn't matter. I spent the rest of the descent fearing that it would happen again.

Not knowing enough about the disorder or the nerve itself, I cannot tell you if this was a Trigeminal Neuralgia episode but I imagine it was based on the "most painful afliction known to modern medicine" description.

It's getting late and I'm very tired. You'll understand more why when I explain to you about:
Taking a picture of the airport... the outside of the airport
Getting to the hotel - a lucky break
Checking into the hotel (this was a good point)
Eating a Krabby Patty
Special deliveries
Our trip to Pentagon City shopping center
The power of cheese
What, no crackers?
Camomille tea
Who the hell closes a mall at 6pm?
No soup (supper) for you! - At least, not without a 19% service charge, $2 delivery charge and tip
Late-night hot chocolate

And keep in mind, we didn't land until almost noon.

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