Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 20: Misery (Maroon 5 Ain't Got Nothing on Me)

As I got back from Venice on Saturday night, a slight burning began to develop in my throat. I told myself repeatedly that I wasn't getting sick, as I was the only one in the apartment who hadn't experienced some kind of ailment (besides my heartache for the UK). I had just said earlier that day that I hadn't gotten sick yet, either. I knew I jinxed myself right at that moment, too.

After adding a load to the washing machine for the first time, I turned in early because I wasn't feeling too well, expecting a nice deep slumber. Nope. I tossed and turned as my searing throat ensured I wouldn't reach my full sleeping potential. Throughout my frustration, I could hear the washer going and going and foggily wondered why it was taking so long, but it wasn't a huge concern of mine as my health was deteriorating through the night.

I awoke before the rest of the girls from what little sleep I could manage and immediately went to go lay my clothes out (dryers are quite rare here). When I opened the door, my hand retracted momentarily; I didn't remember having a shirt that color. I leaned closer and came to a horrifying realization: the colors of my clothing had run together. What were once white or nearly white were now a grayish lavender. In my incapacitated state of mind the night before, I had moved the dial to the wrong setting, washing my clothes in hot water. It was one of those mornings when you hate your life and all you can do is shake your head and either want to laugh because you're beyond tears or crawl in a hole and end up like Gollum. Can anyone say Strugglebus?

I FaceTimed my sister for some kind of support, but our conversation was short-lived because of the time difference. Distraught, I laid out my clothes anyway and hoped this would become funny in the next few days or weeks. At the moment, however, I just really wanted a shower, a bit of food, and to feel better. Sleep was pointless as it was less painful to keep myself occupied than battle this stupid virus.

The Saldi, or July sales, had started so I'd planned to go shopping with my roommate that day. Despite both of us not feeling well, we went out for some retail therapy. I was successful in finding some new shorts and sunglasses at H&M, but we soon became tired after this escapade. Some aching crept into my muscles, but I quickly shooed it away and pretended not to notice. Some gelato could cure that, right?

My belly was happy, but my bank account was reprimanding me. This was the first time the language barrier had really done a doozy on me. I told the woman behind the counter "cono piccolo", to which she nodded and motioned me to scoot down the line. She then asked which cone I wanted, which threw me a curveball. I thought I had already indicated which one I wanted. I confusedly pointed at the smaller looking one, but that was actually the bigger one and got charged double what I normally pay for my daily fix. Clearly, my day was just a bundle of fun. I muttered a disgruntled "Whatever" and proceeded to enjoy my gelato - menta and ciocolata. The flavors were magical, so I cared less about how much I paid for my cone.

When we reached our building and ascended the eighty steps to our door, I found myself far more weary than usual. The aches came on stronger, and I finally accepted that I had a fever and some nasty flu symptoms. Into bed I crawled. My condition worsened to the point where I probably could've cooked an egg on my skin. I couldn't even sweat. I lay there for hours, melting into my sheets in absolute misery. Finally, a spark of hunger got me up. Like a newborn lamb, I wobbled to the kitchen and boiled some noodles. Though the sun was setting outside, a new light crept into my health. My energy gradually returned as I ate my dinner. I then moved to the couch and finally began to perspire. After approximately an hour, my dewy skin relieved me of my fever and the aching was substantially less.

I topped off the night by FaceTiming a friend, which helped me see some optimism. I must have acquired some 24-hour flu somewhere, but this illness definitely wasn't joking around. Being sick while out of the country is definitely worse than being sick at home. I just hope I don't have to deal with a round two of this nonsense.

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