...can still make you really, really sick.
Monday night--the day of the flu/pneumonia shots--my left arm starts to feel very uncomfortable. Like wow, should it hurt so much I can hardly lift it? Okay, it must mean the plutonium is working. I don't give it much thought, other than to wish I hadn't gotten the frigging shot in the first place, but too bloody late now.
Tuesday morning I wake up and can't move my arm. Literally. It's hanging like a dead weight and whenever I try to lift it, the pain nearly drops me to my knees. And I'm feeling...squirrely. Like nauseous and dizzy and...bugger all...flu-ish.
I manage to drive down the mountain to walk the dogs, but it was a real mistake. One-handed driving is no doubt illegal in most states, then it finally--after months--starts to rain. Now I'm struggling with two leashes, two dogs, and an umbrella. With one working arm.
Home again, I'm feeling more than squirrely, so decide to get my blankie and pillows and lay on the couch for the rest of the day until I feel better. I fall asleep, but when I wake up an hour later, I realize I've got chills and a fever and I'm fighting that horrid oh man I think I'm gonna throw up sensation. (The pharmacist had mentioned some people experience a few flu-like symptoms in the first 24 hours, but nothing serious. I hardly paid attention because last year I didn't feel anything. Course, I'm forgetting that I opted for the quad dose this year). But worse than the flu issues, my arm is throbbing, and I honestly can't lift it even an inch without excruciating pain.
The dogs, of course, don't care that I'm apparently dying--from injections that are supposed to keep me alive--and are dancing around to go out. It's hike to the mailbox time and I'm ruining their schedule. Eventually, I crawl off the couch, drink some juice, grit my teeth as I try to exercise my arm to loosen the muscles, then make an attempt to walk the mile to the box.
I barely get around the first bend. I have the shakes, I'm feverish, chilled, hot, cold, bleary-eyed, and suddenly so weak in the knees, I have to stop and lean into a tree before I plant my face in the dirt.
Staggering home, I feed the boys, collapse on the couch and don't wake up until sometime in the middle of the night, all the lights on and some weird infomercial on the television droning away in the background. And my arm in torment. At this point I briefly contemplate the ER. (And for those of you who know me well, you understand that I must feel death is imminent to even consider such an option for even a moment). Instead, I heat a towel in the micro and wrap it around my arm. Again in the theory that if I can just loosen the muscle, maybe it will alleviate this agony or at least move the plutonium along. To bed I go, towel in place, fever, chills and stabbing joint pain still wracking.
Yesterday I'm too weak to take the boys down the mountain, though I do manage the up and down stair crawl several times to let them outside. My arm is less painful, but I can only bend it to about waist height and no way can I raise it straight out from my body. The only good thing is the flu symptoms seem to be going away.
I take it easy--no choice really--throughout the day, and actually make the hike to the mailbox after dinner. I have kept up the hot towel thing and it seems to have helped because I can more or less use my arm again, though it's still only functioning about 60%. Last night I had a slight resurgence of the squeamish flu feelings, so went to bed early, hot towel as my teddy bear.
Then, this morning after my shower, I discovered bright red blotches covering my body from neck to toes. At the shot site, I have a burning swath that goes from the top of my shoulder to my elbow. Holy crap. Now everything makes sense. I've had an allergic reaction to the bloody shot. I get out the paperwork that lists the side effects and hey! Lucky me! I'm one of the less than 1% of the frigging population that will have an allergic reaction! How special.
I have a really good immune system. I rarely take meds. In the past when I've had to take antibiotics for something, invariably I will break out in blotchy red hives. I stop the meds and they go away. But what do I do now, when the plutonium is nuking its way through my system? No choice but to ride it out, I guess. It's not like I can take it back, change my mind, say no thanks, I'll pass on that damned bloody pneumonia shot.
I realize this is totally lame for a week in the 52s, but as I'm still under the weather and not likely to do anything fun or exciting for what remains of the week, I'm forced to use this wretched experience for my week. It hasn't been exciting, and most definitely hasn't been fun, but it has been an adventure.
One that I hope will soon be over...