On Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 11:30 I was walking down the stairs at home and suddenly realized that my arms felt a bit achy. By noon, I was curled into a ball on the couch with 3 shirts on, a hood over my head and several blankets- shivering, cramped to the point where my hands were in fists and I had a temperature of 102.2. That's right- I was turned into a meatball in just 30 minutes!
Within 2 and one half hours I was in the doctor's office and he took a brief look at me and after hearing about the on-set he told me I, without any doubt, had the H1N1 Swine Flu. He then told me that mine, although a textbook case, was nothing compared to the guy who'd just been in ahead of me. That guy was a US Naval Academy football player. Described by the doctor as being "The most muscle-bound human I've even seen." He too was turned into a large pile of shivering meat with a temperature of more than 102. The doctor said that he asked the big, peak of health guy how long ago this had hit him. The giant midshipman raised his wrist watch with difficulty, looked at it and replied "22 minutes ago... sir." If it can take a guy like that down, one can imagine what it can do to dweeby, five decade old doofus like me.
I had my first dose of TamaFlu in me within 4 hours of being stricken and with a surgical mask stretched across my face, went directly into isolation in our guestroom. That is where I remained, with a pile of DVDs and a portable player... for the next 7 days. To protect everyone I had to remain isolated until I could go 24 hours, unmediated, without fever. Upon reaching that goal you're considered non-contagious.
The worst part about this flu is the non-productive cough. It does not allow you to sleep, because it never quits. The result is that I was awake, coughing, for 3 nights straight. Thankfully, for the past several years I've been collecting DVD boxed sets of old TV shows such as, Barney Miller 1976-77 season, WKRP- first season, Saturday Night Live 1977-78 season as well as the full Mel Brooks movie collection etc. I also have every DVD ever produced by Spacecraft Films. I needed all of these- just to keep me sane. I could not get into my work area, because my wife was using my machine to tele-commute to work while she took care of me, and my daughters use my laptop... besides I was too vegged out to do any computer work anyhow!
I was just thankful all the while that those wonderful folks at our Federal Government... you know the same ones who want to take over all of our healthcare... made sure that all of the Gitmo terrorists and all of the suits at the bailed-out banks got their swine flu shots before I did.