You would expect that painkillers, peppermint tea, a good book and a few other relaxing pleasantries would all add up to sleep, especially in someone as sick as I was all week.
I’m here to tell you that it just isn’t true.
Of course, if one is reading Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide, I’m beginning to think it’s absolutely impossible and I can’t imagine how I ever came to any other conclusion. (Don’t you dare read that book without reading the first two… first.)
I think that perhaps after five days of being miserably afflicted with something awfully reminiscent of strep, my brain was yearning for activity on which my body just couldn’t quite follow through. Let’s make a list. My throat was more sore than it has ever been. I couldn’t swallow without psyching myself up and telling myself how absolutely mindbendingly horrible it would be, so that the actual swallowing was not quite as bad as my imagination made it out to be. (This was very difficult – and I have a very good imagination!) The outside of my throat was having a swollen lymph node party. I had two normal glands swollen on either side of my throat – you know, the ones you get when you have the flu? And then I had another one on the left side just under my jawline. It felt like someone had laid her evil alien egg in there. I was certain it would hatch out and I’d bleed to death. (The doctor assured me that it was fine, and it wouldn’t kill me, and he wasn’t worried.)
In addition to these, my gums were swollen and swollen and very painful, and have I mentioned that they were very swollen? I don’t believe I have ever in my entire life had swollen gums, or painful gums, in any way that could possibly be compared to that. I was completely unable to chew.
Let me make this clear. I could not chew. I really, really like to chew. Chewing allows me to eat food, and I really, really like food. Do you understand?
So that’s the worst of it. I had an awful fever Wednesday night of last week, and a slightly more bearable fever Thursday night. Friday night I slept fitfully, but at least I wasn’t (too) feverish. Saturday I woke up and discovered, to my utter dismay, that I was unable to stand or walk for more than a moment, or even sit up for long periods of time! I didn’t know if this was due to my suddenly and severely abbreviated diet (not being able to chew will do that to you), or just another stage of illness. Some have suggested that the antibiotics are to blame, and since I take my last dosage of those today, I’m not going to worry about it too much. I also drove all over the planet yesterday, and did quite a bit of standing and walking, so things are looking up!
Today I woke up a little kooky in the head. I had this mad urge to work – and this is very good, because after being really sick for about a week and marginally sick for probably another week in days before and after, I am most definitely behind! Besides this, my mouth didn’t really hurt all that much. I’m not eating hard cereal for breakfast, but I’m doin’ okay, you see? It’s a beautiful day!
But I still really wonder about that painkiller brilliance. I wonder if it was authentic or manufactured. And perhaps I can dredge it up again by natural Megan methods, instead of using drugs. I never thought of drugs being fit for the purpose of making someone brilliant, really. I’m not too keen on the idea of using drugs to make me consistently brilliant. I would certainly settle for occasionally brilliant, sans drugs. Definitely something to think about.
Go read the first three Ender books. This is your mission. Do not fail me.
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