Sick daze

Fortunately, I can report that I am now better. Much better, in particular compared to last week, when I can tell you I was not, in fact, better.

I started being not better on Monday morning. It was a Monday, so I at first wondered if it was just a Monday being a Monday.

I sat in my chair, assessing the situation. Then my body decided to take charge and let me know what the deal was for the rest of the day when it whispered to me, “I am about to ruin your day.”

It started with shivers down my back. Uncomfortable waves rippled down my back and sides. Then the fluctuations in temperature. One minute, I was freezing cold. The next minute, I felt like I was in a sauna. And then for fun let’s throw in coughing. And these were those super fun nonproductive coughs that are really just barking loudly over and over, and when you stop and try and take a breath your body says, “Uh, what are you doing? We’re coughing for the time being.” And then you go back to coughing.

I came home and made it to my bed. I went to my go-to method of stopping an impending illness: NyQuil time. I do not know if NyQuil has actual redeeming medical value other than knocking you out long enough for most illnesses to have run their course. I hoped this was the case this time: (1) Take NyQuil (2) Go unconscious for extended period of time (3) awake miraculously cured.

Alas, this was no match even for NyQuil. When I awoke a few hours later, I was soaking wet. I’m not sure about your sleep habits, but there is no version of mine in which waking up soaking wet is a good thing.

I put my hand to my forehead, and it felt like a cool, moist salmon. Fever broke, I figured. Good sign, right? Apparently, this was only the sign that I was at the very beginning of the Fever Roller Coaster. About an hour later, as I was simultaneously burning up and freezing. I took my temperature. 100.1. I texted my wife. About 10 minutes later I took it again. 100.7. I texted my wife. Ten more minutes. 101. Text. Ten more. 101.7. Text. She finally responded. “Stop taking your temperature over and over.”

By the time the evening had rolled around, I had taken several fun turns on the Fever Roller Coaster as well as several exciting coughing fits that lasted, by my estimate, 457 hours.

I took my evening dose of NyQuil and went to bed. That lasted for about 10 minutes, as the fever and the cough got together and reminded me that we were not sleeping tonight. We were having fever come and go and coughing non stop.

I decided I would go to the doctor in the morning if I was still running a fever. Fast forward to next morning, and I had about doubled up the train wreck I was the day before. To the doctor. After a series of tests and pokes and prods, I received my official diagnosis: “You’ve got the funk.”

I was given some antibiotics and a cough syrup that thinks NyQuil is simply adorable. I went home and, to be honest, the next day or so is kind of a blur, as I spent most of my time in and out of fever dreams and in a prescription cough syrup Wonderland that pretty much morphed reality and said fever dreams into one big crazy Twilight Zone.

So I’m back to being human, which is a vast improvement. Hopefully, it will be a long time until I am sick like this again. But, when it does happen, I know what to do. I’ll text my wife every 10 minutes with updates.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike or at


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