Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Cold Effects

I woke up this morning without a fever. I woke up this morning without a headache. I woke up this morning without the additional weakness which has plagued me through my recent ordeal. I woke up this morning with only minor congestion. In other words, I woke up this morning and I did not have a full-on cold, only a few lingering after-effects.

This has been a scary week for me. It's scary to think that something so run-of-the-mill as a common cold could spiral off into something which puts me in hospital with a very real fear as to whether or not I would come out again. Of course the fear was based not just on my symptoms, but on knowing what respiratory challenges can mean to me at this point in my ALS journey. It's not enough to kill me on my own; it's just enough when combined with other things to make me very, very ill.

While the first few days of this cold were difficult, in the end it was the fever that sent me to hospital. The admission report tells the story of someone who is potentially in serious shape, not life threatening by any means, but serious. Once all the tests were done, once my fever had broken and the hallucinations had stopped, it turns out that all I had was a common cold. The fever was most likely a result of bladder retention. The incontinence of the prior days was also most likely a reflection of that same bladder retention, compounded by the muscle weakness from the cold. I was too sick to control my bladder, long and short of it.

I am by no means finished with this cold. It will take me days, if not weeks, to recover from the weakness, if I ever recover at all. With ALS, once you lose something you never get it back. I did not lose muscle strength. What muscles I had were confounded by the rhinovirus, the cold. But still, something of what I lost in the fever will be lost to me forever. It is the nature of this illness.

The continuing recovery of this cold will be the final ridding of the sniffles, the clearing of the last bit of fluid from my lungs, the recovery of my clear senses, unmuddled by the viral cloud within my head. It's gonna take a while, a time for me to rest and recover. But I will. I always do. Weebles wobble but they don't fall down.

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