Saturday, August 1, 2009

What's Going On? Fred? (1)

Here's where I attempt to give some perspective for myself and hopefully for my friends on why this blog is happening.

A long time ago. Two years? Two and a half years? Earlier? I got a fever that didn't go away. I got very sick and my doc and my beloved, Shelley, said that it was way too scary for someone who had already had pneumonia more than once. Antibiotics kicked it. Three to six months later, it returned.

It seemed to be related to deadlines and trips. I was very busy in those days with Free Speech Radio News. I'd finish a deadline or return from a trip and suddenly I couldn't do anything for a couple of weeks. Eventually, I gave in to Shelley's observation and good sense. I agreed to take antibiotics when the fever first started, rather than wait 5-7 days.

It was a funny fever. It appeared late in the afternoon or early evening. I often got chills as well as the usual aches and heat. I think it went fairly high in those years, up to 102 or so. It usually broke with a sweat in the middle of the night and rarely appeared in the morning. After a few days, I'd get a lot of additional congestion and asthma.

The thing is, it started to come around more often. From 2-3 times a year, it went to 3-4 times a year.

I did not like having to take so many antibiotics. I've been allergic to penicillin since I was a child. And now, my stomach can't handle some of the other antibiotics. I was starting to worry about getting old and not being able to tolerate any kind of antibiotic. Plus...I had the usual fears of those of us who don't want to treat symptoms only and worry about too many western drugs in our bodies.

You'd think I would be over that with all the drugs I've taken, but not so, not so. Some days it seems more crucial than ever.

Last winter, something changed. The fever stayed low, for one thing. Never higher than 101. I didn't take antibiotics for it one time when it came knocking and I didn't get worse, didn't get pneumonia. After a week of feverish afternoons and evenings, I had a good day, then a couple of good days in a row and then the fever never returned.

Except it did. It returned and left and then it returned only three weeks after it left. Finally, this spring, it returned, left and showed up again the next week. (to be continued)

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