Earlier, I moaned and whined about getting a cold at the end of summer (I know what you're thinking...Mike? Complaining? I know...it just doesn't sound like me). I started out on Aug. 13 just feeling slightly icky with a sore throat. Then I started to feel get all fevery and dizzy. It was quite depressing, mostly because I knew, deep down inside, that it really was not the result of too much partying or something.
I spent time laying on the couch. I watched more HGTV than any man should bear. I realized just how tougher than I is my darling spousal unit. Moreover, however, I spent a lot of time not doing the paper I had started...fever dreams and academics, I long ago learned, do not really go togethe all that well.
After about a week, the fevers and ickiness generally went away. However, the cough was refusing to budge. I seemed to notice that the more I talked, the worse it got, so I tried to avoid spouting off my opinions whenever I had an audience. However, the cough still didn't completely go away. The only real change is that my friends seemed happier to see a less talkative me.
I started teaching this week, and for me, that involves long periods of using The DuBose Teacher Voice, which can be, if I might say, an awesome entity. Yet my throat was suffering for it. I decided that, rather than adapting all the other Tom Waits mannerisms (which I couldn't really do anyway...I don't have a good hat), I would finally break down and go see the doctor.
He told me that I most likely had a viral thing (his words), but it had gone away. My throat and sinuses were still inflamed, however, so he gave me a stepped dose of a steroid/anti-inflammatory. When I mentioned this on my Twitter feed, I was bombarded by friends (?) pelting me with horror stories about steroid side effects. I half expected to turn into the Hulk (the Incredible or Hogan...either/or) by the end of the day. My only solace in this was that if I were to go all green, bloated, and rampaging, at least there was a good chance it would happen while I was teaching. If nothing else, that would cut down on disciplinary problems amongst the students.
There were no side effects that I noticed while at work. When the day of teaching had finally ended (around 9:45...yes, PM...damn class schedules), I drove home while blasting Green Day, and I noticed my throat was too sore from five hours of giving Exclusive Command Teaching Performances to sing along. It lessened the effect, for sure.
Then, a while after arriving in the arms of beautiful spousal unit, after giving time for my mind to supposedly calm down post-teaching, I went to bed. This is when things started to change. Now, I've had mild insomnia issues for some time. I've always had nights where my brain wouldn't shut off. Last night was definitely one of them, but with the added twist of thinking of random stuff at an extremely high speed. My brain was pulling all its normal tricks (getting caught into obscure song lyrics, trying to find new uses for bratwurst, composing a musical on the life of Asian Dawn leader Hans Gruber* but as if sung by chipmunks), but it was doing it at auctioneer rate, as if someone had tripped my mind's switch to 78. Of course, this made sleep nigh-near difficult.
So far, though, this could be traced to simple hangover from week one of teaching. Then everything subtly changed. As I lay there, trying to block out my brain while not disturbing my slumbering, wildebeest-snoring spousal unit, I realized that I could feel my head. I mean, I could really feel my head. I started being able to feel just my left ear (and its surrounding areas) in excruciating detail. Then I was also able to feel a bit of the back of my neck. There was one patch of hair in particular where I could feel the spikes at the end of the follicles. My head swayed and tingled. This might've been enjoyable if I at least had a Tommy Chong-esque "wow, man" attitude to go with it, but when you couple it with a brain which can't quit analyzing fictional animal musicals, it was less than enjoyable...somewhere on the road to annoying, if you wanna know the truth.
Eventually, the sensations in my head started to fade, and the conversations in my brain, while not really going away, at least had the decency to bore me into slumber (giving me the added benefit of knowing how my friends, when around me, generally feel. Waking up was relatively hard today, but so far, no lingering steroid side-effects.
At least I know know how professional athletes feel.
* ten points for the first person to get this reference.