Do you ever get the feeling that you're balanced precariously between crashed and not crashed? Like you could tip in either direction at any time?
I've been feeling that way ever since about two weeks ago when I caught a mild bug. Unlike other bugs, it was actually so mild that it didn't cause an immediate crash. The only reason I know that this bug is still hanging around is that it has left me with constant sniffles and post-nasal drip. That and the return of an old symptom that I thought I had rid myself of after the first year with ME/CFS: morning flu. During my first year of illness, I would get this particular flu-like feeling that would surface in the morning hours between 7 and 9 a.m. Then it would usually just dissipate. Well that's back too.
So I almost feel like a spectator to my own health. Of course I've upped the zinc and vitamin C doses (still within safe limits), and tried some other tricks, but nothing has resolved. It's as if all I can do is wait and watch to see which direction I tip.
This past weekend, my wife and I took our kids to my parents' house to spend some quality family time. Everything went well until Sunday when, out of nowhere and within minutes, my wife became ill with a severe flu. It came on quite strong, with body-racking chills and a high fever. So we drove home soon after the flu's onset and prepared to enter into a sort of survival mode just to get through the week.
It's not even 3 days later now and Mrs. Calvin is back on her feet now—it was a 48 hour bug—but two things struck me while she was ill.
First, for a brief 24 hour period, I was actually the more functioning, capable member of the team, and boy did I relish every second of it. It was like I was trying to make up for two+ years of her helping me when I'm down.
The second thing was how quickly Mrs. Calvin recovered. Within about 30 hours, she had rocketed past me on the functionality scale. By Tuesday she was attending an important meeting and supervising our daughter's swim lesson. All the while I'm cringing and trying to cajole her to cancel her obligations and rest up. Mostly, she shrugged off these suggestions and was no worse for the wear.
It made me realize that in two short years I seem to have lost all perspective of what it's like to have a normal, functioning immune system. I used to be like her too. No flu or cold could keep me down for more than about 48 hours. All that seems like a different lifetime.