Dr. Johnny Fever

CABIN FEVER!  Where did that term come from? Was it a real fever caught in a cabin because of vermin that lived there? Real cabin or the cabin of a plane? A ship’s cabin? Seasickness? Perhaps. Maybe it was spread by Dr. Johnny Fever of WKRP in Cincinnati! Log Cabin syrup gone bad?

Well, regardless of its origin, I recently caught it. The dreaded Cabin Fever.

“NO!”  You gasp. “Say it ain’t so!”

Yes, my friends. I’m afraid it’s true. I had surgery and needed to stay in bed with my leg elevated for the better part of 3 weeks. That’s how it got me. The symptoms started off slowly…. insidiously… all good tormentors. The first couple of days I stayed busy with work. Typing while lying on my back proved.a challenge but I rose to meet it. Figuratively, of course, since I was on my stinkin’ back!  Visitors raised my spirits and distracted me from the inevitable boredom to come. But……

After 3 days I had counted all the bumpy popcorn things on the ceiling. FYI, there are 45,376 white dots of boredom in my room alone. Don’t even get me started about the living room! I mentally played “connect the popcorn dots” and created every animal known to man, as well as several species Darwin would be proud of. I memorized every water spot on the window and counted each brick in the wall I could see from my bed…..forwards and backwards…. a thousand times.

By the end of the first week I named each of the vertical blinds covering the patio door and had fascinating conversations with them about their extended families and how sad they must be not to have any ambition.

“You just hang there ALL DAY LONG!.  Don’t you want more out of life?”

That kind of thing. Oh! …and how sorry and amazed I was that they were all blind. Was it caused by looking into the sun all day? Did they have legal recourse through worker’s comp?  Well, apparently I offended them. They assured me that they would be fine and were happy just hanging there, thank you very much. By the way, they prefer the term “vertical visually impaireds” V. V. I.’s.. Who knew?  I felt so insensitive.

After 10 days, I was searching my diaper for the pacifier so I could use it to dig through the walls of the rubber room. Where was that blasted passy? The walls were so spongy! Tough digging, especially after my hands were restrained. They don’t make passys like they used to…..on purpose! .That’s how they get ya!

When I was able to get up for a while, it was such a relief, but due to swelling in the leg, I was forced to lie down and keep it elevated above my heart. I couldn’t sit up to watch tv or visit very long because apparently my heart could see where my foot was and would send the blood right down there if it was in the wrong place.  “GET UP YOU  SLACKER FOOT!!! Stay above me or you will be forever fat and swollen! That’s an order!” and “boom” the foot would swell right up. Back to bed! Goodbye world! Although I have been considered “puffy” most of my adult life, my foot never had been so I wanted to spare its SOLE (yes I know. It’s really bad) the pain and anguish of relentless teasing by his normal sized twin brother. Siblings are so cruel to each other.

After the medication I don’t remember much. Beavers and lumberjacks dancing. The Tango, I think? Blurry friends….. crying….waving bye.  Dim bulb swinging above me, and SSSSHHHHH…..(whispering) the aliens. Oops! They told me not to tell. Nevermind. Well…. Ok…just this one thing. My hands must have been restrained because I memorized what they said and was gonna write it all down for NASA and the Men In Black but I couldn’t, so I tried typing their messages with my nose on this keyboard on the wall of their ship. The scabs are almost healed now. Turns out it was only a picture of keyboard after all, and that rubber wall is harder than it looks.

Anyway…..then the fever broke!

My mind returned slowly as I was able to begin getting up and around. The feeling in my hands and my sense of smell are almost back. I am walking well enough to go back to work soon and hopefully,(looking around, lowering voice to  whisper) my next vacation will be to the planet Querk…..(sadly) if they will let me come back. I wasn’t quite what they expected. By the way, did you know that the Querkians use popcorn on their ceilings too? Theirs is edible, though. Tastes like chicken.

You know, (straightens up, voice back to normal) it really could have been so much worse. I mean, really. It was only 3 weeks. I have a friend who was on bed rest for 3 whole months! Can you imagine?.She is made of greater stuff than I, apparently. After all, The King of Planet Querk gave her a season pass!  Lucky thing!

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