Yep. That’s me. I am immuno-compromised. But what does that mean?
That means, so far, I have been extremely fortunate, though I have the misfortune of not ever being able to eat my favorite oysters on the half-shell. It is my part of the compromise of immuno-compromisation. I don’t eat the oysters, and they don’t give me a bacterial infection that my immune system can’t deal with. I can have fried oysters, steamed oysters, stewed oysters, and baked oysters, but not raw oysters.
I have managed to avoid the “crud” as it has been known around my house. Everyone has had it but me. Everyone has suffered from it but me. Now it is my turn, and I am sicker than I thought I would be once I got it, if I got it, and get it I certainly did. My throat feels like it has been swabbed with a wire brush. I have coughing fits that seem unaffected by cough remedies. My body aches. And, I have a slight fever, though nothing approaching the 101°F trigger that is supposed to send me to the ER. It has hovered around 100° in the evenings, breaking in the mornings, and leaving me feeling pretty well in spite of this “crud” until the afternoons, when its symptoms manifest in a dismaying manner.
All in all, I’d say that I’m doing remarkably well, having avoided it all winter, since everyone else in my house has had it: some more than once. I’m not complaining. I am just stating a fact.
Monday, I was unable to go to work, but the work demanded my attention. I got my brother to bring me up here to Olive Branch yesterday, since on Monday, Canaan took my Tahoe to the job-site because it has tools in it. I may have been hasty in getting my brother to bring me here. I have been up all night in an unpleasant cycle of chills and sweats, and coughing until my ribs are sore. I have taken all the OTC medicine the law will allow, and perhaps more. But I haven’t eaten any oysters. Maybe I will. Maybe they will make me feel better. Well….I am certain they will….at least while I am eating them, but afterwards I may regret it.
There are a lot of things we do that we regret afterwards. You ever have any things like that? Sure you do, but you aren’t telling yours like I am telling mine. Excuse me….I feel a coughing fit coming on. Please pardon the wait.
I’m back now. Tears in my eyes and at least three dislocated ribs, but I have made it for the next few minutes. Or I think I have. No, wait! There’s more.
Soon, I won’t have any ribs left to dislocate. Perhaps even more coughing will put them back in the place they are supposed to be. I doubt it though.
I went to bed at 7:00PM and woke up at 8. I went to bed again at 9:00 and woke up at 10. I went back to bed at midnight and woke, dreaming the whole time of oysters on the half-shell and woke up up again, with drenching night sweats, at 2:00AM and here I’ve been since. Debbie thinks I should go to the ER since I may have the flu. I don’t have the flu, but an ordinary cold manifests itself as as bad as the flu when you are immuno-compromised. An ordinary cold behaves as if I had eaten raw oysters, which I haven’t. But I did dream of them, and in my dream, they were delicious Appalachacola Bay fresh, Gulf-of-Mexico salty oysters, not those god-awful Willa-Point oysters that come from Washington State. Willa-Points versus Appalachacola Bay’s may be a matter of regional preference, or regional taste. If true, then I’ve got the region thing going for me, because the Willa-Points are every bit as good as the kind of dog food you buy at the dollar store. It goes a long way because the dogs will hardly eat it, but it keeps them lithe and trim, since their caloric intake never exceeds their energy output. In all honesty, though, I’ve never eaten a Willa-Point oyster fresh from the water, only from the containers in the grocery store. There may be a big difference, and I suspect it is. If you like Willa-Point oysters, then bring me some fresh ones so I can decide for myself. Until then, the dollar-store dog food is looking pretty good.
If I am going to be this sick, I think I’ll go and get me some oysters. We are working near Memphis, which, I am told by those who live here, has three different kinds of barbecue…good, better, and best. The good kind is only fit to eat by those who only know good barbecue. The better is approved of by those who are used to eating better barbecue. The best is the sole province of those who know the difference. I know the best, and the best Memphis has to offer, while exceedingly tasty, is just good when stacked up against my own. I recommend my own barbecue highly. Even my barbecued oysters on the half-shell, which I can eat, without compromising my immuno-compromisation.
I’m going back to bed now, or right after this coughing fit. Excuse me, please.
I am going to dream of oysters on the half-shell, fresh from the muddy shallows of the South coast I love so much. In my dream, there will not be so much as one iota of imunno-compromisation involved, and I will eat them until I wake up again, coughing, and cursing this crud that holds its grip on me.
The Grippe? I wonder, but I doubt it.
©2015 Mississippi Chris Sharp