This week, I got normal people sick.
Luckily, I noticed the second my lymph nodes started to swell, because I am hyper aware of my body. I took a Benadryl right away.
Then I sat on the couch and contemplated if I was dying, because last time I got the flu I legitimately almost died from anaphylaxis.
However, I know catastrophic thinking is bad, so I decided to distract my thoughts by cleaning my condo. (Also, because I like to return to a clean home after near death experiences.)
Unfortunately, I started shaking from a low-grade fever and bronchospasms started stabbing me in the chest. I knew I should probably go to the emergency room to be tested for the flu, but sometimes I have to argue with the doctor just to receive fluids. The only certainty is the $100 copay.
I checked the wait time at my urgent care. None. Only a $25 copay. So, I drove to urgent care, which is literally one block away.
When I told the urgent care doctor that I was worried I had the flu and I have mast cell disease, she googled mast cell disease and told me I have a rare disease.
Fortunately, I held my tongue.
Unfortunately, my skin began to prickle.
So, I took another Benadryl.
I realized the doctor was terrified of me when, for the third time, she asked, “But you’ll know if you need to go the emergency room, right?”
I convinced her to order the flu swab test.
When she left the room, I looked in the mirror. Deep purple, bruise-like hives covered my face, neck, and chest. My lungs spasmed and I gasped for air. I needed to go to the emergency room.
Luckily, there was an emergency room across the street.
So, I ditched the urgent care and heaved myself through the darkness, snow, and winter air.
Although, it kind of felt good to be outside, because my entire body was burning.
Once I was in the hospital, I was totally disoriented and had to ask for help getting to the ER. The walk seemed a mile long, and I considered laying down on the floor until someone brought me a wheelchair or bed.
When I got to the ER, the staff was extremely nice. They escorted me to a bed, placed an IV, and gave me medicine right away.
Unfortunately, that medicine included steroids.
After several hours, my reaction went away, and I went home.
And now I owe $125.
The following day was Pi Day, and because I was pumped full of steroids, I was able to eat pie.
Because I was pumped full of steroids, I ate a concerning amount of pie.