Last Wednesday, I wrote about having received email from a former boyfriend, from whom I hadn’t heard in over ten years, last December and then again on Tuesday, most recently asking if I were going to be around Easter weekend, since he was unexpectedly going to be in the area. After I’d replied to his first email in December, I never received a response until Tuesday. Because of this, and my suspicions about the level of his commitment to renewing the friendship, I did something I never do: when I replied on Tuesday night that I would be around, and giving him my contact information, I requested a Read Receipt.
Early Wednesday morning, I got the acknowledgement. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday all came and went, and, unsurprisingly at this point, I didn’t hear from him.
My friends had been concerned about my agreeing to be available to meet with him, and Matt even had admitted to being a little jealous. They needn’t have worried, though their love and concern are really wonderful.
At this point, I’m leaning towards deleting unread any future emails from him to spare myself what little angst he still makes me feel, though the odds are that I won’t hear from him again anyway.
I did hear from my parents Saturday evening, who called to report that my dad’s oldest sister had been hospitalized on Friday night and was in intensive care. The family had seen her throughout the week, and she seemed fine, but on Friday she called her daughter–my cousin–to report that she couldn’t breathe. My cousin called an ambulance and went over to my aunt’s house; she had a great amount of fluid on her lungs, and I’m told she coded at least once in the emergency room.
They had her on a ventilator Friday night and Saturday, but by Sunday morning she was awake and had removed the ventilator and was breathing on her own. Apparently she was experiencing a wide range of hallucinations, including seeing beings in the air and she reported that both “Timmy and Hoe” had been to see her (“Hoe” being a childhood nickname of Timmy, my dad). She had no recollection of anything after she called my cousin on Friday.
Her son and his wife flew in from San Francisco Saturday. Fortunately, though, my aunt was doing better by Sunday, and was more lucid; they’re still analyzing the test results to determine if she had a heart attack, or precisely what happened otherwise.
Personally, even before the news about my aunt, I was anxious and depressed much of the weekend, to the point of even being somewhat hypochondriacal. Friday night I was feeling exhausted, and went to bed really pretty early for me, but on Saturday morning I just could not fully wake up, or get out of bed. I did get up around 8:30 long enough to open a pouch of cat food for Alex, but immediately fell back into bed and didn’t get up until noon. I’ve been having bad headaches more frequently, and had a very bad one on Saturday; I also felt extremely fatigued, achy, slightly warm and was suffering what I think was probably just my first allergy attack of the season (and the pollen is pretty thick on the table on my balcony; it looks like a copper table top with a verdigris patina rather than glass).
But I started worrying that I’d contracted the Lyme Disease bacterium from a tick bite, from my geocaching exploration in the woods behind my office last Wednesday. I hadn’t actually seen any ticks on me in the interim, mind you, nor have I yet evidenced the most common symptom of infection, the erythema migrans. I spent a big chunk of Saturday crusing Internet sites about the disease and looking at the growing number of incidents reported from my (urban) county over the preceding few years.
Intellectually, of course, I realized I was being silly. But I went to bed early on Saturday, and didn’t get up again on Sunday until noon, having slept right through the morning sex-ed class for which I’m one of the teachers. The headache wasn’t as bad on Sunday, but I still felt fatigued, stuffy and a little achy, and didn’t do much of anything. I sat around in sweats all day, and didn’t even socialize with Roger or Lee in Yahoo or There during the day: I kept to myself, and played a little SimCity but mostly just slept on the futon in the computer room.
By Sunday night, I wasn’t even theorizing about the Lyme Disease possibility any more. But as I was preparing for bed, I was petting Alex and, as I rubbed under his chin, I felt a very tiny bump there I hadn’t felt before. He’s very skittish about it, so I wasn’t able to really determine what it is, but from my quick glimpses at it through his long fur and his attempts to fight me, it does look like a tick. I wasn’t able to remove it last night–though I’m covered with scratches from the attempt–so tonight I’m going to ask a friend to come down to help hold him while I try to see what this is, and to remove it, if it is a tick. Otherwise, I’ll have to take him to the vet to have it done there.
And even if it is a tick, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything… it might have just been on my clothes when I came in the house and gotten right onto him, rather than having been on me first: an infected tick needs to remained attached for about 24-36 hours before it can transmit the bacteria.
So, if it is a tick, I’ll have to talk to my doctor and my vet to see if they think it merits starting the four- to six-week treatment of antibiotics for me (and whatever they do to treat pets), given that I haven’t exhibited the rash but only the other symptoms, which are so common (headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and fever) as to be almost anything.
The problem, I guess, is that it’s relatively easy to treat Lyme in the early stages, whereas down the road it becomes much harder and riskier, and the bacteria can cause some very serious things (from arthritis to cardiac arrhythmias to renal failure) but on the other hand doctors don’t like to just give long courses of antibiotics “just in case” (and which has its own side effects and risks involved). And apparently the blood tests available these days for the bacteria aren’t very reliable.
On the other hand, making an appointment with my doctor about a potential physical ailment might finally be the impetus to get me to talk to her about my increasingly troublesome mental issues.
After fighting with Alex and my own anxiety and insecurities, I had a horrible night’s sleep. I tossed and turned, woke up multiple times, and had really vivid dreams, one of which I remember featured a somewhat larger, tiger-like Alex lunging at me and tearing at my arm and neck like you see in police dog videos. I wish cats could understand when you’re trying to help them; after four years of feeding, loving and caring for him, you’d think there’d be a little more trust that I’m not trying to hurt him now.