Creativity Writing
Charlotte Rains Dixon  

In the Aftermath of a Fever

Thermometer_temperature_healt_265180_l Monday evening, I got sick.

It had started with cold symptoms earlier that day.  After dinner, I started feeling achy all over and soon I was passed out on the couch, in the full throes of a fever.

Not such a big deal, right?  I mean it was clearly not life-threatening and people get sick all the time.

Except it was.

Because I don't do sick.  Ever.  I'm blessed to have one of those constitutions that allows me to slough off illness easily.  I rarely get colds, and if I do, they last a day or two.  So when I do get sick, it's a big deal (and, I might add I'm a horrible sick person, bitching and whining and moaning the whole time, except when the fever got so bad I didn't have the energy for it).

And this time it was an even bigger deal.

Because my daughter is getting married this Saturday.  It is actually a renewal ceremony (read the full story here), but still and all, 210+ people are expected, and there is a lot to do before the big day.

So all night long, as I tossed and turned with the fever, alternately pulling the down quilt over me and shoving it off (same thing with the cats), I worried.  How would I tell my daughter that I couldn't help her with all the things we planned to do on Thursday and Friday? Would I even be well enough to attend the wedding on Saturday?

And then there was the matter of the appointments I had Tuesday morning.  An 8 AM at the dentist to fix a gaping missing filling and an 11 o'clock hair appointment to beautify myself.  In my feverish brain, I imagined myself calling both places and saying, "I'm sick."  But then when would I get my tooth fixed?  When would I get my hair done?

All these thoughts went round and round in my brain.

And then, at 7, I awoke for the day.  Sat up.  And decided, much to my surprise, that I felt good enough to get to that appointment.  And so instead of calling to cancel, I jumped in the shower and got myself ready to go.

Everything looked fresh and clean, even though it was still gray and gloomy.  My dental appointment went well–no crown needed, just a new filling.  The sun broke through the clouds as I drove downtown to my hair
appointment and I kept marveling at how pretty everything looked.

I felt, not to be too woo-woo, cleansed and transformed by the raging fever, which had broken sometime in the middle of the night.  I felt like something big and important had happened to me, something that had been coming for a long time.

And when my appointments were over, I went home and took a three-hour nap.

This morning, I feel pretty good.  As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I feel normal.  And I keep remembering that feeling, how clear and clean I felt.  Like all the bad ju-ju had been rinsed out of me.  And so now I'm letting the good ju-ju guide me.  And of course, the most important thing to let it guide me on is my writing.

Anybody have any comments on getting sick, fevers, or writing in general?

***Note, if I do not manage to get a post up on Friday it is because I've been shanghaied by my daughter at a very early hour wedding preparations.  And can I just say how much I miss posting every day?  And yet I need to stick to my commitment until I get my novel rewrite done.

5 thoughts on “In the Aftermath of a Fever

  1. J.D. Frost

    I once caught writing fever. I camped at my keyboard until the very last letter of the very last sentence was typed. I began neglecting things like TV, barhopping, and racing into the city for no reason. For a long stretch I thought there was no cure, but someone recently–it must’ve been while I was asleep–gave me an injection of blank-head mixed with lazy-ass. It has certainly kicked in. Not sure how long it will last. I’m hoping for a relapse.

    Not to make light of your illness. I hope you are well soon.

  2. Charlotte Dixon

    That’s the kind of fever I actually like to catch, J.D. Sorry you found the cure for it. But I do think the blank-headed lazy-assedness may perhaps be in reaction to the fever and you’ll swing back to writing again soon.

  3. Derek

    Now I don’t want anybody to think that I am a masochist, but I always feel that there is always something to learn about my self through any discomfort I get to go through and I tend to do nothing but focus on the symptoms and observe exactly what it going on with my body during my Zen meditation (zazen). I guess you could call it, “karma watching”.

    There are times when I see long chains of connections of similar experiences stretching way back into my childhood to an original trauma. And once or twice there are one to two surprises as I get to realize that I am looking for a bit of sympathy! And this is generally not me, as I tend to avoid doctors or having anybody fussing over me!

    It is like my illness/discomfort is nothing more than a regression to my childhood and part of me is looking for my mother and I need to go through it to get closure on it an move on. I think there is a part of our mind that longs for the security we experienced in infancy. I seem to be looking right into my genetics and it despite the pain, it is often quite fascinating… Perhaps I am a masochist? But I don’t think so, as I really do love the times when I am full of stamina that I can take on the world. The Zen way is to not to see pain as a problem, but an opportunity to focus one’s awareness as it is a great focuser of the mind.

    Even though it scares me sometimes, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Boring comfortable life, or fascinating painful life? I take the latter.

  4. Patty - Why Not Start Now?

    Wow, your writing about the fever is downright poetic, Charlotte. I had the high fever/harsh cold last night, but unfortunately it was not so poetic. Mostly it just left me feeling drained, with more healing to do. Nevertheless, reading about your bout with illness is uplifting today.

  5. Charlotte Dixon

    Derek, you’re not a masochist, just a wonderful self-introspective person. Thanks for always giving us the Zen view.

    Patty, glad you thought it was poetic, sorry to hear you had the same thing. Now that I’m done with the wedding, I’m going to take it a bit easy this week, too, just to make sure I’m okay.

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