Dispatches from the Deathbed
The only time in the last two decades I’ve actually gotten the Flu was the one year when I got a Flu shot vaccine. “How is that possible?” I demanded of the doctor. He informed me that there were some dozen or so strains of the Flu that year, and the vaccine only protects against ONE of them. “What’s the point in getting a vaccine, then?” I asked. Ten percent protection is better than no protection, he said. I didn’t like those odds, so I never got another Flu shot after that, and I never got the Flu, either. Not until this year. My luck finally ran out. At Christmas. ON Christmas.
As I sit typing these words to you, I am under quarantine. I have sent my family away. I am alone with just pets for company, fairly certain I am dying. I cannot remember feeling any worse than I feel. And it is Christmas Day. All my celebratory plans, all my yearly traditions, are null and void. Christmas, for me, has been cancelled. It sucks.
I know this sounds a lot like me feeling sorry for myself, and I guess it is, but there is actually a point to it, too. Being in this situation–sick as a dog, depressed at missing the holiday, a little bitter about it–I have had a lifeline. One lifeline, outside the telephone. (I can’t talk on the phone, though, since I can’t talk at all, so I’m reduced to communicating with loved ones by text.) I am literally too sick to even sleep. The fever, chills, upset stomach, aches and pains, and above all the agonizing, ribs-cracking, constant coughing–and I’m thinking that enforced coughing could have been a torture implemented during the Spanish Inquisition; they really missed an opportunity, there, if they could have figured out a way to cause someone to have a chronic cough–won’t allow me to sleep. Lacking all else, where have I sought, and found, a small degree of comfort? In Horror. I’m watching Horror movies, one right after the other. And right at this moment, when I feel capable of sitting here for a few minutes, having come to the computer to check in with the Missus, I thought I’d fire off this missive.
Horror is keeping me alive just now, friends. It’s literally a godsend. And I want to share that with you. This week, you’ll be seeing lots of movie reviews here and on our sister sites, because watching movies is all I’ll be doing. Hope you don’t mind.
Oh, and I don’t know if I’ll get a Flu shot next year. I might. But it turns out the strain of the disease that I have is one of TWO this year, the worse of the two, the doctor told me, and the one that the vaccine did NOT protect against. Why in the blue hell can’t they just vaccinate people against both or all the potential strains of the damn disease at one time? How does that not seem like basic common sense?