Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Smells like Ammonia

I'm sick again. The past three months have brought more sickness to me than the last 15 years of my life. Like Ms. Hamer--I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. At least this time I have an interesting symptom: It feels, smells and tastes like I am breathing chemical fumes. For over 24 hours inhaling gives me the sensation of breathing in the fumes of strong cleaning products. Add the accompaning headache, stinging eyes, raw throat, slight woosy-dissiness and all the other nasty effects of chemical fumes.

This started when I walked into my apartment building yesterday--I was almost choking as I carried my bike up the steps. The smell disipated as I climbed and was much milder in my apartment--but still annoying. My roommate didn't notice anything, even though it brought tears to my eyes. I spent most of the evening on the porch, where the air tasted fine. But when I later entered the drugstore (I bought new socks!!!) I literally could feel my throat closing. Very weird. My office was the same as my apartment. The exhaust from vehicles is nauseating. No one else has this sensation.

My guess is that for some reason, I am just temporarily super-sensitive to some common chemical. Whatever the explanation--this blows. Even though I understand that my perspective is skewed, it feels so fucking real and I can't quite believe that other people aren't experiencing this acrid air.

But anyway, this is only the newest symptom of illness. On Sunday morning I woke up with a cough that sounded like a barking seal. Monday brought me a coughing fit so violent that I pulled a muscle in my back--making me dread even more each inevitable cough. Overlay this with just a general tired, shittiness and a stuffy head. Three other people called in sick yesterday--our office is just a festering bed of recycled illness.

I realized today that I haven't been 100% well since I got sick in mid-January. My lungs have felt slightly 'clogged' ever since that episode, preventing me from being able to pull in as much air or breath as deeply as I'd like. Plus I've had a lingering, laughing-induced cough that has been around for months, too. Given that I laugh a lot, this results in coughing fits galore.

Enough of this--I'm drinking liquids, taking my vitamins, getting plenty of sleep. I want to be completely well again.


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