I very rarely get sick, maybe once a year tops, but when I do I become completely useless as a human being until I get over it. This really isn’t that bad since it usually never takes more than 24 hours for me to get back to being “healthy.” Healthy is actually a pretty bad word to use there since that word can never really apply to me in a serious sense. Functional works better. So it takes 24 hours for me to return to being functional. Usually.
Why am I telling you about this? Because last week I came down with a fever and it was a very different experience than I’m used to. It became apparent about mid-day last Wednesday, when I was sitting in my American Heritage lecture and I realized that 20 something minutes had passed and I had done nothing more than stare blankly forwards. I couldn’t go home though since I had quizzes in my other classes that I couldn’t just ignore. So I went, took my quizzes and otherwise let the afternoon be a total wash in terms of productivity. Getting home and sleeping whatever this was off was the only thing I thought about on the bus ride home.
So I get home and pretty much crash in my bed instantly. This is like 5pm. At 7pm I am woken up by the blaring of fire alarms. They’re doing a safety test at my apartment building. Fantastic. So after that fiasco I come back to my apartment with a dilemma, I need to keep sleeping to get over this fever, but I struggle immensely to sleep so shortly napping, particularly if I’m awoken by absurdly loud sirens. It’s only 7:30 at this point, but I decide to take a small dosage of melatonin to help me get back to sleep. If you are unfamiliar with melatonin its a hormone your body produces naturally to help sleep that can also be manufactured as a sleep aide. I usually only take it when I can’t sleep at all and feel like a total insomniac, but I determined that it would be fine to use in this instance. Taking melatonin can result in very lucid dreaming, but it’d never happened to me before so whats the worst that could happen?
What happened to me wasn’t the worst thing that could happen, but it sure felt like it at the time. It started at midnight, I’d been asleep for 4 hours or so when I woke up in cold sweat, I couldn’t get the idea that there was this bowl or cup (I couldn’t differentiate at the time between the two.) that absolutely needed to be sorted this instant. I had absolutely no idea where it was though, so I figured that I would just try to go back to sleep instead, people have weird dreams all the time, no biggie.
I should note that I like to listen to music as I sleep and on this particular day I was listening to movie scores. When I was drifting back to sleep the theme from the netflix original show Narcos was playing ( I haven’t seen the show yet FYI, I’ve heard its good though.)
The next time I wake up I am no longer concerned about the bowl, rather I was convinced that a Colombian cartel was on it’s way to kidnap and then murder me. This is not a fun thought to have, especially at 3am. This was worsened by the fact that my blanket was resting weirdly on my arms and my brain just couldn’t handle those two things at the same time. So I threw my blanket off of me and laid quietly waiting for what I thought was the end of my existence. Not to boast, but I managed to at least keep it together enough to not wake up my roommates with screaming or anything. Eventually I managed to fall back asleep.
The next time I woke up was around 7am, I had an online quiz I had to take before 8 so I set my alarm so I could take it. I was only feeling marginally better than when I was last awake. I didn’t think a cartel was coming for me anymore, but I had this really weird lump in my throat, but I persevered and made it to my computer to take the quiz. (Which went suprisingly well if I do say so! aka I did ok when I thought I would just bomb it completely.) After the quiz was done though my stupid mind decided to do a quick google search for what this lump in my chest might be and how to deal with it. You know what the first result I got was? Heart attack. Fantastic. So now instead of a cartel coming to kill me its just going to be of natural causes. A moment of panic set it, but then I remembered something very important. Melatonin can cause lucid dreaming.
Phew… I wasn’t dying, just having a really bad reaction to the sleeping aide. With a sigh of relief. I climb back into bed just running the thought that, “This is fine, it’ll pass.” over and over. I manage to get a little more sleep, but then I’ve got to get to class and be useless again so I shuffle my way over to campus.
On my walk over to my second class of the day something magical happened though. I hit my 24hr mark and magically a renewed sense of energy flooded my body and I was good to go again. It wasn’t exactly 24hr but pretty close.
So the lesson to learn from this story is that just because you feel sick doesn’t mean you should take medication. Especially don’t take any sleep aides unless you are actually unable to sleep or prepared for the roller-coaster your own mind might take you on. Peace out peeps.