By Wednesday, I started to feel slightly more human, and actually had a slight sense that my appetite was returning. However, to my horror, the first thing I really wanted was cake. Having eaten twice my body weight during my stay with my mum, I had been hoping to cut back slightly upon my return home, and although it is not the most desirable weight loss programme, the virus had managed to suppress my cravings for all things junk, and I had shed the few pounds put on during the winter eatathon! Why could I not have a fancy for broccoli, or even better, the negative foods, like celery. By mid afternoon, my energy levels had risen beyond what they had been for nearly a week, and I considered that a short burst in the kitchen may be a good way to judge quite how much vigor had returned. It did not take long to whip up a sponge and put it in the oven, but unfortunately, the clearing up had to wait, as I slumped on the kitchen floor and waited for the cake to bake. By the time my culinary delights were ready to be eaten, the fancy for dessert had passed. I retreated back to my room.
Fortunately, my incapacitation was only temporary, and Thursday brought yet more energy and the need for some fresh air. Although my bedroom has a door leading to a small balcony, there has been an outbreak of ladybirds. When the nursery rhyme was written, 'Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home', I had no idea that there was an additional line, 'In case of emergency, or loss of habitation, please go to....', at which time was inserted my address. The ledge under the wooden railing appears to be a soup kitchen for all spotted backed insects. Opening my french windows, would be like opening the doors to the ladybug Salvation Army. By next week, they will all be rehoused, or dead, but this did little to help my situation. I decided to take the proberbial bull by the horns, and go for a short walk. Unfortunately, since my first pregnancy, viral conditions have left me with a complication; Agoraphobia. Stepping out into the wide open space that is the garage area of my home, I felt the urge to retreat back into the safety of my sanctuary. Not to give into the self-induced state, I ventured further, and peeked around the corner to make sure there was no one about. My attire was not usual, although being in Austin, I do not think anyone would notice, but I felt very conscious. I had seen little need to change for my outing, and wore a very comfortable pair of bright red, 'tootsie roll' sweat pants, with a black t-shirt. Hardly the latest Paris fashions, but very comfortable. I managed to walk the length of five houses, and came back as fast as my legs would carry me. It was a start.
Friday was a beautiful day, and my energy levels were increasing significantly. I managed to do some ironing, and some knitting. The disarray of the house was, at last, starting to irritate me, and I felt that I was, at last, pulling out of the quicksand that had been dragging me down. At one o'clock, I emerged through the back door, once again, and out into the open. The coast was clear, and I forced myself to walk along three blocks of houses, and wondered if I could make it down the hill, to the front entrances. Our on-site maintenance men were at lunch, so I did not run the risk of having to be polite. I was hoping that my 'stay at home' neighbours were busy, so as I would not have to engage in conversation. I ventured down the slope and as I did so, realised my mistake. My legs decided that they were no longer going to hold my weight, and refused to work properly. Fortunately, my brain had not been compromised, and it sent messages to my ill-mannered limbs, but they were being quite contrary. I say my brain had not been compromised, but this was not entirely true. Before I left the condo, I had put an egg on the stove, to soft boil, and calculated that by the time the water had reached boiling point, and continued to bubble for three minutes, I would be back inside, from my constitutional. With the vision of exploded egg dripping from my ceiling, and Dana's look of amazement, as to 'what had possessed' me, I reached into the depths of my being for the superwoman gene, and activated the tiny switch. Like a puppet, the legs started to move, the arms stretched out to balance and I ordered myself to march. I am not sure how I managed to get back up the hill, but am ever grateful for the lack of human life form whilst I did so. My arms flapped like a bird to keep myself from falling, and I counted, 'one, two, three, four', in regimental time. The egg was hard boiled, but still in its shell, and the ceiling remained untainted.
I slept very well Friday night, and apparently my temperature had returned to normal on Saturday morning. Unaware that I had a fever, Dana informed me that I had been slightly 'above average' all week. 'Only slightly', was the comment that made him smile, as he knew I was on the mend!
The trip to Walmart was an adventure. Samantha drove and I held on to her as we entered the store, for my first real outing for ten days. It was very big, noisy and crowded, and after a short while, I started to deteriorate, mentally as well as physically. I am not one to give into illness, as a rule, but this must have been a particularly strong strain. Determined to finish my shopping, I announced that I was going to search for a motorised seat with the shopping cart attached. Samantha considered this to be an amusing joke, until she saw me riding back into the shop on a three wheeled scooter. Unable to contain her laughter, she stood, tears rolling down her cheeks, as I drove past her in my new electronic vehicle. I must admit that I was finding it very hard not to smile, and choked back the giggles, as the store assistant smiled sympathetically. 'Come along', I ordered. Hysterical chuckles and the clicking of a camera followed me. I was glad that I had been able to brighten my daughter's day! The cart was very user friendly, with a forward and backward switch. To go forward, all I had to do was depress the right hand lever; to go back, depress the left. To bring attention to myself, there was a button with a picture of a trumpet, which made a shrill beeping noise if hit. I went forward, backed up, hit the horn, and found that if I wanted to turn, this machine pivoted as sharply as any ballerina. Finally, however, my fun had to come to an end, and before we got to the cash desk, I drove it back to the entrance, and disembarked, having backed it neatly into its space by the charging socket.
The rest of the day was less exciting, although the video, I believe, may have gone viral! Dana and I went to a small cafe for a late lunch, and whilst my appetite has not returned with the gusto I usually try to avoid, the 'spaghetti' dish was very enjoyable. Finally, I had left solitary confinement and was beginning to rejoin the outside world.
Sunday saw yet more improvement. I made a Parmesan cheese loaf, with jalapenos, and a couple of loaves from my 'starter', which had survived my absence, laying dormant in my fridge. We went out for lunch, and returned to spend an afternoon watching television. My week ended with yet another friend's son's engagement. Tomorrow will be my first day back at work this year, and the first time for three weeks. Will I survive? That will be...........another story