You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘illness’ tag.

Two weeks ago I fell into a wetland. I slipped on a slimy rock as I snapped a photo of yellow waterlilies. I caught myself, in that acrobatic way that looks cartoon-like (if anyone was watching from afar) more concerned about dropping my camera into the water. Like any good fall, I only fell up to my knee, and managed to keep my flip flop.

ImageThe day drizzled on beautifully after that. I hiked Rattlesnake Mountain with the dog, swam in the lake and joined friends in Portland for dinner at Flatbreads. Then…if by some stroke of dumb luck, I came down with a painful summer flu, but didn’t know it. I thought I’d eaten a bad avocado (I blamed that new “slim low-cal” version at the grocery store, which tasted rancid, worse than my attempts at grad school cupcakes circa 2003) and yet, I was passing blame onto the wrong cause. I had been swimming in a lake where there’d been an algal bloom a couple of weeks prior, so that was a possibility.

Globs of algae the size of human heads floated around like something out of a paranormal dream sequence from MacBeth or one of those B-movies on MST3K. It was unnerving to bump into one of them. “Oh, excuse me,” I’m urged to say half underwater before realizing it was just another alien life-form touching me. “Oh, that.” I can handle swimming with eels, treading water against the current and having the occasional gastropod latch onto one’s foot…but I find it unnerving to swim with severed head-shaped algae pods. All of these images came to mind as I suffered through a fever of 102 degrees for 2 days last week. On Tuesday night, I called 911 and the EMTs came to my house, since I was convinced I was dying of some kind of poison, or tetanus (I can’t honestly recall when I had my last shot) or some other ill fate. It felt like my organs had seized up and everything hurt (like one of those “depression hurts; you don’t have to” commercials, only I wasn’t walking around with a cartoon cloud over my head.) In fact, I could barely walk. I crawled down my stairs to unlock the door for the EMTs. I didn’t want them to have to bust in the door. (I already have a lot of home improvement projects on my to-do list for summer 2012. I didn’t want to add “replace busted door from night I nearly died of Mystery Disease” to the list.) When the EMTs came into my kitchen, including the local doctor and fire marshall, I was reminded of an episode of “Doc Martin,” or a similar British medical comedy. Truly, a high fever can make a person delirious, so I was not of sound mind at the time. My sense of humor had gone out the window. But I didn’t die.

It is possible that I had contracted a disease related to Lyme disease, called anaplasmosis, which is more common in Maine than it was a few years ago. Its symptoms mimic a summer flu with a high fever, painful body aches and headache, etc. It can be serious, even fatal, in people with weakened immune systems.  A few days later, after the fever and the painful flu symptoms had subsided, and I was recovering on a blanket in the backyard, a shady spot in the grass, I looked up at the trees blowing ’round in the breeze. I remembered reading an article about patients who have views of trees recovering faster than those with views of brick walls. I thought, “I’m surrounded by trees. I should recover in no time!” My dog behaved well enough and liked this business of outdoor resting, guarding me closely while I was weak.  Fresh June hot air, hot enough to singe the wingtips of dragonflies, landing again and again on the same grass blade (their checkpoint) a few inches from my face, filled my lungs and all of the hollow spaces that illness creates.  I wrote under the influence of summer flu, and napped in the yard under bird song and a deep impenetrable blue sky.


Poet. Artist. Ecoheroine. Human ecologist. Spiritual mermaid and Mystic. I write about literary ecology, wetlands, water, Romantic ecology, and quirky adventures with my dog.

Past Posts

Raecine Ardis Wilkinson

Sessions and healings by intuitive reader and priestess, Raecine Ardis Wilkinson

claire houston | p h o t o g r a p h e r

a collection of single images

Truly Teach Me Tarot

The Art of Holistic Tarot Therapy

Confessions from a Homecoming Queen

Just another weblog

Tupelo Press

Live from the Loft

Random Inspirations

Welcome to my blog, full of fun inspirations and insights on writing, self-publishing, and more!

Lezlie Moore

Always leave them wanting Moore

Miss Modernist

Written Word of the Modern Era

The Daily Coyote

Musings of a Maine lake dweller

The Ark of Identity

Laura M Kaminski's poetry practice and links


Just another site

Catherine Evans Latta

Poems for Everyone


Public relations issues and trends

Natural History Wanderings

Sandy Steinman's Blog

Mixed Waters

A look at the conditions and events surrounding estuaries, wetlands and coastal waters

Charles P. Martin-Shields

Comparative Politics | Development & Migration | Technology & Media