Monday, March 10, 2008

Night Fever

As I mentioned, the whole family has been sick this week. All of us have been coughing. Luke, who I'm afraid is going to be carrying around an inhaler for the rest of his life, had viral pneumonia. I even had to take him to the emergency room because he wasn't getting enough oxygen into his lungs. (Side note: The doctor remembered me from last year when I went in for the "broken" hand, which ended up being nothing more than a bruise. He remembered my "metacarpal contusion syndrome" joke, which is oddly satisfying.)

I've been sick too. I thought I had gotten well enough to start riding again. Then last night, I woke up shivering. My teeth chattering, I grabbed another blanket from the closet, Wendy got me some ibuprofen, and I fell asleep. A few hours later, I woke up sopping wet. I looked like an also-ran in a wet t-shirt contest.

I've gotten these odd sweats in the middle of the night several times in the last few years. They come at odd times, even when I don't think I'm sick. I get the chills, fall asleep, and wake up drenched in sweat. The first time it happened was one of the three most embarrassing moments of my life. (Quick list: 1 - I froze up during a speeech on Mormon pioneers in eighth grade, burst into tears, and hucked the little covered wagon against the wall. 2 - I mooned friends while in an unhygienic state. 3 - The story I'm about to tell.)

I was in Moab with some biking buddies a few years ago, and there were enough poor guys that we ended up sharing beds to cut costs. I think you see where this is going. I was sharing a bed with a guy named Stewart, I got the chills (from too much alcohol I thought), and woke up the next morning soaked. I lay there in the wet sheets wondering what happened. Did I just wet the bed? For some crazy reason, I decided the best thing to do would be to come out with the truth. "I'm soaking wet," I announced to the guys in the room. "I may have just wet the bed!"

I wanted to make it clear that I wasn't sure I wet the bed, but that just made it worse. I still remember eating breakfast in the Moab Diner and thinking, "Do 38-year-old guys in good health wet the bed?" The answer: No. After further review, the evidence is in: I do not wet the bed. So, Dug, Brad, and Rick, you guys can stop teasing me about that morning. It was a case of the night sweats. In fact, I demand an apology for lowering my self-esteem. Sticks and stones can break my bones, and words can hurt my feelings.