Oh yes, this is what's really going on, people. I know it! This is because in all my years, never have I encountered a cold bug such as the one I currently have. It has to be intergalactic germ warfare.
It starts with a sore throat and neck that goes up into a mild earache. You run a slight fever, and your energy level dips to the floor. Sounds normal-ish, right? Oh, little one, don't be deceived, this is no normal cold... The throat, neck, ear thing is only on one side. There's the first tip off. There is also no runny nose (saints be praised), only a stuffy one, but only like three times a day. After a few days, it will act like it's going into your chest. Your lungs itch and your breathing becomes more shallow than normal. But, you almost never cough, although when you do, foul-tasting-cesspool-like-vileness comes out. I'm also not in any way hungry, all day, at all, not hungry. All of this is weird enough, but the kicker... the one-hundred-percent-obvious-this-shit-isn't-natural symptom is the hot'n'colds.
We have all endured some illness that involves the hot'n'colds. First you burn up until you want to run outside in 3 degree weather naked with your arms splayed in the air so you can get the blessed coolness to reach every single crack and crevasse of your body. You'd swim in liquid nitrogen if you could. This lasts anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes where it is swiftly and cruel-joltingly replaced with the chills. A cold feeling that wracks your body from the inside out with shivers. Your internal organs shiver. Your teeth chatter until you break off all of your crowns and can spit them out like Chicklets. Your hands shake like you've instantly developed extremely advanced stages of Parkinson's Disease.
This is when your stupid-sick brain pops up with the idea to drink something hot, however, you're shaking so badly, that you wind up wearing more than you manage to get into your mouth. The hot liquid feels good for a minute, running down over your frozen skin. This quickly turns bad however, when the spill turns to ice on your shirt-front and exacerbates the chills. However, if you do manage to get some all the way down your throat and into your stomach, you will feel better, warmer... so warm in fact, that the hots return with a vengeance and the entire cycle repeats itself. You may endure this personal climate hell for a couple of days at most, and then it subsides.
This is not the case with this alien bug, oh no. This wretched beast of a cold turns your hypothalamus into a slow swing Kubrick-esque pendulum. For those of you that haven't seen Osmosis Jones, the hypothalamus is the gland that regulates body temperature.
First of all, you don't start out hot, you start out cold. You don't have the shivers or the teeth chatters or the quakes, you're simply cold. Like working outside all day in the dead of winter at the South Pole cold. You can manage to imbibe hot drinks, but they don't help one whit. You're simply full-block-frozen with no outward appearance of it at all, save one ~ your skin tone turns linen-sheet-white. As you can see by my picture in the sidebar, I'm already damn-near-albino. When the colds of this bug hit, I become glow-in-the-dark-friggin-white. And I stay this way... for two to three hours. Hours People! Then, without any warning or gradual warming, they turn into the hots...
The big down comforter that I've been huddled under, the one that can't possibly be wrapped around me tight enough to assuage the colds, turns into a nest of strangle weeds as I thrash desperately to escape it's searing heat. These hots have exactly the same feeling that I described above, but with a funky twist. Every square inch of my skin is burning-ass-hot and I look like I've got a sunburn... but only to the bottom of my neck. My ears, my scalp, my eyelids... bright new-sunburn pink. From the collarbone down, agoraphobic-white-girl-white. And, I'm burning up in my own personal summer. I don't care what hubby or the thermometer says, it's 112 degrees in the house. They're just lying to me.
After about 4 or 5 hours of being able to cook eggs on my legs, my internal heat gets turned down, slowly. The sunburned look fades. I get comfortable. For about an hour. That's how long it takes for the slow part of the pendulum swing to get back to the other extreme of cold. And we start all over.
You can call me crazy all you want, you'd have to feel it with your own body. But, I know that those little stick-looking-bastards are there, watching, laughing and waiting for us to die of this bug of theirs.
Where the hell are Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum when you need them?