It seems to be the passage right of every college student, nay, every being to live past the age of twelve. There comes a day when you contract a mystery disease, which your friends will diagnose as the Mongolian Death Flu, or "That Flesh-Eating Virus" or SARS.

It often starts off innocuously enough. You have a mild sore throat, or perhaps a little cough. Or maybe you just feel a weensy bit puny. You feel tired, and so you go to be early. When you wake up in the morning, you can't move. Not necessarily because your muscles have all quit in vast revolt, but because it hurts too damn much.

Perhaps you will be a good, sweet, conscientious carrier of pestilence and suffering and go to school or work, or perhaps you will be a good citizen and just stay the heck home. In either case, it soon becomes necessary to get out of bed, at least to call in sick or head off to the bathroom and curse all the gods. This is when, if you are me this morning at 8:30 central time, you fall on the floor and begin crawling.

Often, you will go to the doctor, eventually. Perhaps your roommate will get worried and tell you to go. Perhaps you will get worried and cajole your roommate into setting up an appointment for you. Perhaps your roommate will be unable to sleep due to your coughing/moaning/tossing and turning/general bitching/etc., and will toss you in the car and drag you to the doctor herself because she just can't take it anymore.

Let me pause for a moment. This is where I become needlessly self-specific, likely because I am bordering on delirious. I make it to the doctor and cough on the legions of elderly people and babies in the waiting room. I should feel bad about this, but I'm too tired and behind on my work to care. They invite me into the actual examination room, eventually, and take a staggering array of vital signs. Then they tell me they need urine and blood samples. Lots of blood samples. About 20 ccs worth of blood samples. I do not like this.
Once that humiliation is over, I finally get to see the doctor, and get to lie in state on a crinkly paper bed while I shiver in my crinkly paper gown. I'm really beginning to hate life. He pokes me, prods me, talks about where his kids went to college and where they're going to medical school. He asks me if I'm pregnant (no), if it might be a urinary tract infection (I wasn't aware those caused leg collapse), if I'm clinically depressed (I wasn't aware that caused severe vertigo), then finally tells me it's probably just from living in a dorm. I do not live in a dorm. I live in an apartment building at least a mile from the nearest dormitory. He tells me they'll run some tests, and it's probably nothing.
If it's nothing, then why and I so sick my follicles are crying out in pain?

Ah, but now I am passing through this right of passage, the nebulous Mongolian Death Flu that strikes down so many in their prime. And you, dear reader who has surely experienced the sickness-that-surpasses-all-others, didn't it give you a good war story? Didn't it turn out to be a fun cocktail party tale? Don't you wish you'd never had to deal with it?

In conclusion, I propose that we come up with a highly effective PCR system that can test any blood sample for any variety of bacteria, viruses, retroviruses, and exceedingly small evil lawn gnomes. Also, I propose that I am delirious. Wheee!

Feel free to vote as you see fit. However, please be nice and abide by the requests set forth in the wonderful Fuck Me General Public Disclaimer (many thanks, getzburg!). No, it isn't even vaguely bloody a propos, but I like it! Whoo, the room is spinning!