It was Thursday night, and I was at a gathering of nerds that I host with Bill Prady and Felicia Day. A lot of my favorite people were there (that’s the whole point) including Hank and John Green, who were in town on unrelated business.
When he came into the room, I hugged John Green tightly. “It is so good to see you!”
He hugged me back. “You too!”
I stepped back and looked at him. John’s taller than me, and I always forget that because he’s usually sitting down in his videos.
“So, what’s new with you?” I said.
“I have strep throat,” he said. It was very casual, like “I am wearing Vans.” What I heard was, “Chopper, sic balls.”
Oh. That’s not right. What I heard was, “I have infected you with murder death muwahahahaha you never saw my nefarious plan coming, puny mortal!”
“Wait. Like. Now? You have it right now? And you just hugged me?” A cold panic began in my abdomen.
“I’ve been on antibiotics for four days,” he said, “I’m not contagious.”
“I sure hope you aren’t,” I said.
Fast forward six days. My throat hurts so much I can barely swallow. I have a headache that won’t respond to any pain meds. I have chills in my body, and aches in my joints. Last night, I kept waking up every few minutes, because I felt like I was suffocating.
I really hope it’s just allergies, or exhaustion because I flew to Toronto to work on Saturday and came home last night. Maybe it’s a combination of both … but there’s this doctor in my head who is even more terrifying than WebMD, and she’s telling me that I have strep and probably a mono flare up and did I mention that I’m going to Ohio on Sunday to speak at Miami University?
Yeah. So I’m trying not to panic. If I don’t feel significantly better tomorrow morning, I’m going to the doctor and demanding some sort of Bruce Banner treatment to kill this thing, because I don’t have time for this.
Silver lining: if I do have strep, I got it from John Green, which means that I probably got infected with his writing skill, too. So look out, world. Here I come.
50 thoughts on “I do not have time to be sick, so of course I am.”
My broken immune system weeps for you, Wil. I wish you a speedy and full recovery.
wish you speedy recovery!
OK now you can take meds then you will be better in a week or you can go to bed and rest then you will be better in seven days.
You brought it with you to Toronto?!! VECTOR 😉
Strep is such a bitch. I used to get it every year as a teenager. I would suggest going to get a culture and see- no sense trying to second-guess yourself when you’re not a doctor. And if it is strep it does respond really well and swiftly to antibiotics. Feel better soon, bud!
Best idea is to go ASAP. If Toronto has drug stores with a registered health professional running a tiny clinic like many Walgreens do here in the States, I would call first to see if they have someone on call and go if they do.
People with strep should not be in the company of humans.
I can catch skills from hugging people??? I’m making a list of people to hug. Call me when you’re healed; you’re on the list
I don’t think it works like that. (The writing skill thing)
Feel better. (See what I did there? It’s like a command. You have to feel better because I said so. Do it.)
Dude, flying was the worst thing you could have done after contracting strep throat…all that crap in the re-circulated air in those planes is worse than hugging John Green with strep . Salt water gargle (hot water, a couple tablespoons of salt ) and gargle that. It usually clears up the soreness anyway. Or you’ll be in so much pain you won’t notice. Best wishes.
As I recall, strep takes something like 10 days to go from exposure to actually getting sick. I am guessing you have allergies.
Nope, I was very wrong. Incubation is only 1-3 days.
Stand by me. Love it! your wit is in full force Wil
The easy way to tell if you have strep is white spots at the back of your throat. Your symptoms sound more like what my husband and I are suffering from, a nasty ass flu. It’s going around and I’m hearing it from people all over the country. I’d say ‘get lots of rest’, but it’s not really going to give you the choice.
I just HATE it when people casually go out and spread their illness. Stay the F home. I get that sometimes people HAVE to – it’s a show up for work or get fired thing, or they’re a single parent and someone has to buy food for the week. But aside from reasons like that it’s a dick move to know you’re sick and go to gatherings.
Well, if you’ve been on antibiotics for several days, it’s very unlikely that you’re contagious. I believe that once you present symptoms (in most illnesses), you’re well past being contagious.
If he was on antibiotics it would be for something bacterial rather than viral, so it would be highly unlikely to be contagious via a hug. Unless you were also French kissing, in which case I REALLY don’t want any more details………
Except with the Strep Throat coughs and sweats from the fever.
Strep throat doesn’t follow the rules. Sure, you say “The United Nations of this person’s immune system says you can’t take this person hostage” and Strep just says “Oh yeah? I did it thirty minutes ago.”
But yeah, being four days in on antibiotics should make them no longer immune. Except when they aren’t because Strep is a jerk. Good news is if Wil is knee deep in Streptown, USA, the doctors should have some fast acting stuff that should at least put him on his feet.
Hi Wil. I’m afraid that is a common misconception. See for example: http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/cold-flu/contagious.htm.
Flu is REALLY bad this year. Go to a doctor immediately, cause the meds to help it only work if you take them in the first 72 hours (I found out the hard way).
Strep, unlike a flu or cold, responds REALLY WELL to antibiotics. Given the choice, I’d rather have strep.
(Recently, when we had to go to Florida, I got a case of strep that the clinic did not diagnose. So I had six days of untreated strep throat, that I was treating like a flu. So go get treated!)
… and if you did have the time, you wouldn’t want to waste it being sick.
You making a “Chopper, sic balls.” reference just made my day.
Damnit John! You’re a hypochondriac! You should know better!
I wish you a speedy recovery Wil. The others in my house have been sick lately too. One with but with the flu and the other was just diagnosed with TMJ disorder.
Argh, strep throat is awful. I used to get it all the time when I worked in retail – too many germy people and their germy money. Get well soon!
I used to get strep all the time (until I evicted my tonsils). There’s a culture test where they swab you and then let you know if you’ve got the nasty bacteria. Then antibiotics are warranted. They will not do any good against cold, flu, or allergies, and may do harm: http://www.cdc.gov/features/getsmart/
That sucks. I hope it’s allergies that go away soon. Allergies can feel as bad as being sick. (The weather has been causing me throbbing headaches.) Feel better soon!
Ouch. Just go get meds – call your physician’s assistant and find out if she can call in a prescription of if you need a visit.
Strep will bang on your immune system hard enough that you’ll be likely to catch something worse if you let it pound you into the ground too long. I have a damaged Eustachian tube that came from pneumonia that came on the tail of getting sick & exhausted & getting strep while doing a whirlwind tour in Asia for a couple of weeks. It damaged my hearing and now I have to clear my ears like a scuba-diver if I so much as drive up a steep hill. PITA. You do not want that. Moral to the story is – get meds – get well – get sleep & sorry to hear about the strep.
Chloraseptic is amazing when you have strep. But be careful. I had strep a lot as a kid and practically drank that stuff. I didn’t realize till using it a few years ago that phenol is not something you want to over-use… What did we ever do before WebMD, right?
Get well! 😉
By the way… very cool thinkgeek toy that you can pre-order to distract you from that box of kleenex for a while.
I just got one for my wife, because…. well, her birthday is coming up & what do you get the sweetest nerdchick who who has ever taken a breath and who already has everything? Lol. A working communicator built from the 3d scan of a prop to pair to her iPhone is pretty much as good as it gets. She’s gonna flip.
All I have is a degree in Elementary Education, but this being the internet I feel 100% qualified to respond. I just got over similar systems minus the John Green connection. The illness took about a week, but the exhaustion lasted another week and a half. Next time you meet Mr. Green, do not shake hands or hug, just bow. Tell him you are cosplaying The Last Samurai (a katana would be a nice touch) and smile…slowly.
Ok Will… Attention please!!!
Cook a nice chili whit at least 4 types oh Chilli chotes you have… IT Must burn everything away, if you know what i mean ^___^
Then before sleep, drink a hot tea… Wear much clothes (even at the Head) an sweat the Night like the morning will never arrive:-)
Then your hole Body will be clean, you got energy from vitamine C that the Chili bombs gave you and feel like a new born little-Wil-Baby!!
Try it and let me know how you felt After this! 🙂
Regards from Cologne,
Wil… you probably won’t read this and have had ALL the cures thrown at you BUT gargle with Betadine! that shit WORKS! it’s an antibiotic/anti viral that goes right to the source and takes those germs to deadtown! Get better dude!
Oh, Wil! I’m sorry this happened! I know you have a reduced immunity and I thought you didn’t hug people for that reason. Get thee to a cleric a have a Cure Disease done, pronto!
Hello Mr. Wheaton, SIR!
Darn right you don’t have time to get sick–you have a talk to give next Monday! Imagine the weeping of the masses, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth, and the rending of garments if you can’t make it!
If strep can be paid forward in talent, can I please have strep from you? I’m pretty sure I can’t actually catch strep via WordPress, but I’m willing to suspend reality enough to believe that I can catch the amazingly talented writer virus if you’d send it my way. Hey, I like this little alternate reality scheme! Get well–that part I mean sincerely.
Bah, a flagon of troll blood and you’ll be fine.*
*Note: This AI is not trained as a medical physician. Always consult your doctor. Troll blood can be dangerous to collect and can turn into a troll.
You were in Toronto, and you didn’t call me? Dude!
Kunal Nayyar, on THE LATE LATE SHOW W/ JAMES CORDEN last night, was saying everyone, but him, were sick over at TBBT, so you’re not alone. Maybe what you got is what they have, probably from Bill Prady. Hope you get well soon!
Honey helps sooth the throat. Sorry to tell you Wil but that sounds like strep. A prescription for Antibiotics usually clears it up. But honey helps sooth the throat. Best of luck on your speech, get some rest when you can.
I can’t wait to read your new novel, The Fault in Our SARS.
Almost every time that I have been horribly unwell it has been thanks to someone who was utterly convinced that they were no longer contagious… I think it would be good manners if people would tell you about this stuff before any physical contact so that you can choose to be cautious about it.
So was it strep?
The strep test came back negative, so my doctor thinks it’s just some mystery infection. I had all this gunk on my throat, so he gave me antibiotics, and I responded within hours of the first dose, so I guess that’s what it was.
Last spring, I had a low-grade fever, weariness, gunk in my head and throat. I tested negative for strep and for the flu, but a flu test doesn’t test for all strains, so my doctor guessed it was just a different flu strain. After a week, I wasn’t getting any better, so they put me on an antibiotic and then I got better. My guess is it was the flu that became a sinus infection, but I’m not a doctor, just a hypochondriac.
Also, because I must LOGIC:
1) You hugged John Green
2) You got on a plane with hundreds of strangers & breathed recirculated air for several hours.
3) You got on another plane with hundreds of other strangers & breathed more recirculated air for several more hours
4) You got sick
Conclusion: Damn you, John Green
I think perhaps we have a case of Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
On my screen, “Damn you, John Green” was followed by “shakes fist in air!”, but I put it in LT/GT brackets, so the HTML interpreter ate it. All in all, it makes my previous post look a little mean toward John Green, who is the person I was defending.
Blog Post Comment: FAIL!
Hahahaha. Fair point.
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