I like to consider myself a man of science. When I came down with flu-like symptoms (temperature of 102.5 F / 39.2 C, muscle aches, occasional cough) I of course realized that I must have been exposed to a flu virus, although it is unlikely I’ll get tested to know specifically which one it is.
But there’s just a little bit of me that rejects the rational science expectation. Here’s why: Sunday afternoon I went for a traditional Thai massage, something I haven’t done in at least nine months. Like shiatsu, Thai massage is about manipulating pressure points and working deeply into your muscle tissue. It can be painful.
Before going into the two-hour massage I felt fine but afterwards my muscles ached as if I had been beaten up. More than once I had to ask the masseuse to lighten the pressure a bit. Sunday evening my face and neck were flushed and warm although a check of temperature didn’t show any notable elevation. I drank plenty of liquids and got some extra rest.
Monday, though, it wasn’t getting any better. I got up and worked for a while and then went back in to take a nap. Checking my temperature, it was up to 38.1 C (37.0 is normal body temperature) and as the evening went on it spiked at 39.2 C. Ibuprofen didn’t seem to be making any difference. Fortunately, I’ve not had any nausea and my appetite has remained healthy. This evening my temperature seems to have dropped a bit (haven’t check it yet but I feel cooler) and I had a light dinner of whole grain rice and some “gaeng jut” – so called “bland” soup which is broth with some ground meat and soft tofu in it.
I’ll get a full night’s sleep tonight and see how I feel in the morning. If the temperature drops then I won’t go to the hospital.
Again, I know there’s a rational and scientific explanation for my illness. But I can’t help wondering if the masseuse didn’t manipulate my energy points in such a way that it brought on the symptoms or opened the door to the virus by messing with my immunity.
Maybe an unfair assumption but I’ll probably be hesitant to get another full-bore Thai massage for a while. Maybe just stick with the foot and shoulder massage, which is less painful.
Tuesday Evening: Despite taking ibuprofen for the fever, my temperature has gone up and down always staying at least a bit about normal. Right now at 9:10 pm it is 39.0 C (about 102 F). Chest congestion has built over the last twenty-four hours with a very deep, rumbling cough beneath my breast bone. I’ll head to the hospital in the morning and have this checked out.