A 12-hour sickness. That is the only way I can think of to describe my experience yesterday afternoon. Not long after I returned home from a meeting at church, I quite suddenly started feeling ill. I developed a headache, my feet and hands felt ice-cold, I was feverish, and I shivered so much that my teeth chattered. Although the temperature in the house was about 75°F, I needed multiple blankets to warm me; only after spending an hour or so under those blankets did I stop shivering. Mi novia checked my temperature: though not high enough to be concerning, it was, at 100.5°F, about three degrees warmer than normal. I spent several hours reclining on a sofa, under three blankets, until I moved into the bedroom around 10:00 p.m. During those hours on the sofa, my gut growled relentlessly, though no pain accompanied the noisy racket. When I woke this morning around 4:00, I felt much better: no more shivers, only a mild headache, and no longer feverish. I do not feel like running a marathon, but I am much closer to “normal” than I was yesterday afternoon and evening. That having been said, my mind feels strangely “fuzzy” this morning, as if I were recovering from anesthesia. I should engage in follow-up from yesterday’s church board meeting, but I do not feel quite up to giving that chore adequate intellectual attention. Maybe later in the day. Oddly, though I had no dinner, I am not hungry this morning. I wish I knew what happened to make me feel so suddenly sick; and why I feel better this morning. I hope the improvement is not temporary.
The CIA World Factbook offers a rather sterile, indifferent picture of the Faroe Islands. An “arts” piece on CNN.com presents a more human, rather emotional portrait of the nation from the perspective of a photographer, Andrea Gjestvang, whose photographs capture the stark, unforgiving landscape and the islands’ male/female imbalance. The nation’s population is weighted toward men, with 107 men to every 100 women. After reading the CNN.com piece, I searched the internet for details about the country and, later, for photographs of its rugged landscape. The place is absolutely stunning in its beauty, though its harsh, mountainous character suggests it would be a hard place to live. The average high temperatures throughout the year range from the low 40s to the mid 50s; the average lows range from the mid 30s to the mid 40s. And the island climate is marked by frequent cloud covers and high winds. A harsh, rough, demanding place of spectacular beauty. I think I might love to spend time there, but it seems like a place that does not treat aging, physically unfit, old men especially well. I suspect life on the Faroe Islands demands physical and mental and emotional strength. I probably would not find it easy to live on the Faroe Islands, simply because the prevalent language (Faroese) is not in my repertoire. According to the official site of the Faroe Islands: “Faroese is similar in grammar to Icelandic and Old Norse, but closer in pronunciation to Norwegian.”
Though I have been up for nearly two hours, I suddenly feel very tired again. Here it is, a quarter to six, and I am feeling a bit weak and sleepy. Damn! Maybe a nap will revive my energy.