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I’m much better than I was. I can breathe, for example, though my chest rattles when I do. I’m coughing less — maybe 10% of waking time. I’m sleeping less than 10 hours a night.

This is the point in the illness when the ailment becomes irritating. I’m bored, tired of being ill, and miserable. I feel like I lost a week out of my life. I’m eating popcorn and ice cream and I would be whining if I had anyone to whine to.

Because at this point, it’s all about trying to feel better.

Up to this point, it’s about hoping not to die. Thinking about what might prevent death and encourage recovery. Being unable to contemplate ice cream or the effort involved in getting it.

My husband brought me a cup of weak, lukewarm tea a couple of times and I was pitifully grateful.

Now I want effective drugs, entertaining TV shows, and chocolate. Or at least ice cream.