Dear People who have Recently Come Down with Hepatitis A because you Bought Frozen Berries from Costco,
First, let me say I feel your pain. Literally. Or I did when I myself had hepatitis 24 years ago this summer. Mostly I felt it in my liver. And also I felt tired. As in completely dead tired. In all my years of living, I have never ever felt that tired, and I hope never to feel that tired again.
Anyway. I'm writing you this letter so you'll know what to expect.
1. A call from the Health Department. They will want to track where the disease came from and also who you may have possibly given it to. This is where lying comes in handy. Under no circumstances should you tell them you spent the last week chopping vegetables for a ward dinner. Also, expect the Health Department people to strap bells around your neck and instruct you to shout UNCLEAN every time others approach you. (I know. I've made this joke before. But I think it's a good one.)
2. Visitors who confess they once had the Hepatitis, too. You'll be surprised by how many people you know who've had the virus, too. It's like you enter this super secret shameful subculture of people who apparently don't wash their hands. WHICH ISN'T ALWAYS HOW YOU GET IT, JUST SO YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I AM NOT UNCLEAN. Sorry for the outburst. But people do start to look at you a little differently. Unless they've had it themselves. Anyway, you do appreciate the support. You just wish these people didn't visit you in the middle of the night when they know none of the neighbors is looking.
3. Unremitting nausea. Remember how you used to like food? You won't anymore. About the only thing you can eat are popsicles and watermelon. Which you better pray someone will bring you, because trust me. You will be too tired to get them for yourselves.
4. Yellow eyeballs. Yup. Your eyeballs turn yellow. Like mustard. SO CUTE!
5. A lot of time off work. Here's the deal. Kids roll through the Hepatitis pretty easily. It's just like a bad flu bug that lasts a few days and then they're over it. You, meanwhile, will pray nightly for death for the next six weeks or so.
I know. It's nasty stuff, and you have my deepest sympathy. But there is an upside. From here on out you can say NO to blood drives at school, at church, at work. Because once people find out you've had the Hepatitis, no one--and I do mean ABSOLUTELY NO ONE--wants your blood. Which is awesome!