It was the morning of Dec. 31, 1982, when Jan Kellstrom was stricken.
"I was in the kitchen preparing dinner," said Kellstrom, 25, a Prince William County schoolteacher. "I had a little headache, but I was feeling great. We were just back from vacation.
"Then within 10 or 15 minutes I suddenly got very nauseated and dizzy and almost passed out."
She thought she had the flu. But the next day she had a red rash all over her body. She couldn't sit up. She was so weak she had to crawl to the bathroom. That night her temperature hit 106 degrees, and her husband took her to the Fairfax Hospital emergency room.
The diagnosis: toxic shock syndrome, probably associated with her use of a tampon.
"That night I got worse," she recalled. "Or maybe it was the next night. I didn't know whether it was day or night. I was really out of it."
She remained in the hospital for eight days, much of it "hooked up to machines--I was really scared. I just didn't know what was happening."
Jan Kellstrom recovered. Yet, 2 1/2 months later, she reports, "I'm still right now very tired."