Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sick Daze

For years, I had an enviably ironclad immune system. I never got sick, no matter how many watery-eyed snifflers and sneezers got up in my grill. That winning streak came to a runny-nosed halt 3 years ago.

I’m currently engulfed in what’s become my annual head cold. It’s all I can think about. These yearly colds are comparable to how a few of my relatives used to be – you never quite know when they’re coming and, when they do turn up, you’ll be put upon for 3 days to a week.

I feel hot, but don’t have a fever. I lie down, but can’t sleep. I’m functional, but my joie de vivre has taken an unauthorized leave of absence. Plans have been canceled; the chamomile tea binges are in full force; my ears, nose, throat, and taste buds have been violated. There are people who stoically suffer these kinds of snotty setbacks multiple times a year.

Yes, it’s true: I do love how deep and husky my voice sounds the day before hell breaks loose. But once the nasal congestion sets in, I avoid speaking as much as possible – it’s uncomfortable and it can lead to confusion. I once went to a bridal shower on the first day of a head cold, and when one of my bride-friend’s extended family members asked what line of work I’m in, she thought I said auditor instead of editor. For the rest of the shower, and at the following weekend’s wedding reception, there was little end to the tax references and “I better be careful about what I say around you” jokes. I didn’t correct her because she was always situated too far away from me (I certainly couldn’t upset my fragile, recuperating voice by shouting over all the racket); and I enjoyed being mistaken for an auditor. I’ve had a reputation for being a lot of things, but a math and numbers whiz isn’t one of them - it was then or never.  

She later tried to set me up with a busboy. He was cute, but gave off the innocent/hypersensitive vibe of someone who wouldn’t be able to handle me in sickness or in health. 


  1. Sorry to hear that you've been ill. I hate head colds - or any form of cold or flu for that matter. Hope you get well soon! ;-)

  2. Feel better! I've felt the same way lately - insomnia is wicked, and all weekend I was on my couch curled up with a blanket! Ginger ale helps me, if only for a placebo effect. :)

  3. Somehow colds in the wintertime feel more appropriate. Colds in the spring and summer just piss me off royally. Here's hoping you're back in full force soon!

  4. Before having a child, I did pretty well at keeping germs away from myself. But, upon having a toddler who was busy playing with other toddlers,I found that children are little germ factories, and the parents do not escape. My child lived on antibiotics until the age of five, because her colds went into ear infections repeatedly, and our pediatrician had reasons for not installing tubes in her ears. Our pediatrician recommended that we buy stock in a pharmaceutical firm, as that way maybe we could get back some of our expenditures on medicine. Don't worry, he was just kidding :)
    Anyway, years later I was talking with a mother who said her child had never had antibiotics in her then ten-year-old life. I just stared at her with my jaw dropped. How could this be? I guess children fall into one of two categories: those who are pretty much always sick, and those who are pretty much always well.
    One word of advice: Be sure to get your kids vaccinated for all the more serious stuff out there, like whooping cough, diphtheria, etc. I'm especially conscious of it, as my mother's little brother died of whooping cough, before there was a vaccination for it. Believe me, breast milk and healthful eating do not really protect a child when a really nasty germ takes up residence in his or her body.

  5. You sound like "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, very Bad Day" story. Also, being hot and not having a fever and not being able to sleep describes my post-menopausal stuff. Watch it girl, and snap yourself out of all that stuff. You don't want it hanging around you for too long. Other than that, hope you get well soon. :)