Monday, October 20, 2014

It's Snot Me, It's You

The ever-so-slight tickle in my throat crept in about three weeks ago.

Later, I acknowledged it with a sense of dread on a beautiful fall day and, recognizing its potential, immediately began my routine to control it.
You're getting sick????

For me, a tickle will ultimately become a sore throat or a head cold which, if not the recipient of preventive ju-ju developed over decades (if not grandmother kept a moldy piece of bread at the ready in case anyone needed penicillin)), can land me in the hospital with two lungs full of pneumonia.

Some of you may remember my last trip there.

My inconvenienced and, somewhat, worried family (as in “...Who will make my sandwich???), friends who brought casseroles to feed my starving children because everyone knows Seth considers popcorn and Snickers bars a nutritious meal but mostly the young nutritionist  -- dispatched to my room via hospital protocol -- at whom I swore like a drunken sailor and after which they put a large label on my permanent medical records stating that I was never, ever to be given prednisone again.

Me on prednisone...only I'm worse.

So, in the hope of avoiding another such episode, I hauled out the box of tinctures, the packets of Vitamin C, my line-up of assorted teas, Mucinex, lip balms in flavors of citrus, emollient-infused tissues and a bottle of Jameson's whiskey.

I had already stocked up on fresh garlic, rye bread, diet ginger ale, Tootsie Pops and the current issues of the National Enquirer, People and Star Magazine. Schlocked and loaded, I was ready for anything.
A sip or two when not
feeling well....

Despite my attempt to stave off the full frontal planned by this particular set of germs, this virus packed a punch. I was soon in the thick of it, complete with a voice so deep and gravelly that telemarketers hung up on me

I had not a shred of energy, craved sleep, had a severe sore throat, concrete in my sinuses and was totally convinced that I would never feel well again--thus adding a psychological component to the festivities.

During these periods, I love to ask for favors/issue orders from a reclining position and Seth, the true-nurturer at this address, is usually compassionate and solicitous. Therefore, I was expecting to be pampered as usual.

The red ones are most effective
when  one is ailing.
What I did not take into account is that life at Seth’s job has been very challenging. Just about every piece of machinery there broke down during the summer and is scheduled to be restored this month.

Seth's physical presence is required for these mechanical extravaganzas and, as he told me in the loving way I so craved in my hours of pain and discomfort, “DAMMIT-TYPHOID-MARY-I-CANNOT-GET-SICK-THIS-MONTH-GET-AWAY-FROM-ME-DON’T-EVEN-BREATHE-IN-MY-DIRECTION-GO-SLEEP-DOWNSTAIRS-IN-THE-RECLINER-YOU-DRIPPY-WITCH!!!!!!”

Soon after this outburst, he brought in professional surveyors wearing orange vests and dragging their tripods to precisely calculate where he should position himself in relation to me to best avoid infection. 

He kept the attic fan on throughout the night so that a “cleansing” wind would blow away any spores that might try to “attach themselves to his face” and he carefully sealed my pillow from our bed in a plastic bag. Setting aside one fork, spoon, cup and bowl for my exclusive use, he attempted to make me sign some sort of waiver peppered with phrases like “relinquish all rights” and “may require total ostracism.”  I refused but finally agreed to sleep in a chair downstairs like Lucca Brasi, the semi-catatonic hit man in The Godfather, sat as he waited to pay respects to Don Corleone on the day of his daughter’s wedding. Luca was later garroted to death.


I poured my own ginger ale, warmed up my own broth, unwrapped my own Tootsie Pops and spoke with no one as he had hidden all the portable phones lest I irreversibly contaminate them. I was not allowed to touch the computer or the TV clicker until I threatened to smear him with snot as he slept.

He also lured the cats away with promises of unlimited ‘nip and treats, afraid they might harbor germs in their fur. Et tu, Buzzy?

Despite this demoralization, I am nearly fully recovered. Seth, however, is at my mercy since, regardless of the final addition of the Hazmat suit and the holy water, he got sick anyway.

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