Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pass the Tissues, Please

At 4 a.m. this morning, I staggered to the computer and updated my status on FaceBook. I wrote: "Bev can't sleep. Throat raw. Want chicken soup and my mommy to take care of me. Might get the soup."

(OK--just shut up about the fact that it was the middle of the night, that I felt like shit, and that the first thing I did was to write about it on the computer, OK?)

I still remember vividly the day I realized I was grown up. I was in my own apartment, had a job, was going to get married soon, and I had the flu. It was a studio apartment with a Murphy bed and I was lying in bed, under the satin quilt that I used to call "flufty wufty" when I was a kid. I had the chills and there was nobody to put a cool hand on my brow, take my temperature, fluff up my pillows, or bring me some soup.

Being sick is never fun, but if you have to be sick, I recommend having my mother around to take care of you.

I remember Lipton's Noodle soup, paper bags pinned to the side of the bed to hold the tissues if I had a cold, or a bucket on the floor if it was something intestinal. She would go to the library and bring home stacks of books for me to read. Each morning she made the bed so the sheets were tight and felt cool and crisp when I climbed into bed again. She was the perfect nurse, and she never complained when she had to clean me up--like the Christmas I got so sick after eating a cranberry jello salad. It had walnuts, celery and marshmallows in it and it was literally decades before I could even think about eating that salad again!

I still remember the comic book she brought to me in the hospital when I had my tonsils out. I was only four years old and I don't know why I remember it, but it was a Donald Duck comic and there was a whirlpool that either Donald or his nephews were caught up in. That's all I can remember, but amazing that it has stuck with me for 60 years!

But at 4 a.m., when your throat is raw and you can't breathe for the stuffiness in your nose, and you've been sneezing for a long time, there is nobody to heat up some chicken soup for you. And you realize that you are a grown up.

I've decided that this is a one-day head cold. It is NOT going to take root and bury itself into my chest because Cousins Day is Thursday and I am not going to miss Cousins Day. Fortunately, after I moved from the couch to the recliner and went back to sleep, I woke up at 8 a.m. and was feeling slightly better. There was nothing creeping down to embed itself in my lungs, which is the surefire sign that I will be sick for weeks.

I fed the dogs, because Walt was upstairs and the dogs were hungry and needed to be fed. They didn't appreciate my bravery, propping myself up to give them food so they didn't have to wait 15 minutes for Walt to come downstairs. Brave, selfless me.

I had my regular toast and cereal breakfast and was even able to taste it, another good sign. Walt kindly agreed to make coffee, when I finally decided to be pathetic and ask him to. Good Walt. It wasn't chicken soup, but at 10 a.m., I wasn't ready for chicken soup, just something warm going down my throat.

The warmth of the coffee (perhaps in addition to the aspirin I take every day anyway) seemed to help the sore throat immeasureably. There was still the sneezing and the blowing, but I could deal with that.

Just as long as the cough didn't start. It's the cough that does me in. I would. not. get. a. cough.

Walt went off to work for a few hours and I asked him to stop and get some Contac on his way home. I almost never take cold medicines. It's either the left over Christian Science of my mother, the desire to be really pathetic and then complain because nobody notices that I"m really pathetic, or the realization that cold medicines don't cure you, but only mask your symptoms.

As a general rule, I am not a pill taker, and the lifelong Catholic in me believes that we need to suffer...and what better way than to endure a cold without the benefit of medicines that will make you feel better?

But as I've added meds for blood pressure and meds for cholesterol and meds for diabetes and vitamins because I realize that my skin almost ever sees sun, so I probably need at the very least Vitamin D, my aversion to medications has diminished significantly, so if I can take something that will stop the sneezing and stop the runny nose and help me feel somewhat more normal...and especially help me be able to feel well for Cousins Day, what the heck.

1 comment:

KandiB said...

I hope you feel better soon! I HATE being sick. I'm Miss Whiny Baby Pee Pants on a Pedestal.

Counsins Day sounds fun! What is it? Mind are scattered all over the country and I haven't seen most of them in it must be fun, whatever it is!