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Sick As A Dog, And Everything Is Relative

Hey, Friend.

I interrupt all regular programming to bitch and complain about how much it sucks when you are sick. It seems to suck double now that I have children, because children do not give a flying squirrel that I am sick. I am pretty sure they are the ones who made me sick - but they burned through whatever bug this was in two days, and are back to bouncing off the walls.

Meanwhile, here’s how I described my current condition to a friend:

In my feverish haze, I went into the largest online mommy group that I am a part of, and posted the following:

So far the consensus is: – yes, it’s a stage – yes, it ends eventually – the kids will probably be 10 and 12 when it does, so… giddy up and hold on, it’s a long road. Please enjoy this account of one particularly nasty case of the cold - written BEFORE children - when I had way more time and bandwidth to feel sorry for myself:

I am clearly dying. I rarely go to the doctor, but this time - I NEED to see a doctor. ASAP.

The drive TO the clinic is... dodgy. I spend most of my 20-min wait leaning against a wall, trying not to collapse. The doctor finally calls me in. What brings you here today?” “I am never sick. And now I feel like death. My throat. My chest. My whole body”. Underlying message: There is clearly something horribly wrong with me. Please make this go away, or send me back to the glue factory. PLEASE! After a few questions, and listening to my chest, the doctor announces:Congratulations, you have the flu!”. I am not fucking kidding. He says “congratulations”. I was pretty pissy before that, now I am downright insufferable. He reminds me to drink lots of fluids (my throat hurt so bad I couldn’t stomach anything else anyway), and to sleep lots (great advice in theory, but incredibly frustrating in practice – I was so sick, I could not fall asleep at all). “Where is your regular pharmacy?”. My regular pharmacy? “I don’t have a regular pharmacy. I am healthy as a horse”. I am clearly not in the mood to be helpful. The doctor sends me downstairs with a prescription for a $30 nasal spray – mostly to make the visit feel worthwhile, I am sure. When I arrive at home, and announce the not-so-dire diagnosis to Italian, he is amused to no end. “Who has the common, usual, ordinary, pedestrian, cliche flu?”, he teases. I just pout into my eleventh mug of Neocitron. (According to the doctor, I should not exceed 4,000mg of acetaminophen per 24 hours, which seems about 4,000,000mg short). Italian, of course, correctly deduced that I was secretly hoping for a much more serious, and definitely more unique diagnosis than the common freaking flu. You know… to validate my suffering, and all. I spend a few days mimicking the lifestyle of our cats – ever so slowly moving from the bed to the couch and back. I can’t seem to regulate body temperature all of a sudden (even more so than usual) – the experience of standing in a hot shower, and shaking from the cold is pretty unnerving. I take multiple showers a day, and stick my feet in a bucket of hot water for the remainder of the time. Oh, and as soon as I get warm, I immediately get too hot, and spend the next few hours sweating violently through every single layer of towels, clothes, and/or bedding surrounding me. I ask for strange foods – namely, hot and sour soup, Kraft dinner, and hot dogs. The first of those at least makes sense – it’s a hot spicy soup that clears your sinuses, and makes you happy on the inside. The last two items – Italian double and triple checks. “Are you sure?”. [Maybe now he will finally believe that I am dying? Although, I doubt I’d get KD and hot dogs for my last meal. No sir!]. Then I ask him to boil some potatoes. You want mashed potatoes?”, he nods. No, I want to breathe the potato air over the pot”, I respond. He lifts his head to join me in a laugh, and sees that I am dead serious. Pretty sure that’s the last straw. “I am NOT boiling you freaking potatoes so you can breathe over them!”. “What’s the big deal? We used to do it when we were kids all the time!”. “Because it’s ridiculous!”. “So what? Just a regular example of Soviet self-healing voodoo.” “I am going to make mashed potatoes. You can do whatever you want with the water, breathe it in or whatever, but that’s NOT why I am boiling potatoes. I am making mashed potatoes!!!”. Forty five minutes later, I am sitting at the kitchen counter with a towel over my head, and my face over the pot, breathing in the starchy steam from the boiled potatoes. Mmmmmm…. Childhood. Fast forward two days, and I am... feeling fantastic. And I find that fact hilarious, because my feeling fantastic is very much RELATIVE to how I have been feeling in the last 48 hours, aka “wanting to die”. Thus, I keep forgetting that I am still very much sick. Whenever I decide to utter a sentence that is a tad too long, I am stopped in my tracks with an attack of coughing that physically brings me to my knees. But hey, I can utter short sentences! A little more, a little better! I went downstairs to my office for the first time in three days. After an hour, I was exhausted. That’s sitting in a chair, and gently pressing on keys, y’all. But it’s an hour! A little more, a little better! It’s all relative. So relative. I got an email from my mother later today. It says: “Sorry to hear you are sick! Try deep inhaling under the pan with boiling water with soda or potato. It does help!”



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