And on the 7th day, she rested less

Not to belabor the “oh poor me, I’m so sick” thread, but GEEZ — this latest cold/flu/virus thing has been just horrible.

Today, Day 7, I feel semi-human again (that means I only still have a clogged ear, a less-sore throat, and lingering laryngitis from coughing up bits of lung). I thought nothing could top last year’s episode, but this year’s double-whammy (5-day bout of misery, 7-day halfhearted recuperation, then 7-days-and-counting relapse) has been something other-worldly. Complete with conjunctivitis (pinkeye) of all things.

I so wanted to be dipped in an antibiotic bath (or at least get some in pill form), but haven’t had anything but OTC meds (save the eye drops prescribed  for the pinkeye, though that was probably viral in origin as well). Intellectually, I know antibiotics do nothing for viruses, but emotionally, I needed to think there was something to kill the invaders — my immune system sure wasn’t doing it. I tried a few of the “natural remedies”… gargling with saltwater, drinking apple cider vinegar and honey in water, steaming my head over a bowl of boiling water…to no avail. The only thing that actually felt good was drinking lemon juice and honey in hot water when even tea was more than I could stomach.

So what’s the deal? Have the viruses gotten that much stronger or have I gotten that much weaker? Before last year, I could count on one hand the times in my life I’d had anything even remotely like this. Now I’ll be worrying I’ll never have a “normal” cold again. Also, I thought the body built up immunity — that once you had a certain virus, your body could fight it off next time (I think I gleaned this from an episode of House — probably incorrectly. Or maybe it only works for chicken pox. Or maybe all these viruses I’ve gotten are different. Or maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about.) And all this despite taking a handful of supplements daily, eating pretty well, and exercising regularly.

Forget giant sunglasses and clunky plastic clogs. I think these young ladies have the right idea — imagine how much illness we could prevent if this were the next fashion fad. Maybe I should lead the trend.


Sickness comes on horseback but goes away on foot.
~ A proverb

Toast, ginger ale, and BBC America

I relapsed into cold/flu miserableness two days ago. Today marks 2 weeks since the whole thing started. In that time, I’ve:

  • Consumed more toast and “green tea”  ginger ale than I have in the last 2 years
  • Discovered, for the first time, BBC America’s quirky daytime programming, featuring: people who try to find treasures amid the Trash in the Attic (if only); people who try to find bargains at a flea market and resell them for a profit at auction (they almost never do); two plucky British ladies who clean up the filthiest houses you have ever seen and can’t believe people would live there let alone allow it to be filmed; a hotelier who goes into troubled inns and B & B’s and helps the owners turn them around (very interesting — who hasn’t thought about running a B&B?), and the invariably foul-mouthed chef, Gordon Ramsay, who, in two different programs, tries to turn around failing restaurants and runs his own restaurant (“The F Word”), training newbies in the process.
  • Dosed myself, at various times, with 6 different OTC meds
  • Gone through 2 boxes of lotion-infused tissue — and counting
  • Missed at least 4 days work (it’s times like these I’m especially glad I don’t have to report to a real office)
  • Infected my husband, who perhaps reinfected me?

I’m sure this too shall pass. But until it does, I’m one miserable wench. And my house is a wreck — maybe I’ll have to rethink the British cleaning ladies. (Is it better to die of embarrassment or dirt?)

Spring is not the best of seasons.
Cold and flu are two good reasons;
wind and rain and other sorrow,
warm today and cold tomorrow.
Whoever said Spring was romantic?
The word that best applies is frantic!
~ Author unknown

Back among the living — and loving it.

Nothing like a killer case of the flu to bring new perspectives to life. What started out 2 days before Christmas as an annoying holiday cold, 10 days later had relapsed into what had to be the flu or a very good impersonator. I don’t believe I’ve ever been that ill before — 3 days of pure misery. (Note to self: Get a flu shot next year.)

But today was better — temperature almost back to normal, body aches all but gone, no chills or sweats, corner turned. With fresh meds to see me through the last stages, clean sheets on the bed, another day of rest ahead of me — I feel grateful. Especially when I think of all the people out there for whom pain and illness and simply not being well is a fact of life. Day after day, week after week, month after month. Through no fault of their own, life is a struggle of making it through, trying to stay positive, and never really feeling good. Sure makes a couple of weeks of feeling lousy seem so insignificant. 

It’s one of those wake-up calls we all need now and then: Count Your Blessings. Sitting here in my cozy living room, tapping away on my laptop, surrounded by cheerful Christmas decorations and beautiful lights (it’s Twelfth Night!), I can’t feel anything but incredibly blessed. Remind me of these the next time I complain about silly annoyances or the ups and downs of everyday life: Status quo is quite enough. “Normal” is worth celebrating. Life is good.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
                               ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson