Friday, May 18, 2007

Snake Oil

I am sick.

A few months ago, when I was sick some OTHER time, I said that "I was so sick, even my FEELINGS hurt." Today is another one of those days.

I do believe I saw my uvula shoot out of my mouth yesterday evening during a particularly vigorous bout of coughing. My ribcage is sore from the effort of expulsing (is that a word?) snot gobs (or what passes for snot gobs - could be little chunks of lung, for all I know).

My nasal passages are doing their best to fulfill the "gallon a day" requirement that all good virulent diseases of the upper respiratory system require. The wheezing is almost musical, really, and quite amusing. Just recently I produced the opening strains of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" in my thorax just by drawing breath in preparation for another round of coughing. That's some kind of amazing, right there.

My brain aches. The front part, right over the throbbing sinuses. The rest of my brain has been replaced by fuzz and mucus-storage vesicles, I'm pretty sure.

I have adapted to the watering eyes rather adroitly, I think, by putting the long sleeves of my tee shirt to good use indeed, so much so that the hems of the sleeves are salty to taste. Admittedly, that salt might be some excess snottage that I unthinkingly wiped there while on my way out for coffee this morning, but it's not nice to think about that and so I prefer to believe that the saltiness is tears, at which point I get rather verklempt and tired over the injustice of this illness and maybe produce some more tears.

All those symptoms aside, I have to say that what I REALLY don't much care for are the wholly random bouts of retching. Nope, I could sure do without that. What's worse is that it's retching without production - just enough gagging to cause the hunchback, but not enough to merit a quick run to the loo. That's some nice feature that this virus must have added to its arsenal of humiliation and discomfort. Realllll nice.

You might ask "have you taken anything FOR this snot-producing, head-throbbing, wheeze-engendering ailment of yours, Tiff?", at which point I would start to kick at the ground and whistle softly (perhaps from my lungs, as melodic as they've been lately), because no, I have not taken anything to relieve me of the symptomatology of this most recent invasion of my body by an invisible assailant. Why do THAT? Why TRY to feel better?

Fact is, I don't even have the energy to go out and attempt to open up the package of cold meds I bought for the kids when THEY were sick last week. Those little foil packets bug the bejebus out of me because I can't ever figure out how they're SUPPOSED to open, and I'm THIS CLOSE to crying in frustration over far simpler things, like what kind of cereal I should have for breakfast. I don't need the struggle with the cold medicine package to send me right over the edge, now DO I?

As a matter of fact, I prefer the "nap me" method of recovery, in which I slide into bed, drawing the comforter (so aptly named!) up around my shoulders, and snuggle in for a nice long rest, after which I just KNOW I'll feel tons better. MmmMMMMmmm, naps. Love them. So wonderful.

Except that when I try to take a nap, here's what's going through my poor addled brain:

  • If only my head didn't pound when I recline.
  • If only my nose didn't leak on the pillow while my sinuses fill with gunk.
  • If only my eyes didn't water and drain tears into my ears.
  • If only the horizontal position didn't set me up for another round of explosive coughing, threatening to evict another half a lung in one swell foop.


It's time to admit defeat at the hands of a swarm of microscopic enemies. It's time to bring out the big guns, I guess.

It time to get those meds, and a sharp knife with which to cut open the recalcitrant packaging. Sleep won't come if I can't sleep, after all. If I can use a dangerous weapon to achieve my goal, so much the better.


All of which prompts me to ask a question or several:

What are your favorite home remedies for colds and such? Anything ALWAYS work for you?

Tell me about your preferred brand of snake oil, won't you? I'm ready to try anything.

Thanks, in advance, for your help.

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