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Sunday, May 3, 2009

One Sick Weekend

Being sick for an entire weekend hardly seems like fair dealing-- unless I was John Wilkes Booth, Pol Pot or the creator of "Benson" in a previous life. Even if I was, I could understand maybe being zonked on the couch for a Friday night, or half of Saturday-- but the whole weekend? Come on.

I'm pretty emotionally fragile as I plod my disoriented way through this weekend. I pulled the final tissue from the box and I almost started to cry. Perhaps I'm menstruating. I don't think so, it's pretty clean down there. I know because I've been showering a lot to clear up my sinuses, but I'll bet I still don't smell too good. It's hard to smell like anything but sick when you're sick. At least I don't smell like Vicks Vap-o-Rub-- I don't use shit like that because it's nasty. I think linaments, balms and salves are things of a previous generation. It's hard to imagine someone who uses a bluetooth headset and polarized sunglasses rubbing some kind of foul smelling ointment that has the consistency of chicken fat all over his chest.

I'm not a good patient either. I regress heavily when I'm ill. How unfortunate for my wife. At least I haven't attempted to nurse. I require lots of hugs when I'm sick. Advil, Sudafed, Advair, Rhinocort and whatever the hell else I'm taking don't seem to do anything-- but the hugs are comforting and send my endorphins pinging around my innards in a very positive way.

It's amazing what sickness does to the body and to the mind. One minute I'm yanking out firmly entrenched weeds in our front "garden," and the next I'm flat-on-my-back useless. It's amazing, too, how it can make things like hugs seem like cancer curatives and things like pulling out the last tissue in a box seem like a nuclear catastrophe. Granted, you have to understand that, when I pulled out the final tissue in that box, I had a green goobity hanging down from my nose that was about as long as a BIC pen. Not to mention the ones that had adhered themselves lovingly to my shirtsleeve, pants, shoes.

You really forget what being sick is like when you're healthy. I guess this is why my boss could not understand why I could not help out with some miniscule, unimportant thing on Friday night.

"I doubt you're really sick," she said. "It's probably just the paint fumes in your house."

"I have a fever," I dryly retorted. "Is that from the paint fumes, too?"

"Oh, well, I don't know."

Right. You don't.

She's sixty-one and she works herself into oblivion because she's a martyr and loves to be regarded as the one-woman show who is capable of doing the impossible. When she gets sick she "just ignores it," which I have tried to convince her is a dubious medical practice.

"Well, I never get so sick that I can't DO," she said after I begged off the Friday night obligation.

Ah, I thought, but you should.

I guess it's difficult to blame healthy people for not understanding what it feels like to be sick. The cotton wool feeling in your ears, the brain-encased-in-jell-o sensation, the baseball bat to the kidneys, the baby sheep up the nose-- it's tricky business explaining this to someone who's in prime physical condition, bounding around doing this and doing that, and looking at you suspiciously as you cry over the last tissue in the box.


  1. If anyone says do you have swine flu.. say yes then cough on them. Later when they are sick offer them a hug. I just got over being sick and three people asked if i had swine flu. I didnt.
    Take care!


  3. Hope you feel better soon! Are you sure you don't secretly work in my office though? My boss is EXACTLY the same... same age too...


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