Inhale…and…still trying

My usual daily attitude is one of supreme happiness. I mark my visage with a gloriously toothy grin. I smile at one and all. There is always something around me that can make me feel content about life. I am your typical Pollyanna believing that every day can be the “Best Day Ever”! That WAS true until yesterday at about 2:42 pm when my cheery soul was kidnapped and replaced with a dark a demented life sucker.

What happened? I am the poster child for health. Got a cold? I’ll be your healer. Nothing ever affects me. Ever. Well, the day of “ever” has finally arrived and I have been royally knocked over onto my keister. Maybe I’m being overdramatic, but saying I’ll rather be dead is really a thought that has crossed my mind. Let me explain how my brain when from sunshine and lollipops to a machete-wielding psychopath.

TIMELINE:

Day 1: Slight sniffle. Nothing new there. It’s a transition from my nice warm home to the chilly outdoors. The air is cool and refreshing. It’s winter in Canada. I have my down-filled winter coat on. I am wearing my fur-lined hood. I have my thick winter gloves on and my faux-fur lined woolly boots. My body is sufficiently protected from the elements. I have preheated my car and I’m ready to roll. *sneeze.

Day 2: *sniffle, sniffle, sniffle, sneeze, sneeze, sneeze, sneeze. Ok, this is annoying. *blow nose. Ok, that’s 6 facial tissues used in as many seconds. This ain’t right. (Yeah, my brain forgets grammar when I’m not feeling 100%). Ok, it’s a cold. Drink lots of fluids. Amp up the Vitamin C. Pull out the echinacea pins. All defenses up! Time to get fighting! I am ready for battle!

Day 3: *cough, cough, sniffle, sniffle, sneeze, sneeze, blow nose. My eyes are going to fall out of my head. Really, it’s true! Blinking is actually painful. I never realized how often I blink in one day. My sinuses…my throat…my ears…my nose. I am very aware of my facial orifices. Everything hurts. My nose is raw and red from sneezing and blowing. My sinuses are chock full of something because they are the ones trying to push my eyeballs out of my head. The pain is incredible. Ouch. I blinked again. THAT HURTS! How is it possible that blinking hurts! I have had migraines, and that is painful, but this whole body soreness is … NO I’M NOT WHINING!

Day 4: *cough, cough, wheeze, wheeze, nose whistle, sneeze, blow nose. I think a bug landed on my arm. There is a bruise the size of a grapefruit there now. I never knew how much skin I had on my body. I put some hand cream on my crocodile-skin legs and arms. The chore itself made me wonder how I usually have the ability to lift my arms daily, as now they each weigh about 2000 lbs. How does my neck hold my head? It really is a a miracle. Breathing…something I definitely took for granted. I try to breathe through my mouth because my nose no longer wants to do that job. *Inhale…COUGH COUGH HACK HACK COUGH COUGH! Right! That’s why my nose needs to get back to doing the breathing thing ’cause my mouth doesn’t want to be the substitute. My next thought…I wonder if I can learn to breathe through my ears. It might be easier.

Day 5:

Day 6: I don’t know what happened to day 5. With my Sherlock Holmes hat on, I survey my surroundings and try to deduce what happened. Here is what I see: Box of facial tissues…an empty box. Pile of “used” tissues. Bottle of water. Bottles of pills: Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, echinacea, Advil. Small bottle of Eucalyptus essential oil, mug with camomile tea bag, jar of honey, spoon of honey stuck to nightstand. Shot glass? *sniff. Cognac. Well, looks like Day 5 was my Armageddon. I chose my weapons both herbal and man-made. Looks like my flu bug cocktail of choice knocked me out for the day. Unconsciousness was a much better way of dealing with this hideous illness. Good news…at home and not in hospital.

Day 7: One week of my life play “Torturing Pollyanna”. Wait…*sniff. I think my one nostril is working. *cough, cough. Ok, so if I inhale I cough. Breathing leads to venomous vipers ripping at my throat. Still trying to get my ears to do my breathing.

Day 8: Have I blinked yet today? I must have. No pain. *blink-blink. Woo hoo! I am on the mend! My nose…oh bless you…no, not from sneezing. Bless you for coming off strike and taking up your old job again. I love you, you snot-filled wonder. You are incredible. I touch my nose, gingerly. The poor thing is so sore. It’s scraped raw from all that horrible facial tissue. My arms aren’t as heavy anymore. They feel like they weigh their usual normal weight. What is that…off in the distance? Are we reaching the finish line toward salvation?

Day 15: It has been 3 weeks and I feel like a totally different person. I am reborn. I am so grateful for surviving that horrible illness. It wasn’t even the flu like I thought. I never had a fever. But let me tell you, I am beyond happy at being one of the healthy again. I love my nose, my throat, my lungs. I even love my ears (I do think at one point they did take in a few breaths for me…how else could I have survived?).

So, my Pollyanna-ism has grown exponentially larger. I am even more grateful and happy with everything I have in my life. My happy medicine that healed me. My body that worked hard to get me back to my usual happy self.

Salute! To my body…you are incredible!

Transmogrified, Evil Villain…

Life is great!  I am happy!  Cough…Happy!  Cough cough!  What the heck is going on?  Hmmm, there is a wee tickle in my throat.  Ahem, ahem…cough cough.  HACK-COUGH!   My nose is itchy.  What is this?  There is leakage from my nasal passages.  Grab a facial tissue and blow my nose.  Blow again.  One more time!  Phew!  Think I got it all.  Great!  Wait a minute.  I can’t hear anymore.  What is going on?  I don’t have a fever or anything.  What new strain of evilness is this?  Yes, it appears I have a cold.  If it is so normal then why do I feel so AB-normal?

I have become a transmogrified evil villain!  I am usually the upbeat “Pollyanna” type rooting for everything good in the world!  “You can do this!”  I exclaim.  “Live in denial!” I yell to myself.  This self-lie usually works to trick my body into thinking that I am not ill.  It’s not real.  I can get past this.  Yet, here I am on day 9 (yes day 9) and I have managed to get hearing back in one ear.  The Super Cough has diminished to a mere whisper of its previous potency.  My bruised ribs have finally stopped screaming at me so I guess I actually did not crack any ribs in cough-a-lot episodes.  My sinuses…oh my…those beauties made my eyes look like fish eyes…all bulgy and watery.  Why am I describing my ailments?  I believe it is vitally important to share information that might make others feel better about their life situation, knowing that there are “others” like them.

To be honest, the reason I bring up my gross illness is because I have become a horrible human being.  I have become an uber, ugly, vindictive “reality show” type personality on the person I love.

When you get sick as a parent, you are not allowed to show weakness.   You are the doctor.  You are the nurse.  You are the most patient and understanding person in their lives.  When they say their teardrop hurts their cheek, it’s a reality you need to remedy to make them sleep.  However, when the children are out of the house and you become ill, you finally get to plead illness (and insanity).  Who gets the brunt of your illness woes?  Your bestie!  The person who will always be there for you through thick and thin.  It’s true right?

Think about it.  Wiseguy told me right from the beginning that one crucial element of a good relationship is:  COMMUNICATION!  For those of you who do not understand what that means, I shall simplify.  If there is something that is bothering you and you are holding it inside instead of talking about it, that means you are NOT communicating.  This would be a perfect example of my parent’s household.

In my parents house if you were upset, you held it in because there was no point in discussing issues.  Parents were always right.  Siblings?  No talk…more about actions and getting even (bwahaha!).  So, now I had to learn this “talk” thing.

For those of you who were taught manners and behaving properly and “be sure not to offend anyone” this was a difficult task.  After several years I got the hang of it.  It’s not about yelling and picking on each other, it’s actually discussing things, in adult words, no F-bombs.  It’s sharing thoughts, ideas, opinions.  It really does work.  Well, it works while you are both of sound mind.  When one gets sick, sense and sensibility gets thrown out and the evil “sick” monster takes over.

As previously mentioned, I have been the caretaker for many.  If I did get ill (i.e.”West Nile Virus), I still had my father-on-law come to me whilst I was lying on the couch and ask me: “What’s for dinner?”  Yes, it’s true.  When children get sick, parents don’t get timeouts.  It doesn’t matter how tired you are, the children are most important and one day you hope you will have time to sleep.  So, here I am, 20 years later, sick myself, and I am incorrigible.

I have been apologizing to Wiseguy on an almost hourly basis!  Why?  Because I am yelling at him for not speaking loudly enough for me to hear him.  My ears are plugged.  When my one ear canal finally opened up I complained that he was talking too loudly.  Even better… he now has whatever ailment I have and I am complaining when he can’t hear me!  I am agitated.  I am irritated!  I can’t hear properly.  I keep throwing verbal darts at Wiseguy.  He can do nothing right.  He made me a beautiful breakfast and I complained about the pan he used.  Cruel!?  For sure!

So, this little story is two-fold:

To Cold Sufferers:  You are not in your normal state of mind.  When you find that you are going crazy and verbally assaulting those you love, remember to apologize for being an intolerable pain.

To my hubby:  You are the best!  You should get hazard pay for dealing with my psycho-sicko mood swings.  I’m here for you.  (I hear you coughing right now.  Thanks for letting me share my unhealthy goodness with you!  Bwahaha!)

P.S.  Although I am of the elder-world, I find that many children’s books can simply explain life’s difficulties.  As adults we find “big words” to explain our life situations.  Over the past few days, in my whiny state of mind, I thought about how “horrible” I felt and recalled one of my all time favourite stories.  It made me laugh out loud (nowadays known as LOL):  Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Do you have a favourite storybook?  If so, what is so special about it?