Monday, January 27, 2003

Drink to My Health

Has there been a more germ-ridden winter than this one?

I'm having difficulty remembering one. Pernicious stomach viruses have made the rounds during the last couple of months, as well as various upper respiratory ailments. My husband has been sick since last week and I expect I'm starting to catch the same thing.

There's irony everywhere in this story, of course. My husband, for instance, never takes medicine, eschews doctors, takes vitamins only if badgered and is hit or miss about healthy food. I, in contrast, exercise, eat healthy, go to bed early, and use medicine if needed. Oh yeah, and I did get a flu shot.

Ironically, he gets sick about once or twice a year, but is rarely sick enough to disrupt his daily life. When I get sick, though, I pull out all the stops, with colds that require multitudes of Kleenex, Technicolor intestinal viruses, mysterious fevers, and more.

Here's a sampling:
1999: Laid low by strep throat for nearly a month, possibly contracted from recycled airplane air. Nasty byproduct was exposure to industrial-strength antibiotic that cleared up strep, but left me unable to eat for weeks.
1998: Contracted "throat thing" that induces laryngitis. Nasty byproduct was that I was barely able to speak to anyone at my mother-in-law's funeral.
1989: Endured a winter of chronic bronchitis, brought on by rock & roll lifestyle and smoking. Nasty byproduct was that I managed to graduate from college on time anyway.
1986: Contracted bizarre virus that induces fatigue and dizziness, but no palpable symptoms. Nasty byproduct was multiple visits to the student health center to have blood drawn by people who apparently were still learning this procedure. Had bruises.
1980: Contracted flu that induced a 50% absentee rate at my junior high. Missed a week of school, but in eighth grade, there was nothing going on anyway. Nasty byproduct was that I was so bored at home, I got unreasonably mad at the dog.
1972 or 73: Can't remember what induced a raging-high fever, for which the doctor prescribed putting me in a bath of ice cubes. Nasty byproduct was that I was sick, sleepy, feverish, and COVERED IN ICE.

To be fair, though, none of these things have been seriously debilitating. In fact, I've never been seriously injured or hospitalized in my life, which is a pretty good track record.

But oh, I am not looking forward to the next couple of days. If serious illness results, count on irrational posts such as these:

7 a.m. Called in sick to work again. Listened to voice mail. Cried.
10 a.m. Tried to open bottle of Tylenol. Child-proof cap was uncooperative. Cried.
5 p.m. Still watching television. Got unreasonably angry at cat. Cried.

Raise an echinacea cocktail for me.

(Crossposted at Bells and Whistles)

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