Saturday, April 27, 2013


Last fall I suffered from a persistent cough. It took about a month for the nastiness to finally depart. No health insurance but I managed to acquire a flu shot and didn’t experience influenza. During March my co-worker was ill and came to work anyway. I am very vigilant about washing my hands but I procured the illness nonetheless. Perhaps I breathed in her infected cough particulates that lingered in the air.

Sneezing graduated to intermittent coughing and progressed to a slight fever and sinus congestion within a few days. My coughs were mostly phlegm related, which is gross. I annihilated a couple nose tissue boxes. The poor cats were initially afraid to be near me in case I exploded. I walked around with a cup or glass to catch the milky phlegm because I never knew when I would start hacking. Yuck! What a disgusting experience. At least the phlegm and nasal discharge weren’t yellow or green, which would indicate an infection. I can’t afford to pay for medication.

No sick leave so I worked a half-day after the symptoms began in earnest. I called Lily, my chiropractor, to cancel my appointment because I didn’t want to infect others. She told me to come into her office anyway. She stuck in some extra acupuncture needles to help boost my immune system. It was extremely uncomfortable to lie on my stomach. I had a couple coughing spells and drooled all over the paper towels that I placed in the bottom of the headpiece. She disinfected the room but I still fear that I may have spread the germs to her other patients.

Lily has been formally trained in Chinese Herbology. She took pity upon my plight and gave me some Gan Mao Ling pills. The small tablets contain six herbs and I am not familiar with any of them. However, modern “western” medicine is largely based in the reproduction of natural substances so it can’t hurt to consume the real herb. They smell and taste horrible but I was willing to try. I know a Native American Shaman and he combines herbology with spiritual healing. He refers to my front yard, filled with native perennials, as my pharmacy. I don’t know the proper application of the plants. I do not attempt to administer them beyond smelling their fragrance. They are still frozen in the tundra right now.

Sadly, I have probably dispersed the germs to victimize others. I had to go to work the next day and suffer through a full shift. I took over-the-counter meds to survive but the non-drowsy version still made me a bit loopy. I didn’t want to take another dose because I was concerned that it would interfere with my drive home. The afternoon was horrible as a result. I managed to make it to my domicile safely. I avoided my regular faith-related gathering because I didn’t want to contaminate my fellow parishioners.

The first week was horrible. My stomach hurt from so much coughing. The skin around my nostrils was rubbed raw from the application of nose tissue. My body ached and I was exhausted from lack of sleep. I had to use my nighttime cold-relief over-the-counter pills that were long expired. Methamphetamine is an evil drug but its cold-fighting ingredient is better than what they use today. I piled up the pillows so that I could rest at an angle. It works better for nasal drainage but I only managed to sleep for a couple hours each night. An intolerable situation.

A friend of mine was worried about me so she called on a regular basis. However, it was usually while I was sleeping. She was kind enough to drop off some goodies since I wasn’t feeling well on my birthday. I usually don’t mind living alone but when I am ill it would be nice to have someone pamper me. I’d love to have another person take care of all the household chores and spoil me. I would do the same for them. Alas, the cats won’t even make me soup.

I had a quiet weekend to focus on recuperation. I kept physical exertion to a minimum and tried to sleep. Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. The symptoms gradually reduced after the second week, despite dealing with recovering from whiplash and having to shovel. After ailing for nearly four weeks, I finally feel better. Not 100% but is easier to function without freaking people out by fiercely coughing and discharging the contents of my sinuses.

Wish me a full-time job with insurance.
© Copyright 2013 Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

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