Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Head Cold Story

I hate having a head cold.  I don’t get this pesky viral infection very often; once every few years, I’d guess.  I managed to escape it when the rick-man and two of our good friends succumbed this past fall.  I guess my time is now due and I’m not really surprised.

These past two weeks afforded me more than my normal yearly allotment of trips to Walmart, Target and B3.  Seems each trip landed me in an aisle next to a youngster or an oldster that was coughing, sneezing and generally looking miserable.  I’m ready to stereotype both the Youngers and the Olders when it comes to colds:  they are equally willing to share their misery.  And I’m also ready to judge both youngsters and oldsters as having taken a day of targeted sick leave, missing their required corporate safety training on the latest technique for sneeze containment:  the bended elbow—that would be theirs, I mean. 

When I get “sprayed” by a stranger’s sneeze (which happened three times in the last two weeks), I have to pay special attention NOT to release my own spray of words expressing--well, you know.  “Bless you” is not what comes to my mind as I’m wiping away someone else’s liquid residue.  I’ll give colds one credit: they level the playing field on the cuteness factor.  Youngsters with colds are no cuter than oldsters with colds.

I’m guessing every hue-mawn hates having a head cold.  I remember a college roommate who complained of gaining 10 pounds with each cold.  She was a self-proclaimed chocoholic.  I especially liked the brownies she baked when she was studying for an upcoming physics or math exam.   But when she had a head cold she would go into her best chocolate creative overdrive:  chocolate-chip cookies; chocolate pudding; chocolate fudge; and if she felt like it, those delicious chocolate brownies.

In terms of my own quirkiness, I hate having a head cold because I get depressed.  I don’t mean the kind of depressed with the capital D that implies a clinical condition.  I mean the lower-case type of depression that creeps up on me when I succumb to my cold’s tiredness factor and attempt an afternoon nap. 

After a sleepless night of cold symptoms, I was surprisingly productive this morning, working on my dulcimer relationship.  But after a carbohydrate-loaded lunch I could feel my stuffy head and nose pulling my body downward, convincing me that a nap was the answer for a speedy recovery:

And so it happened—as has happened since memory served me with each head cold.  I closed my eyes, and gave over to that exhausted feeling that plays a special accompaniment to the head cold. I waited for sleep to come, convinced it would be a ready attribute of exhaustion.  But no--my mind went where it always goes with a head cold: into an active overdrive that has nothing to do with chocolate creations.   Seems every sad, painful and frustrating memory pops into my cold-infested head any time I try and take a rest.  For some reason, the worst memories of my life are always the ready companions to my head cold’s call for rest.
I don’t know why depression invades my rest when I have a head cold, but it always does.  And so it happened today.  I won’t spray a laundry list of the broken parts of my life.  A bended elbow won’t stop them, but you might think a bended knee could.  Fair enough. 
And so after 45 minutes of eyes closed, stumbling through the worst of memories, I got up, blew my nose and wiped some tears.  I put on some John Prine, and decided to pound the keyboard, looking for a story that would help me fly away from this head cold:

Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel like going out in the field with my trusty 10x42s.  Mother Nature always helps me tuck away those painful memories.  

1 comment:

  1. As your sister from another mother, we share many likenesses. I smiled as I read this, struggling to get over the remnants of walking pneumonia myself. As if the awfulness of being restricted to the inside and shielded from human contact isn't bad enough, depression creeps in like the boogie-man in a childhood bedroom at bedtime.

    So, this is simply confirmation my dear friend and sister, that you are NEVER alone.


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