Posts Tagged ‘I keep googling and expecting to find news of the illness that has gripped me…but nothing’

Reports of My Demise Have Been Relatively Exaggerated

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Welcome to day twelve of my “surely this has been manufactured in some kind of cold war lab” sinus-suffocating illness. I have been ridiculously sick since the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t know who did this to me, but I have my suspects, and I plan to name names below. In other news, did you know a human being can produce over five pounds of snot, phlegm, and mucus a day? Trust me on this: I am walking proof.

Random image from the Google search 'rumors of my demise'. It's appropriately gloomy.

In short, my absence has been mostly unpleasant, semi-worthless from a productivity standpoint, and physically draining, but I will focus on the positive as much as possible. For instance, coughing your lungs up seventy-five times an hour doubles as a pretty amazing abdominal workout! Moreover, for the last few days I’ve had the perfect voice to pull off a mean version of Bette Davis Eyes.

So let’s start at the beginning: Thanksgiving.

It was fine. It was what it was: a holiday centered around cooking one giant meal which is over very quickly and kind of pointless. I made the turkey and my friend’s family took care of the rest. All in all, it was uneventful minus the presence of three little kids, one of whom was taken to the emergency room later that night due to his cranky mood, low fever, and obvious head cold.

Another random image. Somersault-ish, no?

When my sore throat started the following night, and as an experienced Clue player, I immediately fingered one-year-old Blake, in the libary, with the candlestick as the Typhoid Mary of our turkey celebration. However, a follow up inquiry revealed that he has the croup. Seeing as that’s a childhood illness, I suppose I can’t really blame him. Thus, reluctantly, he’s off the hook.

The oldest child, a six-year old girl named Athena, appeared healthy, although she suffered from apparent mental problems. This wasn’t immediately obvious, but the damning evidence emerged shortly after she learned my age. Thinking thoughtfully for a moment, she exclaimed, “My mom’s almost your age! She’s twenty-six.”

I know what you’re thinking: that’s not crazy talk. The child is young. And bad at math. All adults are old to little kids. Once you get over twenty, you’re old. Hell, I remember being in first grade (this little girl’s age) and thinking the eighth graders were as old as my parents. Plus, if you brought them your impossibly scrambled up Rubik’s cube, they would fix it for you, something that bordered on the miraculous in my eyes.

Brief digression: remember how there was a formula that once you got a line of color or a few squares next to each other, you could fix a Rubik’s cube: reset it back to the beginning? My dad even bought the book on how to do it, although I didn’t possess the patience to get through all the steps. I do, however, have a clear memory of my even more impatient brother pulling the actual cubes off the frame and trying to reassemble it in some semblance of order. It didn’t work. Stickers were removed. Things digressed from there.

Final random image. I do it for you. Because I know you like pictures.

So anyway, later that evening, Athena confronted me outside the kitchen. “I can’t believe you’re thirty! You look younger than my mom!”

I am, as you know and to my own horror, closer to forty than thirty, but since she’s chosen to hear me wrong or remember it wrong, I couldn’t quite see the point to straightening her out. Thirty’s bad enough, and…wait…what did she just say? I look younger than someone twenty-six? Well, bless her little crazy heart.

And she didn’t stop there. When I thanked her for the compliment, she followed up that not only did I not look thirty…or twenty-six…but sixteen.


According to a six-year old, I look sixteen. Thus my earlier suggestion that the child had a mental illness, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Admittedly, I was feeling pretty youthful and vibrant and youthful and vibrant-looking at that point, and I now think that’s how the con works. “Let’s have a dance off!” she proposed. I somehow weasled out. THANK GOD.

There's a train leaving town

Fair enough.

“Look at this!”  She executed a cartwheel on the living room rug, and I was appropriately congratulatory.

“Now you do it!”

“I can’t. The only thing I can do is a somersault.”

“Do it!”

I am 99% sure that the last time I did a somersault I was in high school, and I vaguely recall it as an unpleasant experience that received a poor grade, but before I could analyze the situation too much, I found myself attempting one.

It was harder than I would have thought.

It took about three false starts before I got the momentum to actually go over.

And I’m pretty sure I heard a distinct ‘crack’ sound come from my neck.

It was around that time that I realized that whether or not I look sixteen or twenty-six or sixty, I am too damn old for somersaulting on the living room floor. Attempts to cajole me into further performances (including proclamations that I do somersaults better than anyone she’s ever seen or that I MUST do it again so that the grown-ups could appreciate my gymnastic talents) failed as I wondered if they kept a neck brace or cervical collar around just in case.

It took about 36 hours before my neck felt right again.

As for my bird/swine/cockroach/space alien flu infection, there was a third suspect present: a three-year old with a third unusual name that I kept forgetting and can’t remember now. Cortland? Copeland? Coleman? Carlson? I don’t know. Anyway, he was sick too. Coughing and snotty and all over the place. And he brought me several empty Dixie Cups. And burst in on me in the bathroom after an intense screaming beat down on the door (in hindsight, a warning I should have heeded). And he hit me with the lid to the garbage can. And somehow made me incredibly, horribly, never-endingly sick.

Was it his fault for sure?

I don’t know, but in my court, you’re guilty until proven innocent and therefore Colton (I actually think the name was Colton) is to blame.

(Assuming I survive the night, more tomorrow on my ‘adventures’ from days three through six…)

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