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November 18, 2010

In September, I got sick for my birthday. It would’ve been one thing if I’d gotten sick ON my birthday, as in BECAUSE of my birthday. Like, from having too much cake or too much wine or too fun or too much all of the above. Instead, I had a cold and was just plain sick. My lunch with my parents tasted like nothing. My dinner out with friends tasted like nothing. I didn’t eat any cake because it would’ve tasted like nothing and all the sugar would’ve simply fed the germs that were making me sick, and would have turned into more germs to keep me sick. So I didn’t.

In October, I got sick for my friends’ birthdays. A whole bunch of our parents presumably found Winter 1973 a chilly time, and there we were, born nine months later from September through November. What else to do on a frigid January night than get it on to keep warm, right? I have a terrible memory; the thing I forget most is names and the thing I forget second-most is birthdays. I never remember who was born when, but my fall friends I remember, at least as a group. This year, all the remembering on earth still wouldn’t have been enough to get me out of the house to celebrate those dates. Instead, I was sick. Again.

In November, I got whiny. Every morning and every night, I enjoyed a few rounds of vigorous coughing, the lingering phlegm of those two colds tangled together in my chest. Wine made it worse. Laughing made it worse. Coughing made it worse. But, there was always more coughing. I joked that I had consumption, ennui, any number of Victorian ailments, real and imaginary, to make it seem more elegant that I was hacking into my hand straight through dinner. A friend suggested I stop being (whiny and) a martyr, go to the doctor, get some medicine, and get rid of the cough. Simple solution.  I argued that medicine from the doctor never makes you better, unless something’s turning green and threatening to fall off. If it’s just a cough, though, the doctor’s medicine will only make something else worse.

Then, I got sick all over again. This time it was horrid. I spent Sunday thinking I was hung over, which made no sense since I hadn’t really done anything to achieve that condition. Monday I considered food poisoning, which also made no sense since there’s no such thing as a pork chop that makes you ill three days later. Tuesday I admitted I had the flu, but still went to the office since I work in a place where we track down people who take advantage of sick-leave, and I didn’t want to seem like a troublemaker. Wednesday, I was so sick that when I called my dad to complain about being so sick, he asked if I was high on codeine since our conversation made no sense. I informed him I’d spent the evening watching various sitcoms, and that Mr. Clean has a new flavour on the market, touted during each commercial break. “Now kills the flu virus!” the product boasts. I suggested I up my game from Nyquil to cleansers and take a swig of that. After ensuring this was my sick-person version of joking around, my dad sent me to my room long-distance then hung up.

Now, it’s Thursday. It still feels like a kangaroo is trying to box its way out of my skull, and alligators are wrestling in my stomach. It’s going to take a yoga marathon to sort out the knots in my joints from sleeping curled like a walnut the past three nights, and my sheets should probably be set on fire in the yard, like at the end of The Velveteen Rabbit when they scald the boy’s bedframe and burn everything else to kill the scarlet fever.

So, things are looking up: soon, I will no longer be sick. But, fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck. I’ve been sick non-stop the past three months, and for the first time, I have considered the flu vaccination might be ok after all. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I blame the mad dash to vaccinate ourselves against germs in order to continue living a poorly thought-out lifestyle. We’re all sick all the damn time because we eat junk, sit on our asses, take public transit two blocks instead of getting fresh air, eat nutrient-depleted vegetables to satisfy our childish cravings for berries in winter, and generally treat our bodies like playthings. Then, we crowd together in dense cities, hacking boogers all over and using the same hand to blow our nose and hand over coins to the cashier. But, if the rest of the herd is going to ruin “herd immunity” by getting shot in the arm with medicine each winter, then maybe it’s time to admit that yes, the herd is heading toward a stupid destination, but it’s better to follow the herd than end up, you know, eaten by a wolf, alone in the tundra.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2010 7:14 pm

    Maybe it’s just time you take yourself to a doctor?

    • welltailored permalink*
      November 18, 2010 7:17 pm

      Arghhhhh! You can’t make me!

      ; )

  2. foodandpassion permalink
    November 18, 2010 7:16 pm

    I’m going to buy you posies. But don’t come anywhere near me to get them with that plague or I’ll never forgive you. Feel better Miss. A. I wish I could make you some chicken soup and hot lemon and honey tea.

    • welltailored permalink*
      November 18, 2010 7:17 pm

      I made chicken soup with carrots and chanterelles on Sunday night before I went down for the count. I have been pretty much living off it, and M’s roasted sweet potato soup, ever since.

  3. bill permalink
    November 19, 2010 12:50 pm

    i like that goole put a tylenol ad on your story for you

    • welltailored permalink*
      November 22, 2010 6:49 pm

      Google is pretty helpful that way! My favourite part? There is no way to turn off their ads. Awesome.

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