This Whine Flu
by Carol Dunn
Some people handle sickness gracefully. Some do not. This latest virus-bacteria combo going around Huerfano County really knocks the snot out of you– literally. For a few days you’ll sound bad and feel good. Rounding out the week you’ll sound good but feel bad. For the second week you’ll sound bad and feel bad. About this time, you’ll tell people you’re feeling better, but you are woefully mistaken – it’s not over yet. You revert back to “sound bad and feel good” and go through the whole cycle again.
Most of us were instructed by our moms to be polite when blowing one’s nose in public. But there is nothing polite about the whine flu. With a nanosecond’s notice you must either blow or strangle on your own goobers, which suddenly begin flowing like a California mud slide. You whip out a fresh tissue (that is, if you’re lucky; if you’re not lucky, you only have a tissue you used before, and why exactly did you save it?), and then you morph into a gargoyle, expelling large, hideous globs of mucous into the pitiful excuse for a tissue. People should not have to see you this way. The goo is hanging off the end of your nose, and it’s getting smeared on your cheek. What you really need is a bath towel, but what would mom say? I’m not going to name names, but I know people who have gone as far as stuffing a tissue up each nostril and changing these plugs as needed. And I must say this temporary solution becomes rather tempting, especially if your nose is getting blisters from constant clean-up detail.
If the cough doesn’t keep you up half the night, the sore throat will, or the sneezing or the headache, or the inability to breathe. After several sleepless nights, you’re a zombie carrying around a bag of cough drops and a box of tissues. In desperation, you figure out you can sort of sleep sitting up, and the stiff neck is well worth it.
When you lose your voice and your ears plug up, it is best not to answer the phone. Communicating is hopeless. There is a mercy to this however. Dads will not hear anyone asking for money, and moms will not hear the family asking what’s for dinner. Matter of fact, after one of those gargoyle episodes, they’ll be pretty happy if you stay far away from food preparation.