The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Mucus: 2014 Edition

Back in 2011, I wrote a short blog post of the same name when I came down with what I thought at the time was a whopper of a cold.

And God said:  “Ha!”

Dear Abby, may she rest in peace, used to take people to task for indulging in the sin of “The Organ Recital” during conversations.  It had nothing to do with music, but everything to do with one person boring the hell out of a captive audience with the litany of ailments, conditions, and diseases that were currently afflicting the speaker.

I will not go into excruciating detail here, but there are a few salient points I must touch upon in order to gain the maximum amount of sympathy from the reader.

Hey, it’s all I’ve got going for me right now, so cut me some slack.

Last Thursday morning, the 18th, I was the dutiful grandparent and attended Grandparents’ Day at my grandkids’ school.  I’d had a scratchy throat for about a day and my usual get-up-and-go seemed to have got-up-and-went, but this was something I had to do.  The grandparents get to observe the kids in their classes and it’s always a big deal for them to get to introduce their grandparent to their fellow students.  I couldn’t disappoint.

Then, that same evening, I had to make an appearance at the kids’ annual Christmas concert.  Another command performance that I couldn’t cop out on.  I took a lot of cough drops with me and hoped I wouldn’t break into a coughing fit in the middle of “Silent Night.”  The room was SRO, we were all tightly packed in the pews, and all I could think about was all the germs I was disseminating to these unsuspecting folks.  I tried to keep my exhalations pointed toward my program.

Friday, the next day, whatever I had (I swear I got a flu vaccination early this year) had taken hold with body aches, coughing, etc.  Over the course of the weekend the coughing increased to Brobdingnagian proportions.  Monday morning when I awoke, my ears felt like they were filled with water (which they were) and my usual tinnitus had become a roaring dishwasher.  Not good.

But, being the trooper (or idiot) that I am, I soldiered on.  However, Christmas was only a couple of days away and the thought occurred to me through the haze of mucus that I just might need to see the doctor before everybody hightails it for the holiday.

Tuesday morning, the 23rd, I phoned my physician’s office and found that she and her staff were gone for the entire week and wouldn’t be back until the following Monday.  But the receptionist for the clinic took pity on me.  Perhaps it was my muffled sobbing.  She offered me an appointment with one of the other doctors, a man I’d seen several years ago whom I liked.

I grabbed the appointment like it was a life jacket thrown to a drowning woman. Drowning in mucus, that is.

By the time of the appointment Tuesday afternoon around 3:00, I was essentially deaf in both ears.  Deaf-er, I should say since the tinnitus I already had before this plague struck had rendered me pretty hard of hearing most of the time.

So I hopped up on the exam table and the good doctor looked in my throat (not too bad), and up my nose (hmm, worse) and then he peered into my right ear.  Whoa!  He said the eardrum was one of the worst he’d seen.  I told him to look at the left one, the right was the “good” one.

He was equally impressed with the magnitude of the sight before him.  He pointed to the bright red plastic cover of a folder on the counter and said my tympanic membranes shared the same color.

As he sat back and started typing into his laptop, he said,

“If you were the baby in the next room, you would have been screaming your head off all night last night.  You’re tough!”

To which I replied, “Or stupid.”

He only smiled and kept on typing.

So before I left I received an antibiotic injection in the tucchus and am taking an oral version twice a day for ten days.  I have a prescription for codeine cough syrup that I’ve used a couple of times at night when the coughing just won’t quit.  My little Chihuahua, Kelso, has vacated the bed temporarily because of the noise.  He gives me that look that says, “You know I don’t like this.  Why do you insist on doing it?”

The Cough from Hell is better but my hearing is shot for the time being.  It’s like trying to talk with someone across the street while using a tin can and a string.  Just about as effective.  I can hear my muffled voice in my head, but not with my ears.  And when I wash my hair in the shower, I can hear the water hitting my head, but only as it’s conducted through the bones of my skull.  Very odd sensation.

The doctor had said it was going to take “awhile” for the crud plugging my middle ears to clear out.  I’m not optimistic on that front.

In the meantime I’ve been browsing the personal hearing amplifiers on and brushing up on my American Sign Language.

Just in case.



15 thoughts on “The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Mucus: 2014 Edition

    • Thanks. You’re right. When sounds from the outside are blocked, the volume of the noise on the inside gets ramped up. I’ve read that’s why hearing aids can often help with tinnitus because they allow more sound through, putting the head noise into the background. It may come to that at some point, I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh gawd, you sound like me!!! I got a sore throat on Dec. 16 and it got worse and worse but just kept saying “It’s a cold.” Today I cried UNCLE and went to the doctor. Got antibiotics and nasal spray. Sinusitis. My ears are ringing and my head is plugged. Hoping that maybe I’ll start feeling better by the new year? Am hoping you do too. Drugs are a good thing sometimes. And my tinnitus is much worse with the blocked ears. Ick. Ick. Ick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Ronna! Ick, ick, ick is right. My sore throat progressively got worse and worse, too. It was like I was gargling with razor blades! I’m hoping for relief by the new year also, though I will settle for Valentine’s Day. Be well!


  2. It’s bad enough to be sick but tragi when you are so sick over the holidays. Hope you are back to full strength soon. Maybe this will be the only round of sickness for you all winter.


  3. I’ve just returned from vacationing with my family on the West Coast. My bro-in-law was sick the entire time. When I got dropped off at the airport, both my sister and niece said they felt like they were coming down with what he has. So: no hugs goodbye and Sweet Pea said, “We need to sanitize the whole house.” Bro-in-law has a nasty habit of leaving used tissues lying around. I feel fine, but sitting on the plane in the row behind me was a woman with a loud, phlegm-filled cough. It sounded like your doppelgänger was frightfully near in that tube. After Turkey Day, I was sick with some nasty bug for about three weeks — right after I got my flu shot (talk about buyer’s remorse). Hopefully, I’m immune to what’s going around now i.e., what everyone else and you seem to be suffering. That might be wishful thinking. And one other thing: Happy New Year and good health come 2015.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I’ll take that hug and send one right back to you, Natalie! It’s been good therapy reading about your ever-expanding menagerie on your farm. And there’s nothing more therapeutic than cuddling up with a warm, purring cat—or thirteen!


  4. There could be advantages to temporary deafness during the holidays… You didn’t have to listen to that “Hippopotamus” song! But that may be the only bright spot. Sounds like sheer misery! Hope you’re better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, daisyfae! I found my deafness came in handy today at the gym when the chatterbox lady in the locker room started talking to me. I politely told her I wasn’t ignoring her, but was recently rendered deaf by a double ear infection. She countered by pointing to her left ear and said: “My dog ate my hearing aid the other day.” 🙂


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