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 Amazon.com and brushing up on my American Sign Language.
Just in case.