It’s a bad time to be sick. It really is. This country, especially these days, is so prone to buying into any little piece of bad news and making a mountains out of molehills. Things have been so bad for so long that any little hint of bad news simply must be viable and therefore we must buy into it.
With the announcement that we are experiencing a “near pandemic” threat of Swine Flu (which is sounding an awful lot like regular flu, but with more fear) everywhere you look, people are cowering in corners with an inch thick layer of sanitizing gel smeared all over there bodies, surgical masks covering every orifice and “Beware of Dog” signs between them and you. OK perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but it’s true that everywhere you look people are living in fear of walking away from any and every situation with a deadly virus that they’re sure can’t be treated.
With this in mind, I can only imagine what it is like for anyone who happens to be sick, experiencing an allergy attack or otherwise just snotty… Oh! No, wait– I don’t have to imagine it because I’m one of them.
A few years ago, after a prolonged period of raucous coughing jags I finally went to the doctor to see if there was something that could be done to put an end to it. One of the first things he asked me was if I there was a history of asthma in my family, to which I replied that there was not, to my knowledge. He then listened to my lungs for a few seconds and said, “Yep. You’ve got ‘longwindicus termino-medicalus passthruitus,’” which loosely translated means long winded medical terminology that went in one ear and out the other, “which is akin to asthma. Most people who have it only experience any symptoms when they’ve gotten a cold and are trying to shake the cough.”
“Akin to asthma”? Why couldn’t he just say that? That I can remember. It turns out that for years, long after all the other cold symptoms have gone away, I’ve fought with the lingering cough and the reason is because of this basically nameless respiratory issue. So he prescribed an Albuterol inhaler and told me to use it whenever I feel a cold starting to come on to try and minimize the duration of the cough.
Fast forward to about a month ago when there was a sudden and dramatic change in the weather. It happens every year around this time. And every year around this time I get a cold of sorts. And every year around this time I get the lingering, hacking, reason-defying, WILL NOT GO AWAY, cough!!! It happened again only this time I could not find my inhaler. I let it go for a week or two hoping the cough would go on it’s own but when it was still just as strong as ever I decided I’d better get a new inhaler.
Anyway, here I am a month later and I’m still— (cough, cough)—excuse me, coughing and now everywhere I look I am inundated with scare tactics news story about how WE’RE ALL GOING DIE!!! and I’m very aware that everyone around me is freaking out because OH MY GOD HE’S GOT SWINE FLU!! and WHY IS HE CONTAMINATING MY LIVING SPACE!?!?! Only I don’t have Swine Flu, which by the way has been renamed H1N1 flu, which is a very unfortunate new name for it because depending on what font you’re using it looks like it says HINI (HINEY) Flu and really isn’t flu in your hiney much worse than swine flu, anyway?
So, truly it is a very bad time to be sick in anyway other than with hiney flu and of course that’s worse but at least that’s what everyone is looking for these days and if you have anything else everyone will assume you have hiney flu anyway and want to stay away from you and I’d rather just stay home and not deal with it but I have to work and I don’t want to give up all my PTO time for something that won’t get any better, any faster by staying home and I don’t think there’s anything more I can say about it so I guess I’ll just end this right here.