Sunday, February 17, 2008

a silent period punctuated by coughing

"I'm sick"
"I was home sick"
"I was so sick last week"
"I've been home sick for two weeks"
"Cough cough"

I have heard these things from people I know. The information was taken in but did not register significantly until now when I am sick myself. It has been a week.

I am certainly not the only one battling virus in the City, on the train earlier this week I observed the phenomenon of the sympathetic cough. Everyone wants to cough but is stifling it until one person lets out a big old hack which causes other people to let out a cough in seemingly timed sequence in response.

I tell myself that it would be so much worse had I not had my flu shot. Of course, if it were much worse, I might die. It is hard to keep in mind while in the midst of it that this will all pass that I will eventually regain the power of speech and song, that I will be able to taste things, and stop coughing, that I will feel better. I have been housebound, basically bedridden, and silent for four days which is not how I had hoped to spend this long weekend. I am not even muttering to myself because I physically can't.

I lay around and urgently urge my immune system to kick this thing already and wish that I had spent more time studying immunology so that I could individually cheer on each cell type and immune strategy. While my Macrophage and T-cells are going to bat for me, I'd like to be able to offer them my sincere thanks and give them much encouragement.

The flu is not going to help me lose any weight. I've been through a bag of licorice Twizzlers, a bag of parmesan flavored goldfish, two cans of chicken noodle soup, a two liter of ginger ale, several pots of chamomile tea, a pot of sleepytime (didn't work), and a pot of wild berry zinger, four cans of peaches, a bag of frozen raspberries, two plates of melted cheese, a tuna sandwich, a fried egg sandwich, a chicken sandwich, half a pot of badly made fettucine alfredo (not enough cheese), and some toast with apricot preserves. Clearly, we are feeding this fever. Yet, in the midst of all of this glorious consumption, I did not remember to buy myself a bottle of Nyquil.

Chicken noodle soup has undergone some kind of transformation since my youth. Used to be the pieces of chicken in the soup can were tiny, two little bitty cubes tossed in grudgingly to demonstrate that chickens were used on the making of the soup. Now there are three pieces that are the size of my thumb. So it would seem that sometimes new and improved is actually improved in the world of food science.

I've recently had a similar experience with a can of pork and beans. All through my youth I would stir the beans around looking for the pork to no avail. And recently I spied a big old piece of fat in a can of beans. Not as happy to see this as I thought I would be. It was not as good as the chicken thing.

In this downtime, besides tucking into my canned goods, I have caught up on episodes of "One Tree Hill" (Bad Nanny! Bad Bad Nanny!) and "Reaper" (Sam is so dreamy.). I have heard good things about "Ugly Betty" from a few friends so I watched a bunch of episodes. The one that I really liked was the one in which Betty and Henry go to see "Wicked" although the poisoned perfume one was good too. Gio is a delightful guy. But overall I was not knocked out.

I watched episodes of "Lipstick Jungle" and "Cashmere Mafia." Andrew McCarthy's character has been morphed into the kind of delightful imaginary man that will be used as a measuring stick by women to make real male humans miserable. Much in the same way Lloyd Dobbler made life much more difficult for men of a certain age in their youth. Each series is described as a dramedy. So far, "Lipstick Jungle" edges closer to Drama (soap opera) and "Cashmere Mafia" closer to Comedy (and "Sex in the City"). I watched some Sunday PBS programming which did what it always does, entertain, inform, and freak me out about the state of the world.

It's been hard to concentrate on reading or communicating. But I did read an online version of Eric S. Raymond's essay "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" which is an "ancient" account of how Raymond used the Linux / open source model to develop a mail program. I come to it as a latecomer as I do with so many things. It's a pretty interesting read. The roots of internet culture are curious indeed espousing ideas and values not generally in line with the mainstream. We shall see how much of it will survive the the efforts of Corporations to grab grasp and control the nets.

Did you know that 48 million internet users who have posted content, such as blogs or photos, to the Internet. That's you and me.


C-Belle said...

I'm now sick too. So in love with Tylenol PM. I'm hoping to just sleep through it.

Kat E said...

Nothing worse than being sick on the weekend! Hope you feel better soon :)

ldbug said...

Awww, know how you feel! I was sick for a whole month here, although I mostly blame the scottish cold/wet on the longevity of the flu.

Hope you get better soooooonnnn!!!