I don’t typically like when people share their ailments over the internet or social media.
I don’t need the visual that you have diarrhea or that you are throwing up something that looks like something or other.
I want to gag too.
Just tell me you are taking a sick day and leave it at that.
Now here I am telling you I am not feeling well.
It’s been a while since I have felt like this.
But I realized today when reviewing my published work for the week, I had to have been off.
Because I made mistakes. Some I was able to salvage and some I just had to apologize for. I even tried to make a cup of tea in the microwave without any water.
But still, in spite of my fuzziness, once I got home, there was something kind of fun and relaxing about being able to sit in bed and have your wife feel sorry you (well at least I expect she will when she gets home), because in my case I know it’s nothing serious. And when you grow up in the respiratory medical world getting a chest cold is kind of a professional challenge.
I break out my stethoscope.
I begin to analyze every cough and noise that I make.
Hey that one was loose and productive.
Wait that one was dry and non- productive.
Is that a bronchospasm I hear or a mucus plug?
What’s my temperature? Low grade or high?
Do I have any chest pain?
And then there is the spitting. When you work in a hospital or homecare keeping the airways open is your job. Helping people breath is why you went to school. You need to be alert and aware of all you hear and see. Sure I have dodged a loogie or two in my day. I had a couple I wasn’t fast enough for too. My respiratory and pulmonary friends will relate. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s part of the job, it’s what we did or do, helping people to breath, often saving lives.
I miss that.
So like it or not, when I am sick, I go into action.
And because today I am the one who is coughing and spitting, and delirious from fever, though I know that what I am experiencing is not serious, when I am sick, in my house, it is serious.
I remember when I was a kid, all the cool kids could spit really good. Most them were athletic too, many played baseball like John Bedell, Bob Woolley, and Kevin Higgins; friends from my hometown of Oceanport, NJ. They played hardball and Little League and Babe Ruth. If you didn’t spit, you weren’t tough.
I wasn’t allowed to do much spitting on the Cub Scout Softball Team.
But those guys could sure spit.
They would wind up and when they let go it sounded like a poison dart coming out of a blowgun. It was a perfect projectile and man it could travel. (Tttthhhhwwwwuuuut!)
I always envied those guys.
When I was a kid and I spit it was more like trying to eject a raw egg out of my mouth. And it didn’t travel very far at all it just went about the direction I was leaning and usually required some assistance from my fingers to clear the obstruction.
So as a result I knew never to try and impress the girls by hocking a loogie in gym class.
Maybe I am just delirious.
Maybe I should stop writing before I say something stupid.
Maybe I have already said something stupid.
Maybe it’s a good thing I am not working with patients anymore, because forgiveness for mistakes in that world can be difficult.
Thankfully in the world I work in today, forgiveness is encouraged.
My wife is home now.
I am thinking about having her order a chest x-ray stat.
Or maybe a pizza would be easier.