My Sweet November

The Next Family

By: Tosha Woronov
Tosh sick

I am being challenged.
I spent the entire month of November–one of my favorite months –SICK. I am not kidding: I have been sick since November 2nd.

I am still sick. Bronchitis. I never had it before. I had NO IDEA. 2 doctor visits, 3 phone conversations with the doctor, 4 calls with the nurse, or nurse practitioner, 2 courses of antibiotics, cough syrup with codeine (my best friend for about 5 whole minutes), one B-12 shot (LOVED that! Where can I get me some more B12 shot?), and chest x-rays (which came back clean – what the hell?).

I cough so hard that I pee my pants like, every 3 hours. All I do is wash pants. Pajama pants.
I have gone into the office only 3 days the entire month of November. All 3 of those times, because I was dying at my desk, I considered leaving. But truthfully, the real reason I ran out early is because I had peed my pants.

I spent my 10th anniversary (yes, 10!), Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday), and my birthday coughing my lungs out, or trying to.

And people only talk about the swine flu. That’s all you hear. H1N1. Do get your shot, it might save your life. Don’t get the shot, it will kill you. Get the shot if you have a baby under 6 months old. Get the shot if you are over 65. Don’t get the shot if you are 37, unless you have asthma. It’s the IN THING. But I have bronchitis. Plain old, been-around-forever bronchitis. It’s sooo 1972. Even my virus is out of touch.

I am nervous, though, about the flu (both of them, all of them, whatever). I open doors with my elbow sleeve. I panic if the canister of antibacterial wipes near the shopping carts is empty. I say to Leo all day long, “don’t touch ANYTHING.”

My new obsession, my mantra, if you will, is “INCUBATION PERIOD”. The phrase runs through my mind all day: “My mom and my hairdresser also have coughs that won’t go away. Hmmm…and I saw both of them the first week in October. Did we actually get/give the same virus from/to each other? I mean, did the same nasty, evil, little germ (I picture him wearing dirty suspenders and a hat) jump off of her scissors onto my head and then on to my innocent mom, here from Colorado to see her grandson? And if so, does it really take 21 days for the virus to present itself? What is its INCUBATION PERIOD? Is Leo in the clear, because he’s shown no symptoms? Or is his INCUBATION PERIOD strangely, inexplicably, longer? What, please tell me, is the INCUBATION PERIOD of bronchitis in the body of a 5 year old?!” I am losing my mind.

And I’m sorry readers; I got nothing else.

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