Being sick for holidays is no fun

Published 11:59 pm Friday, January 2, 2009

I don’t know from whence it came, but our house was most certainly its target.

Did the warm unseasonable weather push it our way?

It began Dec. 23, the day after our granddaughter and her friend arrived from Kentucky to celebrate Christmas with us. My husband said he had a cold coming on. As the day wore on, he felt worse and worse. He said his throat was sore and he developed a deep cough that almost took his breath.

That afternoon, our son arrived with one of our grandsons. Soon after they came in, my throat started feeling dry and scratchy. “Can’t have this,” I thought to myself as I slipped some cornbread in the oven for our Christmas dinner dressing. “Can’t be sick on Christmas day with cooking for seven ahead of me,” I kept telling myself.

My husband coughed a lot during the night. I felt my throat getting sore. A few minutes after 7 on Christmas morning, I took the turkey breast out of the freezer and got it in the oven. By that time, my throat felt as if someone was gouging it with a knife.

“I can’t get sick,” I told myself again as I shoved the turkey in the oven and headed back to bed. The household began to stir around 11, and, with help, I finally managed to get the food on our table. After a wonderful time of food and fellowship, I put away the few leftovers. Our daughter and son-in-law, bless them, tackled the dirty dishes and cleaned the kitchen.

It must have been three o’clock or after when we all sat down in the living room and listened to the reading of the Scriptures about the birth of the Christ child. Then we opened presents. It was a time of laughter and fun with all the clutter of ribbons, bows, colorful paper and boxes, but through all of it, my throat ached. Soon afterward, I sought the comfort of my bed.

Meantime, my husband still coughed. Our son started developing symptoms like mine. When the coughing hit me, I learned to sympathize with my husband’s pain as he coughed. I sometimes felt as if my breath wouldn’t come.

Christmas night I reverted to my mother’s method for colds and sore throats — a good slathering of Vicks Vaporub on my chest. During the night, my granddaughter headed me off in the kitchen with a cup of hot salt water and sent me to the bathroom to gargle. These methods didn’t completely stop my cough, but my throat wasn’t quite as sore the next morning.

Our son departed on the 26th, taking a full-blown case of whatever we had home with him.

My husband and I were somewhat better, but still under the weather by Sunday. We hope that you didn’t have a similar experience and whatever ill wind blew our way will bypass everyone else and exit by the year’s end.

Happy New Year to you and yours.