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I’m about sick of being sick

The telephone brought me out of a crazy, hazy dream. I said “hello” almost before I realized I’d picked up the phone. “Hello, it’s me,” the perky voice on the line came back. I was still in a daze. Who was “me,” I wondered. “It’s Joan,” my husband’s youngest sister said. Then I remembered he had phoned her and left a message earlier in the day.

I knew I’d sounded confused and fuzzy. “How are you?” she asked. By that time my head had cleared somewhat and I wanted to let her know I was back on the planet. “I have something; a virus or whatever. I’ve had a sore throat that has put me down. Every time I cough it feels as if someone is pushing a dagger into my throat.”

“Oh, that’s something that’s going around,” she said. “I’ve had it, too. In fact, I’m on my second round of antibiotics right now. You aren’t out of the woods yet if you’ve just had it a few days.”

That “something” happened Thanksgiving week.

Thankfully, our son had ordered a baked ham and roast turkey that arrived on Friday, the 20th, the day before he came in from Louisiana. I didn’t have to get out of bed early Thanksgiving morning to prepare a turkey. I sort of walked around in a daze in the kitchen that day, but managed to make the gravy and shove some frozen dressing in the oven. Our daughter took care of the mashed potatoes and everything else. I had made our pies in advance.

I almost always take down the Christmas dishes from the top shelf of my kitchen cabinet for our Thanksgiving meal. These dishes have been in our family for years. It really doesn’t seem like a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal without them. In my state, I was tempted to use paper plates, but tradition ruled. This year it was our daughter who stood on the ladder and handed them down to me. She also set the table, did the dishes, and cleaned the kitchen while I crept off to bed.

In the meantime, I kept fighting the “something” by gargling with warm salt water and using a sinus remedy. Although the cough was still painful Friday, I thought I was improving. Not so. Saturday morning my symptoms roared back with a fury. That awful sore throat returned, my head whirled when I put my feet on the floor, and I had no will to move around. I didn’t argue when my husband sternly remarked, “Get back in bed, and stay there.”

For several weeks, I had been looking forward to a wedding anniversary celebration of some friends on the 28th. I was supposed to give another friend a ride to the event. Bad as I hated to, I had to cancel. When I crawled back in bed, I consoled myself with, “I’m not fit to be around man or beast.”

If this column sounds a bit crazy, blame it on the “something.”