By Donna A. Leahey
The Massive Head Cold of Doooooooom (hereafter known as MHCoD) is goin around. And last week, it struck me down.
MHCoD snuck up on me on a Saturday. I sneezed several times.
My mother asked if I was coming down with a cold. I laughed. “Ha ha ha! I never get sick!” I said.
My father asked if it was allergies. I scoffed. “Hmph. I don’t have allergies!”
On Sunday, I sneezed more. My nose ran. My throat itched. I didn’t realize the MHCoD already held me in its mucusy grip.
Monday morning, I could no longer deny it. I was sick. I coughed and sneezed. I generated copious amounts of snot. But it wasn’t so bad.
Then came Tuesday. I moaned. I groaned. I wanted to lay about in bed, but it wasn’t to be.
Wednesday I realized that Tuesday was not the worst. Wednesday was the worst. I had lost the battle. I crumpled into a helpless heap of self-pity and martyr-complex, clutching my bottles of Dayquil and Nyquil to my aching chest.
I had hoped that Thursday would be better. MHCoD was falling back, I thought I’d won the war. Instead, I missed its flanking maneuver. It gave me all of Thursday to believe that I was recovering then it struck at three am with a coughing fit that woke the rest of the house. I retaliated with polypharmacy – I threw every medication I could find in its face and slept propped up on a prodigious pile of pillows. I was hurt, but drove the MHCoD back for another night.
Friday it seemed I’d won. I suffered some lingering effects, a sniffle here, a hoarse voice there, but it appeared I’d driven the MHCoD into hiding. Until that night. As the sun sank, as the temperature dropped, MHCoD feinted at me, skirmished. And I learned I carried with me the fear of a repeat ambush. I preemptively dosed myself with Nyquil and cough syrup, propped myself on my pillows and fell into a fitful sleep.
The next several days passed the same way. In the light of day, MHCoD went into hiding only to return in the shadows of night.
For over a week, MHCoD sapped me not just of my will to live, not just my energy, but also my ability to think and be creative. Finally, well over a week since since the first attacks, I feel confident that I will win this fight. I can breath, I can safely walk away from a box of tissues for minutes at a time. Tonight, I might even take away one pillow from the stack.
I will finally defeat MHCoD! I will be free of the cough and the sniffle! I will sleep well without need for Nyquil!
What’s that I see on the horizon? The forces of Secondary Bronchitis?