Misery Loves Company

woman with a cold or allergy

I had a sore throat. I tried to deny it at first and hoped it would just go away. It didn’t. I tried to doctor it myself with menthol cough drops and salt-water gargle. Finally, I had to admit that it was too serious for cough drops and I needed to go to the doctor for real medicine.

I don’t know why I seem to be writing every year about colds and sore throats. It seems to be my destiny to get a good one about the time the seasons change. I hoped this was my official cold of the season. I really hate being sick.

Martyr that I am, I went into work anyhow. Can’t let a little thing like a sore throat get me down, can I?

My daughter called later. “Can I speak to Sheila?”

“It’s me,” I squeaked.

“Oh, I didn’t recognize you – you sound terrible!”

Good grief, my own daughter didn’t recognize my voice. It must be worse than I thought.

“You need to go home and get some rest,” everyone told me. I knew what they were really thinking: “You need to go home before you give that crud to us.”

Wonder where I got it in the first place? I didn’t remember anything viral going around. Guess I was the first victim of the season. My co-workers probably all thought I was loafing or slacking off. Later this year when they get the bug, however, they will understand.

Right after work, I went to the local convenience clinic to see the doc. He looked at my ears, and throat, and listened to my chest. I was a little worried when he asked if he could pray for me. However, there was no fever, so he didn’t think I had strep throat, just a regular run of the mill upper respiratory and sinus infection. He wrote me a prescription for his favorite drug, guaranteed to zap any germ on the first try.

How long does it take these antibiotics to start working anyhow? My voice was getting raspier and raspier. I sounded like a frog that’s been smoking cigars and my nose was red from blowing it so much. I had a mucus factory in my head.

I went home and tried to take everyone’s well-meaning advice to get some rest. There is only one good thing about illness. It is the perfect excuse to conserve energy and not do anything much. Obviously, I couldn’t clean house because it might make me feel worse. Forget yard work, much too strenuous. I was forced to lay around and watch television. “Where’s the remote control?”

Why is it that when you want to rest the telephone won’t quit ringing? After the sixth call, I gave up trying to rest. “Hello”, I managed to get out. I could hear a hesitance on the other end. My voice was so deep they were not sure to whom they were talking.

So, I was living from pill time to pill time thinking surely sooner or later this medicine would start working.

The next day I decide to go to work in spite of feeling like yesterday’s Kleenex. I had already taken off one day that week. I would just keep spreading my germs around. Maybe if I had held my breath on the elevator and stayed in my cubical with my box of tissue nearby, it would have helped.

My co-workers avoided me. Chickens! Were they worried about a little cold? I was starting to hear sneezes from other cubicles already. They needed to take vitamins like I did. They can’t expect me to take off every time I sneeze.

Besides, don’t they know that misery loves company?

Copyright 2000 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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1 Response to Misery Loves Company

  1. energywriter says:

    Ah yes! I remember those days well. Still have them. You’d think I would have outgrown them by now.

    Liked by 1 person

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