Pass the Kleenex and chicken soup and pardon the interruption while I put my life on hold for bronchitis and insomnia. I haven’t slept in days and I’m totally exhausted. Yes, that was me coughing all night. Not that I’m grouchy or anything, but stay out of my way and I won’t have to hurt you. Be kind and I promise not to cough or sneeze in your direction.
The urban dictionary calls it the “creeping crud,” which is probably as good a name as any for a crummy bad cold that won’t go away. I can’t seem to get over this stuff. It’s an upper respiratory infection, not a virus or the flu. And, yes, the Covid test was negative.
I don’t have a fever, only a headache. I don’t have strep throat, only a sore throat. I don’t have pneumonia. They x-rayed me. I cough, blow my nose, and then cough some more and some more and some more. I know what I don’t have, but I don’t know what I do have.
I didn’t believe my honey when he had this crud. I called it the “man flu,” what men call a small case of sniffles to evoke sympathy and tender loving care. Now, I apparently have the estrogen-flavored version. Who knew there was a female variety of man flu to come back and bite you?
The worse thing about it all, besides the coughing, is that I can’t sleep. I haven’t slept in three days now. Seriously. You can imagine what a good mood that has left me in. “Don’t bother me now. Get out of my way. And turn down that danged TV.”
“How long can you go without sleeping before you pass out from exhaustion or drop dead from insomnia?” I typed into Yahoo Answers. Probably not a good way to get expert answers, but I’m sick, remember? One person says the record is nine days, another says eleven. They tell me you begin to hallucinate after five days and may fall asleep all at once, pass out and break your nose. That gives me something else to look forward to.
Why can’t I sleep? I think it is a side effect of the antibiotics I’m taking, at least according to Wikipedia. The cure is as bad as the sickness, maybe worse. On the one hand, I really do want to get rid of this bronchitis. On the other hand, it would be nice to sleep all night and not break my nose.
When you have insomnia, it seems like the harder you try to sleep the more impossible it is. The bed is too hard, so you toss and turn. The pillow is too soft, so you turn it over. Your jaw is clinched, your arm going numb, your mind won’t stop racing. “I HAVE to get some sleep,” you think. “I haven’t slept in three days.” And so it goes… until about 30 minutes before time to get up when you finally doze off.
I hate trying not cough in spite of the feather in my throat. Funny, when one person starts coughing, soon others are coughing too, sort of like frogs croaking to each other. One of my friends gave me a bag of strong menthol cough drops. I guess she got tired of life in the frog pond and all the croaking. I could feel the fumes going to my lungs. I think maybe the cough drops might accomplish what the shots, doctors, antibiotics, steroids, and inhaler have not.
I am worn out from fighting this crummy infection. I should be cleaning house instead of having a pity party. “Why don’t you let it go this week?” said Honey. “The house doesn’t have to be spotless.” Guess he is returning some of the TLC I dished out the week he was sick. Either that or he sees a fast way to get out of having to help with the chores. Regardless, I may take him up on the offer and try to get some sleep.
Please spray your computer with disinfectant after you read this post.
Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss
Photo by Kelly Sikkema