First Published in the Tri-Town Transcript January 7, 2015
Happy New Years, Regular Readers. I hope your resolutions are full of possibility, hope and the sure promise that summer is now only five (or six, maybe seven if we’re honest) months away.
My own goal this year is a lofty and noble one. I’d like to gain recognition for that mythological creature: The Sick Mom.
Moms can be chefs, chauffeurs, laundry attendants, vending machines, finders of hidden [in plain sight] objects and obviously nurses when other, mere mortals, get sick. But a sick mom? What strange language doth thou speaketh?
So a few weeks ago, when the truth gripped me, (specifically it gripped my throat and sinuses,) I knew I had to act fast.
First, I knew the world needed to hear that I wasn’t sick. I merely had early winter allergies, from the um . . . arctic nano crystals in my nose. You know, the kind of allergies where I had to take a Sudafed every four hours. Sudafed is basically like a breath mint only with pseudoephedrine in it; a breath mint I had to show my driver’s license to get.
I asked my pharmacist about this. “I’d have to buy a truckload of Sudafed to go all Breaking Bad, wouldn’t I? Why all the cloak and dagger? My drivers license is possibly the only picture that looks worse than I currently do with these, uh, allergies.”
She nodded. “Well yes, it’s quite a lot of work to distill Sudafed, but you know a box or two here, a box or two there . . .”
I sighed, (through my mouth since my nose was unavailable). “Well for the safety of society then, here is my license. And by society I mean committee meetings and class events I need to fake my way through since I’m not really sick.”
She nodded again. “Just sign there.”
Oh, I’d sign. I was desperate.
A few days later, the allergy gig was up. There was a reason I only had to show my driver’s license to get Sudafed – – it only worked to a point. The real stuff required that dreaded of all sick mom events: a visit to a doctor.
Regular Readers may recall last year I had Shingles. I was pretty sure I was dying, yet I still felt that going to the doctor was an inconvenience. So rest assured, this time when I finally realized Things Had Gone Too Far, they probably had.
The doctor looked at me and confirmed I had a rather advanced sinus infection.
“What else are you using besides Sudafed?” He asked.
“Well I’m not eating anything besides cough drops, or drinking anything without alcohol. Also I’m blowing my nose with whatever papery products I can find in my pocket.” I tried to be specific with my carefully thought out self-treatment plan.
He nodded agreeably and then lobbed this bit of medicinal advice at me. “You should consider using a Netti Pot.”
If you are a user of the Netti Pot, here is where we part ways. There is no future for me that contains a ceramic pot holding a cuppa bayou that I then pour INTO MY NOSE. We worry about pink slime in meat? Ebola in airports? Yet it’s perfectly acceptable to make a toxic stew of warm salt water and sinus funk and drain that mess around in our heads?? Somebody cut me a giant break.
Preferably one without germs being stewed in their own personal hot tub inside my nose.
I was tired. I felt horrible. I had to go attend a second grade sing-a-long. I wanted to be polite but was leaning towards grabbing the doctor by his white lapels and screaming, “GIVE ME A FIVE DAY Z-PACK!”
Thankfully he was a wise doctor. He saw something in my eyes that spoke of near insanity, mayhap chards of Netti Pot being used to slash tires.
“Or I could write you a prescription for Zithromax.” He mused.
“Yes. That. Please that.” I sighed through my mouth.
A few days later I improved. Life kept on going (since it never stopped during all of this anyway). But there’s a paper trail, with my drivers license attached, to prove the reality. I hope you stay well, but this year if you are a Sick Mom, I will believe you. I will even share my breath mints.