There's being blindsided, then
there's being run over by a train that two seconds before was a
hundred miles away.
Like most people who get sick enough
that they have a hard time functioning in a regular way, I was
convinced I was completely alone in my suffering when my temperature
hit 125 degrees (only a slight exaggeration) and I coughed so much
that at one point I'm pretty sure I saw my spleen running down the
sidewalk yelling, "I'm finally free!"
Being that sick gives you tunnel
vision, but I have come to discover that I was far from alone when I
stood in a 45 degree wind and said, "Ah, that feels good!"
Of course, there was a patient zero.
There always is. I've narrowed it down to either my mother who,
despite acting like she was ready to finalize her eulogy, showed up
for Thanksgiving dinner, or a Dollar Tree Clerk who sniffed and
coughed and sounded like a bullfrog as he rang up my purchase.
Oh, missed work time and praying for
the grim reaper all in the name of a dollar beef jerky stick! To be
fair, it was an oversized beef jerky stick.
But I'm not one to hold a grudge, so
whoever patient zero was doesn't really matter in the end. And
there must have been several patient zero's as I found out the
following people were also infected, and I had no contact with most
of them prior to becoming sick myself.
The wife (who recovered much faster
than myself), my sister-in-law, our ad director, our circulation
director, a sheriff's detective, the Madisonville police chief, one
of our ad representatives (who was firstвЂ¦ hmmm, a new patient zero
candidate?) and, oddest of all, Los Angeles Lakers super guard Kobe
Now, Bryant got doped up by the best
doctors his team can afford and he went out and scored 40 points in a
game. I took some store brand Dayquil and Monday night made the
wonderfully delirious statement, "I think I'm melting!"
I'm not prone to sickness. Yes, as
anybody who knows me will testify, I feel "bad" most of the time,
but that's from getting old and watching all my hopes and dreams
get crushed under the foot of reality. But when it comes to sickness
like this? Very rare.
My editor commented that I seemed to
miss a day due to illness once every three years, but the truth is,
aside from surgery I had in 2010, this was the first time I'd
missed a full day of work since the 1990's.
That's not bragging, unless you
consider acknowledging an incredibly amazing streak of luck to be
bragging. I must have mentioned it recently and forgot to knock on
wood for it to have happened this time.
I've always attributed such a lengthy
streak to not being around kids and, for the most part, working
alone. Yeah, I see people all the time and lean on germ infested
counters at various government offices, but I have learned the trick
of not touching anything on my face before I can get to a bottle of
For what it's worth, I once read that
you really should avoid touching your nose before washing your hands
and that the mouth isn't as bad as some people think. Something
about there being so many bacteria killing acids in the mouth and
none in the nose. Eyes are bad also.
Either way, we're heading into that
time of the year. Do everything you can to keep from descending into
coughing fits and having a temperature that makes you think you're
melting like a crayon in a microwave.
And we won't even mention fever
dreams. It's exhausting running from zombies.
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