its not the cough that carries you off

Or so they say.

It doesn’t always seem so when you wake up at 2am you’re coughing up a lung and can only sleep when slung over the arm of a couch…. a bucket within reach.

This flu has really taken it out of me. I started with a sore throat a week ago, next day I had a headache, by that night I had a fever, a chest full of sludge and other unpleasantries.

This is definitely not fun. I much prefer to be the one who’s well and full of energy, who can keep the house running and passably neat, while yelling at Wayne to stay in bed and forget moving till I said he was well enough.

Having things flipped on me sure sucks.

But frankly, I was so sick I didn’t care.

I didn’t care when the house got dirtier and messier. I didn’t even notice for about 3 days. When I did notice, I just couldn’t raise enough energy to care.

Finally, yesterday, I got up enough ‘give a damn’ to sweep the kitchen floor.  I had to. The dog-hair bunnies under the kitchen table started barking at me.

And I had to put on a load of washing cause I was out of clothes. During the worst of it I had to change clothes at least once a night. I was running out of Ts.

I had to hang them up in the living room to dry by the heater though, even though the sun was out, cause I couldn’t dare be outside. Wayne had already warned me that there better still be dog poop on the lawn when he got back or there’d be hell to pay.

I don’t think he trusts me to sit still. He has a point. If I hadn’t been sick, I would have hung out the clothes and pooper-scooped… and started another 5 projects.

Having to pause and catch my breath every few minutes kinda put a damper on that.

I also have to now rethink my standard reply to doctor questionnaires. The question “Do you have asthma?” used to elicit the reply “I used to when I was a kid, but I’ve rarely had it since.”

The new answer is “Yes. I have asthma.”

Getting to sleep lately has been a challenge. First there was the biblical flood filling my lungs if I so much as lay back by 5 degrees.

Then there’s the entire bagpipe band taking up residence in my chest.

Not only was their playing loud, but I could feel them crashing around in my chest!

My mom was the one who knicknamed my asthma my ‘bagpipes’. She’d say “your bagpipes are back” and give me a back rub and urge me to rest.

I first got asthma when I was 7 years old, living in Griffith NSW. No one knows where it came from. No one in our family ever had it. Sure, papou (mom’s father) had bronchitis all his life, but asthma? That’s an Australian thing… Guess I made my choice back then, huh?

When it did hit, with no prior warning, it hit hard. That first spring I was laid up for 2 weeks. I couldn’t move at all. Every single movement would cause a constriction and make breathing harder. All I was able to do was sit up in bed and wheeze.

That’s when I made my first little old lady friend. Her name was Aunty Edna and she was not my aunty. She was the sweetest old lady, I barely remember her, just the memory of a very proper elderly lady with blue rinse hair set to perfection, always dressed well, with lace hankies. She was the only one who could calm me down when I got really upset.

Come to think of it, I don’t even know where she came from or where she went after I got better. The only time I remember her in my life was at my bedside.

Anyway, I’m finally on the road to recovery, though I’ve been warned not to rush things. A few people Wayne’s son works with went back to work too soon and were back in bed.

Flu Take Two is not something I want!


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