Thursday, October 4, 2007

Me and my cold

Well, I've got a cold.

I hate having a cold. The reasons are obvious. but there is a not so obvious reason. I like to think of myself as some kind of mutant. Not one with any kind of great world saving super power, but rather a mutant whose power is to not get sick very often. The truth is I don't. I would say that in my life I've been sick a grand total of 25 times A.T. (After Tonsilectomy at age 10) I'm not impervious to disease, not at all. And I don't count Strep for some reason. If I did count strep It would probably be about 30 times. Every time I have a bad headcold it makes me realize that I don't have any kind of a mutant ability, I just wash my hands a lot, and that's probably what does it. It's kind of a personal disappointment.

There are 3 stages to having a bad cold.

Stage 1: Denial

You don't actually believe you will get sick. You can feel your throat getting sore, and you call it a 'tickle' and you figure 'I'll just get to be early and that will kick it' Or better yet, you drink a boatload of orange juice or take some kind of herbal crap that your crazy aunt recommends. This is the same crazy aunt that you would no sooner listen to for any kind of life advice as you would give her all of your money to invest, but when you sense yourself getting sick, you start to cast about. It is the most important thing in this stage to completely deny that you are getting sick. If you admit that you are getting sick, the virus will hear you and know that your defenses are about to fall.

Stage 2: Acceptance

You know that you've accepted the fact that you're sick because you wonder if you will ever feel normal again. You think to yourself 'You people should be thankful for your health!" as you check yourself in to the leper colony. Now that you are actually sick, you are going to make the best of it. You go to the store and buy a cold remedy that you've actually already bought the last time you were sick and it didn't work. You don't buy herbal remedy's or any of that other quackery, they have generics, but you don't buy those. Those are the things you buy when your kids are sick because you know they are faking it anyway. This is you. You will take this remedy and it will actually make you feel worse and you will store it in the bathroom next to the other remedy that didn't work before. You exaggerate the effects of your illness in order to avoid any activity that you don't want to take part in. Top of this list of course is Church, some are honest about it and just say they don't want to go, others will take the high road and say that they don't 'want to infect the faithful' The truth is, if you could miraculously transfer your cold to one of those babbling snake charmers you would. But there is more. Family get togethers with the 'wrong' side of the family. Answering the phone. or any other household chore you never liked doing much in the first place or social obligation that you'd rather not attend. Notice that I didn't say take off work. This doesn't occur in this stage. People would rather die than use sick leave when they are actually sick.

Stage 3: Extension

You're on the mend! yay! You've dug through and you're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. You still sleep on one side or the other to drain your sinus and you refresh your tissue supply in your car and next to your bed. Still, you feel like you're getting better.
You still use your illness as and excuses to avoid unpleasant events, but now you find yourself imitating yourself when you were really sick in order to be more convincing. NOW is the time you use sick time. You feel well enough to take a bit of vacation and so you do. Someone needs to pay for this hell-spawn virus, and who better than your employer. After all, it was probably someone at work that gave it to you in the first place. Now you are in a special club. You are one of the people that 'already had that' and you can easily identify people that are just starting their journey through this viral adventure. You tell them what they can expect as though they had never been sick before in their lives. You are an old hand. You might even offer them your lame cold remedy that didn't work for you.

I'm just falling out of stage 2 and ready to take my time off ;)