Archived Story

Flu put columnist down for the count [UPDATED]

Published 10:40am Thursday, December 19, 2013 Updated 12:41pm Thursday, December 19, 2013

How to know if you have the flu:

Your nose burns and if it were not plugged from one end to the other, you might believe its tender inner parts have been splashed with gasoline and lit aflame.

At least gasoline might open it up so you could breathe again.

There are new places inside your skull that have fulfilled a long yearning to be a drummer, and are pounding away at your sinuses in mad rhythm with the beating of your heart.

Can there actually be a drummer pounding that many sinus cavities in one head?

Something is alive and growing and angry somewhere deep down in your throat, and is sending signals that the slight tickle you felt two days ago meant much more than you thought it would at the time.

You’d like to complain about it, but your voice won’t work. It’s very angry.

How is it possible that the unbelievable amounts of liquid running out of your nose can come from anything but a rural fire department water hose?

Perhaps there is no global water shortage; perhaps, by some mysterious X-File alien interference, Big Pine Lake has been rerouted through your head. That would at least explain why your sinus cavities are complaining.

They didn’t sign on for this much wet-land draining.

Is that the doorbell ringing? The screaming of a tortured child?

Oh. I guess not. Your ears are so plugged by the backup pressure of the lake rerouting itself through your noggin that your eardrums are approaching their explosion limits, and you should keep women and children out of the direct path of what is rapidly becoming an improvised explosive device — your head.

A chance glance at a reading lamp; just the slightest hint of brightness; some awkward movement of your head — suddenly, deeeeeeep down inside your subconscious involuntary body functions comes a yearning to, a yearning to, to, to SNEEZE! You want it. You crave it. But. The more you want it and the more you search for it, the more reclusive this urge becomes. You look for a bright light to stimulate this yearning. Alas, it has gone back into hiding. Maybe next time.

“Influenza.” An old Italian word describing how the alignment of the planets “influence” human diseases, back at a time when germs hadn’t been blamed for what they do.

Yes, I had the flu shot. Nope. It cannot hit them all. As flu illness goes, this was about as typical as it gets: respiratory involvement; muscle aches and pains (My hair actually hurt.); fever; sneezing (Sneezing is fun, until it feels like you’re expelling parts of your lung.); a crackling cough; and sleepless nights.

This is a short column. I’m over it, but not over it. Good luck. There’s a lot of winter left.

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