Cold Case File

Having never broken a bone in my life, nor ever gotten sick in the last few years, I am largely unfamiliar with and/or completely out of practice with the whole process of catching and dealing with a cold.  I'm fully recovered now, but here's a chronicle of my steady decline toward becoming a statistic and fullfilling Dani's dreams of cashing in the life insurance on me.

12pm - Sore throat begins.  It's a minor irritation.  I figure it will go away if I ignore it.  I turns out to be someone I dated in college and fails to get the hint.  This is going to be an ordeal.

7pm - I donated both my knees and lower back to an 80 year-old man sometime today in exchange for his worn-out versions of these same parts.  See, he discovered Viagra and can put them to use.  I feel like shit and want to die, so this is a reasonable distribution of resources.

1am - The sore throat doesn't go away.  In fact, it makes its presence known now by teaming up with rapidly filling sinuses.  These release a steady stream down the back of my throat ensuring that I will have to swallow periodically until I give up on the idea of sleeping through these sensations.  I get up and take in said sensations in what is probably the exact opposite of the experience of waiting for Santa Claus as a child.

9am - I have these annoying little dry coughs that sound ridiculous.

7pm - I shave most of the facial hair from my upper lip.  I do not want to find out what would happen should the Kleenex fail to catch all the contents when I blow my nose.

9pm - I don't recall swallowing barbed wire and gargling with hydrochloric acid, but according to my throat, I've been moonlighting with the Jim Rose Circus.

11pm - My head is too stopped up to do anything but consider pulling my teeth.  Something has to go, and that seems to be where the pressure is piling up.  I figure this would be a better release valve than my eyeballs popping out.

2am - I can't sleep, so I finally give in and try a couple of nose sprays (Yes, I doubled up).  No effect at first, but gradually everything opens up over the course of the next half hour.

2:30am - Things aren't stopped up anymore.  Instead, my nose has a slight trickle from each nostril that requires me to dab it with toilet paper every five minutes.

2:40am - I'm new to this "having a cold" thing.  The toilet paper is gradually morphing into sandpaper.

10am - No fever, strangely enough.  Hallucinations would be a welcome distraction right about now.

11am - Or now.

12pm - Or even now.  Shit.  Speaking of Courtney Love's second night of her umpteenth stint in rehab, I have been wearing the same clothes for about 36 hours now.  I look like one of the guys from Oasis back when they could afford not to look like they always do, and I feel like the guys from Oasis make me feel to look at them.

3am - I'm trying to sleep on the couch, but it isn't working as well this time as between 3 and 5pm earlier this afternoon.

7am - I finally give up trying to sleep and get up, take a dose of nose spray and two different kinds of pills.

7:30am - I'm too tired to stay awake.  Now that I can breathe again, I'm going back to sleep.

12:30pm - Dani calls to check in on me and wakes me up.  I talk to her for a minute, then fall back asleep.

1pm - I finally get up and check my email.  My sore throat is finally gone.  Hibernation is an effective treatment against it, apparently.

5pm - I am finally starting to get a fever.  My body's response time is like the National Guard to Katrina.  Donald Rumsfeld must be running my immune system.

9pm - My breathing sounds like Darth Vader in a dull staff meeting.  I wish I had the power to retrieve objects from across the room using only my mind.  It's an effort to get up, but my mind is in no shape to do much either.  This may be the closest I have been to being in a waking coma.  On the upside, I may have inadvertantly found a cure for ADD.

10pm - The sneezes are increasing in frequency; I'm up to one about every 15 minutes.  Apparently my face is about to give birth.

11pm - I took a couple Nyquil pills about an hour and a half ago so I can hopefully sleep straight through until morning.  OMFG!  They are like stupid pills, I swear.  I am having one brain fart after another.  I'm finally in bed writing this, but I can't tell you how many stupid things I've done/forgotten in the last 90 minutes.  By going to bed early, I'm hoping that I won't embarrass myself anymore tonight.

3am - I had to get up and get something to drink because all the little coughs over the previous day continuously drove a small razor blade into the back of my throat.

8am - I woke up about half an hour ago feeling reasonably well.  Then the Nyquil decided its shift was over and my nose started running again and the little coughs finally struck oil.  They hadn't been bringing up anything until now, but then I started pulling up something crude.

11am - My snot stinks.  This is especially bad since it is IN MY NOSE.

1pm - Lunch tastes terrible.  Probably because I have stinky snot in my nose.

5pm - Since my head is stopped up, my voice doesn't resonate.  It's the difference between an acoustic guitar and an unplugged electric guitar.  Couple that with the fact that my eardrums are blown out from blowing my nose, and what you get is a guy who can't hear himself trying to say something without a voice.

8:30pm - One of my nostrils is stopped up solid.  The other is completely clear.  I can't prove it, but I'm convinced this is a consequence of Bush's tax cut plan.

10pm - I'm nauseous from having sniffed so much snot into my stomach.  I hardly ate anything today, so there's nothing in there except mucus.  Is this a form of canibalism?

10am - I spent the morning waiting through coughing that continued on and on in fits that ramble like a simile by Tom Robbins.

1pm - My head was clear when I got up, but now it's filled back up beyond capacity.  My sinuses are an offshore account for an Enron exec.

9pm - You know that scene in "The Wizard of Oz" where Dorothy steps out of the house and everything goes from black and white to color?  Well, that's what the contents of my nose have done.  It's called a sinus infection, and it sucks.

9:30pm - I forgot to add that one of the many reasons why a sinus infection sucks is because when you go to blow your nose, you have to blow harder and longer than normal because everything hangs on like Anna Nicole Smith to a millionare with a heart condition.  Then, when you are just about completely out of air to expell, you'll suddenly trigger a cough that will eliminate the last tiny bit of air in your lungs.  Then you lay on the floor gasping your face back from a nice shade of blue to its normal pallid color.

10pm - After several days of the same symptoms, I went out all day.  Although my nose was stuffy, I didn't have time to stop and blow it.  Then when I got home, I blew my nose and the Kleenex came away with the weight and consistency of an over-stuffed Burrito Supreme.  Then I filled another half dozen tissues similarly.  How is there room for an entire fast food franchise in my head?

3pm - Although I wake up in the morning and cough for several hours, I am not having to blow my brains out through my nose anymore.  I finally gathered all the rolls of toilet paper from around the house and returned them to the bathroom today.  Tune up my guitars; I'm ready for my comeback.

Copyright 2006 Alexpectorate.

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