About 10 days ago, Garry and I got sick. Coughing. Wheezing. Sore throats. Runny noses. Chills one minute, sweating the next. The perfect storm of a classic winter cold. My son came down with it at the same time as did half the people with whom I’m in touch on the Internet. We all have the dreaded What’s Going Around.

We get sick every winter. Every damned winter. It doesn’t seem to matter what we do. We get sick anyway. We faithfully get our flu shots, but what comes around is never what it was we got vaccinated for. We tried to have a conversation earlier this evening. I couldn’t hear him because my ears are blocked. He couldn’t talk any louder because his throat is so sore. Then we both started to cough, then laugh, which made us cough more.

Danger lurks. No one is reclusive enough to avoid What’s Going Around. The worst places (in order of threat level) are a doctor’s waiting room. The drug pickup area at the pharmacy. The grocery store. A dentist’s waiting room. Really, any place where people gather in the winter is a place full of germs. We are doomed.

me sicko

Whatever we are suffering is never the flu. We have all the symptoms, but it’s not what it looks like. Even though this year’s flu vaccine wasn’t quite on target for the mutated strain that showed up. Oops. The CDC takes their best information and base the vaccine on it. They usually get it right, but sometimes, the flu that shows up isn’t the one they prepared for. Double oops.

We’ve already been told — on the phone, without an examination because all those other sick people are clogging the office — we do not have the flu. Is this supposed to make us feel better?

I’ve been trying to smile. To not whine all the time, which is what I feel like doing. I’ve got a ton of stuff I need to do and feel too crappy to do it. We are snowed in.  I can barely haul my aging, aching carcass and a camera to a door to take a few pictures of this impressively deep snow.

It’s hard for me to stay cheerful when I feel exactly as bad today as I did a week ago, if not slightly worse. So does Garry. And Owen. None of us is better than last week. I think I’m worse. But the doctor says it’s viral, so there’s nothing she can do.

I’m not cheerful. I feel like my lungs are full of liquid. As if I’m being water boarded by a virus. I know it’s just a winter cold. It will go away. They always go away. I wish it would go away very soon. Now would be good.

Categories: Health, Humor, Medical, Personal

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33 replies

  1. I made my theory long ago. You can have a nose cold, which is OK. It just runs all the time and you sneeze a lot. I love sneezing it wakes everyone. Then there is the throat cold. That is not good, you cough all night, feel half dead when you wake and the place is littered with paper handkerchiefs – what they contain is not the best evidence of human, I was here. Then there is the nose and throat combined cold. That is not good, you do not know whether to empty your nose or your throat. Mr. Swiss like the special version of throat cold when I lose my voice. He finds that it is the best solution as I don’t have to talk about it. Two weeks ago I had a nose cold, which wasn’t so bad. I gave it to Mr. Swiss not wanting to be selfish, but of course he had it much worse than I did, he is a man so go figure.


    • Garry is MUCH sicker than I am. It’s a guy thing. He doesn’t sneeze, though. That is my department. We share the coughing and my ears are so clogged, I think he may hear better than me at the moment. We don’t talk much. Whenever we try, someone says WHAT then the other starts to cough. Then someone laughs and we begin to choke. I believe we have all the various cold components, right down to the tissues which, no matter how carefully aimed, never wind up IN the basket, but somehow on the floor near it.


  2. Oh I dread this! Thankfully yours are not ‘internet travellers’! One by one in our office,too, colds and cough have been spreading! Waaah! Hope you all feel better. Rest and tried a vit C booster?


  3. I always get the flu shots – my GP drags me to his nurse for it. One year they completely missed the virus and the flu just swept around the whole country – my children and I were all so sick for ages. Apparently school attendance was down about 50% at one point. Just drink lots of fluids and laugh – if you can. 😀


  4. Even though Oregon was one of the lesser affected by the flu this year precautions are in place everywhere. Mass transit is awful for picking up bugs. You’d think people were born in a cave or something the way they sneeze, cough and “touch” everything. We have a huge foreign population in Portland, normal for a coastal area where 90% of Oregon’s population lives on this 10% of real estate. I wear gloves on buses & trains. I have good soap near every water source to wash my hands. I’ve been lucky so far but then this isn’t New England and we didn’t get one flake of snow.


  5. I think it’s the flu, (I don’t care what they say) A cold doesn’t have the fever, aches and pains and is usually gone in 7 days. The hardest part of this malady for me is that it is hard to sleep at night. You cough (severe hacking), sneeze, your nose runs and you ache in places that never hurt before. I took an over-the-counter flu medication last night and it did help me sleep. I feel a little better today. We never get the flu shots and this is the first time we have been sick in years. So looking forward to the spring. Hope you two are getting a little better too.


  6. Hoping your germs are not internet travellers! Wishing you well Marilyn, and may you be feeling a lot better very soon!


  7. The only thing good about being around so many sick people ( as I am a dental hygienist) I have an immunity that is unbelievable, have not had even a cold in 30 years! Hang in there and use my cure for everything, gargle with that nasty tasting 3 percent hydrogen peroxide! Sending love Robyn


  8. First, I hope you and Garry (and Owen) start to get over What’s Going Around very soon. Second, in your listing of the worst places to be to avoid getting What’s Going Around, you left off #1: on an airplane, crammed with several hundred other people in a long, narrow, metal tube with recirculating air approximately every 20 minutes with people all around you coughing and sneezing and with very few — especially the kids — not covering their mouths when they cough and sneeze. And the kids are snotting all over the place, wiping away the snot with their hands, and then touching everything within reach. It’s a horror story gone viral…literally.

    In the past two weeks I have been on five airplane flights and I’m just waiting for What’s Going Around to Come Around. I’m not looking forward to it at all.


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