I am sick.
Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick.
At the beginning of the week, I thought it was allergies. So I loaded up on Astelin and Mucinex D and went about my business. Went to work. Four days later, feeling worse each day, I realize it’s a virus, not allergies as one might suppose with the mold so high in central Texas.
But today, after speaking with a coworker about her brush with snot, she said that my symptoms well matched her symptoms of a week ago. “What?! But the molds are still high,” I said.
“Yes, but my symptoms went away after a week of so of bad congestion and coughing so I know it was a virus, not allergies, regardless of the mold count. Did you see how high the ragweed was? Yuck. I’m doomed.”
This information blew my mind. All my efforts were fruitless because virus must be tolerated not thwarted like allergies; contained in little bubbles of symptom induced reactions, not undermined by modern medicine.
But right now, instead of wondering what virus I have, you’re probably wondering how my coworker and I both know the molds are high and ragweed is on the rise? You don’t live in central Texas, do you? Well, here in good ol’ Cedar Park, suburb of Austin, capital of Cedar Fever, we know what allergens are high because we have to. It’s a survival mechanism. Other people, like in Phoenix or El Paso, might need to know the temperature because at 120, your skin starts to melt, but here, the all important question is what little fleck of plant sperm is floating around and making you feel like shit. This will determine your entire focus for the day. Do you take just the Zyrtec in the morning or do you Zyrtec, Nasonex and saline wash? Do you settle for a half of dose of Mucinex D because the oak pollen is only “medium” or do you hide in your bed with extra Hepa filters in the air conditioning unit because cedar is at all time highs? These are the questions every person in the Austin area must ask themselves to survive… all the normal ones, anyway.
You also might ask yourself, “Why does she sound like she’s on drugs right now?” That’s because I’ve decided that the only defense is a good offense… Modern medicines can’t conquer viruses so I’m drinking bourbon and cokes instead of taking more medicine… well, in addition really, but you get the point.
Besides, I blame it all on my roommate in college. You see, there was a time when this roommate… you know who you are… developed a bad cough; a really bad cough, actually. So bad, in fact, that it was very worrisome. We didn’t have wonderful drugs like Astelin and Claritin and Zyrtec back then, only “kick your ass into bed” Benedryl and “there’s no need for food” pseudoephdrine. Besides, we had money only for sangria and beer, not medicine, so her mom suggestion a folk remedy guaranteed to solve her coughing problem: honey, lemon and Jack Daniels. Hot damn, we thought, What a brilliant woman.
After the recommendation, we bought the ingredients and I watched my roommate down this concoction like it was friggin’ ambrosia… ’cause it was. She’d take it before bed, before sitting down for homework, before class even, coughing the whole time, but less so we thought. I think at one point she even had a flask of it she took TO class. Anyway, a couple of weeks later, the cough was gone, but the remedy stuck in my head like the burn of a late afternoon sun in your retinas while trying to see a western facing stoplight (yep, I’ve been drinking).
So, I thought, Why the hell not and here I sit, virus attack my left ear like Ghengis Kahn on Rome and I’m trying the old concoction in a desperate attempt to feel better… and it’s frickin’ working! Kinda, anyway. Of course, I’ve substituted the lemon and honey for Coke Zero and switched Jack Daniels for Maker’s Mark, but the essence is still there. Why dwell in the little stuff?
Sure the pain in my ear is still there and I’m still congested as hell, but I don’t give flip and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Time for another dose!