Ain’t no cure for the summertime flu

My daughter texted me the other day to confirm that they’ll be back in town on the 24th — which is this coming Monday! — and I was confused and surprised to realize they’ve been gone two and a half weeks already. Because I’ve been sick the entire time.

I’m just starting to emerge from the menthol-cough-drop-scented haze of near-death to realize . . . I’ve lost a couple weeks.

This malaise, whatever it is, started out as a mere sore throat. Worst sore throat ever, but still, that was the only symptom. For a short time, maybe three hours, I thought perhaps it was simply a bad cold. But no, it was just gathering strength.

If you took all the worst symptoms of an awful cold and all the worst symptoms of a horrible flu, and combined them, that’s what I’ve had. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this sick and this completely wiped out. Absolutely worthless.

The only thing I’ve accomplished in the past couple weeks is to not let the cat and dog die of thirst or starvation. It was a near thing.

I lost my voice during the first week and have been whispering to them ever since:

“Jenny, are you hungry?” Like it’s some big secret.

“Do you want to go outside? No, kitty, you stay here.” This mission, should you choose to accept it, is highly classified.

“Are you ready to come in? Good girl.” Quick, don’t let the neighbours see you.

My head has produced so much green slime, I could supply several seasons of Nickelodeon and the next three Ghostbusters movies. Seriously, I’ve gone through FOUR LARGE BOXES of kleenex. So far.

And I’m telling you, somewhere underneath this middle-aged sprawl, I’ve got one hell of an eight-pack of coughing muscles going on. Of course, I’m now wearing my lungs on the outside and my diaphragm is up around my neck, but my coughing muscles are mighty impressive.

I am so sore.

Yes, I know. This is disgusting and I shouldn’t be talking about it. I’m totally going for the pity factor, here.

While I’ve been suffering, my daughter and her husband have been enjoying a lovely and relaxing vacation in the wilds of far eastern Canada. She reports they only saw one BEAR, while they were in Maine, and it was quite small and afraid of them. Right. I’m sure its mother, no doubt lurking protectively in some nearby bushes, was terrified of them as well.

Not that I was worried.

Here’s a picture of their version of a “simple” meal while roughing it. I can’t wait for them to get back so they can cook for meeeee. Her caption read: “Eating PEI mussels in a white wine cream broth, cooked campside on PEI, while looking at Nova Scotia across the strait.”

Yes, PEI is Prince Edward Island. I can tell you that’s where they were, since they’re no longer there. Here’s another shot from the same place, which she captioned: “Room with a view.”

I hope they won’t be too disappointed when they arrive chez moi in a few days to discover that, between bouts of coughing and sleeping 14 hours a day, I haven’t managed to finish clearing off space in the pantry for them. Or in the fridge. Maybe they can set up their tent and a cooler in the back yard until I get things sorted.

Oh well. As I said, at least the pets are still alive, even if they do think they’re now undercover spies. My current status is somewhat more iffy.*



*OK, seriously, I am MUCH improved. My voice is back, although an octave lower, and I’m even eating real food again. I just have that annoyingly persistent cough you get with the flu, the one that will apparently last *coughcough* the rest of my life. *cough*



Filed under health and well-being, travel

4 responses to “Ain’t no cure for the summertime flu

  1. Richard Maguire

    Hi KD.

    What you’ve been through sounds just awful. And right in the middle of summer. I guess it was some virus you picked up. But it’s also possible you were infected by an animal; in my experience of being around dogs and horses, very occasionally a flu-like infection begins with a sore throat passed on by some bug the animal is carrying. Anyhow, I’m glad you’re back on your feet again.

    Best wishes.


  2. Thanks, Richard. Yeah, it was pretty awful and the cough is lingering the way they sometimes do. But I’m feeling MUCH better. I also won’t be “forgetting” to get a flu shot this year!


  3. Richard Maguire

    “There ain’t no cure. Period.”

    KD, I was commenting on how a summertime ‘flu can be debilitating. But compared to depression it’s no more than a fit of sneezing. For that is surely what it was. Last week a German friend I’ve known for 7 years returned home after a day’s hunting in the mountains, and then went down to his basement and put the muzzle of his rifle under his chin.

    The rifle was loaded with .308 Winchester caliber bullets. When my friend squeezed the trigger a bullet blew his head to pieces.

    He was healthy,drank moderately, and had no financial worries. In recent times he spoke of his upset over a string of failed relationships with women, and the fact that he had no children. All I know now for certain is that it is impossible to really know or understand my fellow human beings, surely the strangest of all species. I’m sure you know the poem Richard Cory.


  4. Richard, I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. Depression is a hideous disease and we don’t often recognize or know how best to treat it. I think it’s true that we know people only to the extent they will allow or want themselves to be known. Outward indicators are often a mask, employed for privacy or in self-defense. In the case of suicide, we may never know the “real” reasons behind it. Again, I’m sorry for the pain this has brought you.

    And actually, I didn’t know the poem. I do now.