You don’t forget

Thursday October 27, 2005

The problem with the common cold is that it’s so… common.

I woke at 7:00 this morning to find myself full of the darned thing, dripping, wheezing, coughing… you know how it goes. I suppose there must be some people on the planet who’ve never suffered the common cold. I’ve yet to meet one. The way I feel about it today, if I did, I’d shake him by the hand, and wheeze all over him. Just to share, you understand.

I wouldn’t really, of course. Except for today.

I knew I was in trouble when it came to breakfast time and I found myself completely without appetite.

“Oh, oh, Dolly,” I said. “Looks like I’m in for a fever. I’ll do your breakfast now so’s you can tank up before I collapse in a heap.”

Shortly after that the fever started. Lovely. Hot and cold by turns. Dripping perspiration. A touch of delirium when it was at its worst. Quite a heavy touch, actually.

I placed a bin and a box of tissues by my nightstand, another in the bathroom, one by the desk and another by the place I sit mostly. Lined up the palliatives on the kitchen counter—Night Nurse, Day Nurse, Lem-sip, and rum. Lots of rum. And, finally, a notebook and pencil so’s I could keep track of my paracetamol intake.

Then I took myself off to bed.

Woke at intervals throughout the day for the purposes of coughing, and two or three times because I needed to stretch my limbs and contemplate the possibility of food. And reject it. I managed a couple of slices of toast late this evening but that was it.

The fever peaked some time in the early evening, ebbed, and disappeared a couple of hours later.

“There you go, Dolly”, I said. “All over bar the lassitude. And the clearing up.”

So, very late, and after those two slices of toast, I cleared up, returning the palliatives to the cupboard, and emptying my tissue-filled waste bins into a black plastic sack. Ye gods and little fishes but there was enough mucus there to make another poet, entire and complete.

Putting a coat on for safety’s sake, though it was very mild outside, I popped out to dump the sack. Stood for a very short while to enjoy the night. Oh, boy, but it was good to breathe some fresh air!

I ought to have gone on to change the bed sheets and pillow cases but energy levels persuaded me otherwise. I’ll do that job tomorrow.

Last thing, I recharged Dolly’s tuna dish and stood in the kitchen while she mumbled contentedly through it, me drinking a large mug of coffee just to keep her company.

“Was that good, Dolly?” I said as she finished up and began the big lick and clean up. “Don’t wake me, if you please. I think I need a decent night’s sleep.”

And so, that’s the accounting of my latest encounter with the common cold, full scale, fever style. It’s been a while, but you don’t forget.



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