Here we are at the end of the first week of January and I have a cold. Boo-hoo, I hear you say out there in the blogosphere. I will take your pity, even as you mock me; I have no shame, you see. This cold started innocuously enough; a little tickle in the back of the throat, caused by the dry air I thought.
Then I coughed through the time I was supposed to be sleeping. Cough medicine, decongestants, and analgesics, all ineffective against the dread invader of my body. I was sitting in the living room before work on Friday when the chills set in. I can still make it to work I assured myself, I’ll just dope myself to the gills and wear some layers. I got to the kitchen table when it suddenly felt like I had been set on fire. I was now running a fever. “How high?” you ask. I don’t know. I’m not interested in knowing how close I came to death. I want to be surprised when the Grim Reaper taps me on the shoulder and says, “Come with me”.
I gave up and called in sick to work. Even assuming I could get there, there is no way I could operate heavy machinery safely. I take some comfort in the fact that I’m not the first one to take a sick day this year; two of my co-workers took Thursday off. On the other hand, one guy at work; let’s put it this way, I’ve buried things that looked healthier than him, and still he staggers in.
I’m going to blame him for my current condition.
After calling in, I went back upstairs to bed. I pulled the sheet over my face to save the coroner the hassle of doing it himself. I won’t say that I went to sleep, only that I lost consciousness. Sleep is restful and restorative, what I got wasn’t all that restful, and I don’t feel very restored. I had fever dreams, was freezing one moment, broiling the next, and generally had a miserable time. I did swim back to reality a couple of times to dose myself with cough medicine, etc. again.
When I woke up, I began wandering through the house like a forlorn ghost in search of tissues and soothing potions.
So, here I am, sitting at my computer, timing my keystrokes to my coughing and sneezing, telling you how miserable I feel. Why? Because I can.
I looked at myself in the mirror. Shudder. I won’t make that mistake again soon, I can tell you. I still feel like crap, but I think that with good luck and perseverance, I might, just might, survive this trip through illness.
On the subject of sick days, my company, a couple of years ago, in an effort to reduce absenteeism, put a program in place to reward people who don’t take unscheduled time off. If you make it through a predetermined six month period with perfect attendance, they will give you a day off with pay. I’ve actually earned two of them. Oh well, there’s always next time.
If you’ll excuse me, I have to go pour the hot water over the tea bags and let the pink elephant out of my head where he’s been doing some renovations.