Can we just talk about colds for a second? I don't mean to whine but I have been sick, more or less, since November. It's now mid-March. That's, let's see, 4 months. Four months of hacking and sneezing and snuffling and croaking like a toad. I've had bronchitis and a sinus infection and something that left white pustules on my tonsils. I've coughed so hard I've gagged. I've had a fever and the chills. I have been sick so often I am actually embarrassed about it. I show up at work and feel as if there is a collective recoil. And can I blame them? No. Truth is, I'm kinda gross.
Today I went to the doctor to see if maybe there was a reason behind my incessant germiness. I was hoping they would find something obvious like an unrelenting sinus infection or a horrible black mold allergy. Even something truly terrible like lupus would have at least been an explanation. But I'm here to tell you that going to the doctor is no episode of House or page from the New York Times' "Diagnosis" stories. No one is interested in your medical mystery. No team of doctors approaches with clipboards and medical journals to try to figure out your problem. Nope. Instead you are informed that colds are caused by viruses (um, I know) and give a prescription for cough medicine (no current cough). In short, my visit to the doctor was a wholly unsatisfying experience and I still can't breathe through either nostril.
Any advice out there? Because I am starting to forget what it feels like to be healthy.
A thing I like
This lovely and true poem about why death is such a loss by the late, great John Updike. It makes me cry. I hope someone reads it at my funeral.
And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market --
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories
packed in the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That's it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren't the same.