On the Cold Front

It was just a tickle Thursday night. I thought it would go away. By Saturday morning my nose had started to run, and by Saturday afternoon I was miserable. It was the invasion of the common cold.

Isn’t it strange how sickness affects every part of your daily life? I can’t breathe or smell or taste. I have no appetite and eating is a chore. So is talking, even if my voice has a Kathleen Turner edge. I’m trying to sing during choir rehearsals, but I feel bad for the people sitting next to me who have to listen. Between my clogged ears and rough voice, it must sound terrible.

My nose is literally the color of my red “Santa’s Favorite Brunette” T-shirt. My Puffs are gone, and I’ve been using A&D ointment on my nose. I’ve also been taking extra vitamins, zinc, antihistamine, decongestant, and acetaminophen, in various forms, as well as drinking tons of water and tea and juice (and visiting the restroom frequently).

Almost my entire life for the past three days has revolved around nursing this cold. Before it arrived, I didn’t think about breathing- I just did it. I ate food because I was hungry, and it tasted good. I smiled and laughed with other people without worrying about infecting them. I lived without delving into my medicine cabinet every 4 to 6 hours.

I didn’t appreciate the ability to live a “normal” life until I lost the everyday abilities we take for granted. Now I look forward to breathing through my nose and having a clear head. I look forward to waking from a good night’s sleep without reaching for a tissue. I look forward to engaging in life again.

Sometimes when we lose things we used to take for granted, we don’t get them back. I’m planning on attending a visitation tomorrow for my friend’s dad. I hope his friends and family appreciated him during his lifetime. The hardest thing to do is try to tell someone “I love you” or “Thank you” after they’re no longer on this earth.

Tell someone you appreciate him or her today. Show gratitude for the things you have, the abilities you possess, and the people in your life. In the words of Chicago, “You don't know what ya got until it's gone.”

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