In one of this life’s big ironies, I came down with my first real illness of the year just before the first day of spring.
So instead of taking my doggie, Una, for leisurely walks in the increasingly warming sun, I’ve languished at home, sniffling and coughing. The simplest tasks have exhausted me, and laughing produces a bout of cough convulsions.
Fun, fun, fun. Oh, happy spring!
After mistakenly overdoing it with the Robotussin DM the first night, which produced euphoria combined with pretty colors when I closed my eyes, but which kept me up half the night, I’ve been rigorously sticking to the recommended dosages, administering exactly the minimum amount at 4- to 6-hour intervals, addressing any in-between coughing fits with herbal cough drops.
Cough drops, I’ve learned, are also best in moderation. Extended periods of sucking on cough drops have made my gums sore, so that now I’m reluctant to take them unless absolutely necessary.
A dose of Sudafed (also kept to minimum dosage levels) helps address the sinus congestion I’ve experienced, and for the first two days I also was taking minimum dosages of pain medicine, to cope with aching in my jaw and sinus passages.
Every morning, when we awake, The Gryphon says optimistically, "You’re sounding better." Usually, I believe this is true, at least initially. Then I realize that it’s simply a matter of swapping yesterday’s symptoms for new ones. Today, about five days after the symptoms started, I’ve exchanged a congested chest and throat for a general feeling of exhaustion and occasional bouts of coughing.
Hopefully, I’ll be well enough by Wednesday morning to take Una for the booster shot I had to reschedule from Thursday, being too ill to take her. I figured it’s bad enough to have her barking in the waiting room without me coughing and snorfling like an extra on ER.
Una, whose nickname is Nurse Dog for her constant attentive care, is exhausted from following me around, being concerned about me. If Una had opposable thumbs, she’d be checking my temperature and putting hot washcloths on my forehead, I’m sure of it. She has been remarkably understanding about the lack of walks and, instead, has been making her services available as living teddy bear, happy to take naps with me or cuddle on the couch when I watch movies.
The Gryphon watched Dreamgirls with me Saturday, which we both enjoyed, and last night I watched a DVD that The White Rabbit had lent me months ago: Animusic, which pairs electronic music with 3D animated instruments. I also watched the original Stargate movie, in preparation for borrowing the first Stargate series from The Paper, as I’ve decided it’s time to find out why all my friends keep gushing about it.
If all goes well, The Gryphon will leave work a touch early tonight to make us dinner, because a grocery store trip this morning took so much out of me that the prospect of cooking feels doubly daunting. I’ve told him not to worry if he can’t leave early, because I’ll just eat something light to tide myself over until he returns.
I’ve picked up a few valuable insights over the last several days:
- Sometimes even a Type A person like myself has to take some time off.
- The Gryphon makes the most delicious oatmeal I’ve ever tasted (with golden raisins and just the right amount of brown sugar).
- I shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Always follow recommended dosages.
- Grocery shopping when you’re recovering from illness can be frustrating (every aisle, it seemed, I had to negotiate around obstacles, and to top it off, I got the slowest cashier since that old guy on the Carol Burnett Show, who forgot to take off my coupons, forcing me to wait in another line at the help desk for reimbursement).
- Cats like it when you’re sick, because you don’t mind petting them for long, long hours.
- Dogs, on the other handle, worry every time you cough.
- I am loved and very lucky.
Dogs make good helper animals; but hey, at least cats catch mice.