Wednesday, January 9, 2013
How dry I am
When is a sneeze more than a sneeze?
When you're forty-something, have carried three babies and are a miserable failure at remembering to practice your Kegels at stoplights because that's when you check your text messages.
In which case, a sneeze is an adventure. A potentially embarrassing and damp adventure a little like juggling knives immediately after applying hand lotion. A slip could prove devastating, socially and otherwise.
Which is why I am home today. Coughing, sneezing, swallowing Ibuprofin.
I rarely got sick when I was unemployed. MathMan has kindly pointed out that it's because I rarely left the house.
Now I'm out there among the germs, but at least I have paid sick time. So there's that.
Now it's a matter of managing and mitigating the symptoms. Drink lots of liquids, they say. Oh, sure. Easy for them to say. They're not in danger of weeing themselves with each sneeze or cough.
I am unable to or refuse to take advantage of the ways the market has addressed the needs of the continence-challenged. I still can't afford the co-pay for southern rehabilitation and I'm not at all ready to leave the house wearing something named for admirable traits. Have you eyeballed those things? I've received samples in the mail and they definitely look absorbent, as in they ought to be used instead of sandbags during flood preparation.
The problem is they look like they'd feel like a brick in one's pants.
Imagine walking around making a sound like a toddler in a diaper. You know how it sounds when they run around in nothing but disposables, all bumble-bee butt and naked torso? Swish, swish. Someone might wonder why I sound as though I'm wearing corduroy when clearly I am not.
Then there's the worry of odor. Let's say I have a big sneeze in the middle of doing something like answering the phones. I can't always excuse myself immediately. Will I smell like the Washington Street station of the CTA? How will I know? My nose is so stuffed up, the only way I could tell know is by assessing the distressed looks on colleagues' faces?
By then it's too late. I've become that woman who makes a vaguely swishing sound and smells faintly of pee. Sure, it's a way to stand out, but I'd rather be known for my intelligence, competency, and ass-kicking problem-solving skills.
Which leaves me at home, watching old movies, counting Kegels, and dozing while at the mercy of the unsympathetic cats, who, by the way, have no compunction whatsoever about informing me when I'm making strange sounds or smell a bit off.
How are you avoiding the plague?