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By Pam Burke 

One flu over the cuckoo's nest


January 10, 2014

Thanksgiving is long over, but I’ve been trying to keep that spirit of giving thanks alive throughout the year — which is all heartwarmingly fine and furry until you get the flu and then your husband doubles down on that illness action, too.

My challenge, since succumbing last weekend to fever and chills and coughing and a general malaise which has inspired up to 22 hours a day of sleeping, is to find 10 things about this bout of flu for which I am thankful.

1) It’s not intestinal flu — and I cannot stress enough how happy I am that this is so.

2) When it struck, I had two types of soup pre-made and stored in the freezer and all our dishes were clean. Food came to us like manna from heaven, and there was enough room to stack bowls without a kitchen disaster. Score!

3) Though our intestinal tracts were not affected in any violent fashion, we were not very interested in food, so what would have been soup for one meal, lasted for four. So with two soups, we lived like royalty for days.

4) I got caught up on sleep. Maybe even ahead some.

5) I got sick in the winter, didn’t miss much outside. It’s just another week of winter gone bye-bye.

6) The next time my husband says we never do anything together, I’ll just remind him of the time we got matching flu-bugs, took a three-day vacation, and slept for hours and hours together. We even slept through some of our favorite TV shows together.

7) I got to wear whatever I wanted, including this ensemble from Wednesday: pinkish-mauve, wool-silk blend socks; a pair of navy blue wind-breaker pants over thick, lavender-colored sweats my mom bought me during what I imagine was a frenzied day of sale-shopping and heavy drinking with her girlfriends; a turquoise T-shirt; a red and black plaid flannel shirt; and a white, green and black plaid flannel robe over top all that. It was not the most mismatched of my clothing choices.

8) I went to the store for a few essentials that day without changing out of that lovely mismatched ensemble — though I did exchange the robe for a down coat. I wore that outfit out loud and proud and I really didn’t care if anyone saw me dressed like a homeless person.

9) Also, my right eye was having an inflamed dry-eye moment, so it was the deep, fiery red of the eyes of a Horned Grebe in summer plumage, when the bird’s naturally red orbs, set in its frilly feathered face, look as if someone infused rubies with iridescent essence of blood and the menace of someone plotting 10 different scenarios for your death, each plan less sane than the last. So, yeah, when I looked like that at the store, everyone kept their distance, and I didn’t have to worry about passing the flu along to the other shoppers.

10) Did I mention how happy I am that this wasn’t intestinal flu? Yeah, there’s still that joy.

(I’d stick around longer, but I feel a nap coming on at pam@viewfromthenorth40.com.)


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