I have been absent from the blogosphere for some days, which may be leading some of you to wonder: What has that Minal been doing during this historic week, a week of change, when hope as well as hate were victorious, when people celebrated and rallied and held vigil and slaughtered goats with large testicles in the streets? Has she been out canvassing and campaigning and agitating? Has she collapsed from exhaustion and exhilaration? Has she been busy preparing for her new duties as President Barack Obama’s Poet Laureate? Has she burrowed into her cave again to write her next masterpiece, perhaps for National Novel Writing Month?
My friends, I am here to report that I have been extremely productive. Specifically, I have had what is known as a “productive” cough. Even more specifically, what I have been producing is great, chunky gobs of guck. They are approximately this shade of bright green and they come from my lungs; in particular, the bronchi, for which this delightful ailment is named.
And since I am an overachieving model minority type, bronchitis is not the only thing I am doing. I am also serving as host to a complete set of upper respiratory bugs: sinus infection, ear infection, and what the nice resident at UCSF called a “classic case” of conjunctivitis. Yes, even my maladies are perfectionist. It’s a party over here, for sure.
I’m not quite sure how this happened, as I am the type of person who usually goes straight to bed at the first sign of a sniffle and doesn’t wake up till I feel totally better. I am a total baby about being even the wee-est bit sick.
I guess this time, I just didn’t do that. See what I get for trying to buck up and be a good sport! Never again.
I first started feeling a bit sick last week in Michigan, while visiting my brother’s family for Divali. One evening we were having dinner at Red Robin, which, for those of you without balloon-age children, is quite the family diner chain restaurant experience. It was very cold out, especially for a wimpy Californian such as I’ve become, and I felt a little soreness in my throat. So when the waiter came around to get our drink orders, I asked for hot water.
Apparently this was a fascinating and novel concept, because the Babyfaced Twin looked slyly at me and then started chirping, “Hot water! Hot water!” And that is what she ordered to drink. And so did the Bespectacled Twin. The bemused and amused waiter came back with the adult drinks in real glassware and the kiddie drinks in plastic cups with straws, and quietly told us he’d put a few cubes of ice in their hot water so it wouldn’t burn their 5-year-old mouths, and everyone was happy. I distributed pink plastic tiaras and mermaid money for all, which provided enough minutes of entertainment to hold us until the burgers and fries and whatnot arrived.
After dinner I should have gone home to bed, but instead I went to see an old friend who lives in Ann Arbor. We stayed up till about 11 p.m., catching up with three years’ worth of news and loves and dramas over tea. By the time I got back to my brother’s house, I had not only a sore throat but also sniffles and aches. The next day I felt like I had either a bad cold or a not-so-bad flu.
And then I got on an airplane.
I should have gotten a clue from the fact that my ears did not pop from the descent until the *next morning*. And yes, I did cancel some things; I did not go to yoga, nor did I carve pumpkins with the Lesbo Minister. And I was really good about doing my home remedies like steam therapy, sinus rinse, lemon ginger tea, and Nyquil (which does TOO count as a home remedy).
But then it was Halloween, and I never do anything for Halloween, but this year I was so excited about my Kinky Ladybug Queen costume, and about my writer friend’s Halloween housewarming party, and I had pumpkins all the way from Half Moon Bay to be carved, so I just had to go out. How could I not, with something so fabulous to wear?
And so, what I’d thought was a nasty Michigan cold morphed into the miserable thing you see before you. Well, actually, you don’t see, which is really for the best. I know some people reveal all in their blogs, but I will not be posting any webcam photos of my crusty bleary snotty self this week. No sirree.
On the up side, during my prolonged convalescence I have discovered:
– that my crappy bare-bones what-a-self-employed-writer-can-afford health insurance is actually better than I thought;
– that the UCSF Parnassus urgent care clinic is an efficient, adequately staffed, and friendly place with good intelligent caregivers;
– that I have wonderful friends and family who are willing to do the glamorous stuff like bring me food and meds, come over and wash dishes, and pick up prescriptions;
– that I really, really like codeine;
– that even if you don’t have energy for anything else, you can still somehow spend a lot, I mean A LOT, of time on Facebook;
– that those supposedly clever political blogs are not nearly as entertaining as catching up on my friends’ blogs and what people think of Michelle Obama’s wardrobe;
– that we have a tree in our lungs;
– that my cat really likes it when I stay home in bed 23 hours per day, just like him.
Well, time to take my evening meds and go be “productive” again before bedtime.
And that’s the news from Lake GooBeGone, where all the dreams are codeine sweet, all the rooms have their own boxes of kleenex, and all the snot is green.
P.S.: For a more entertaining take on boogers, please see “The Case for Nose Picking” on my genius friend Martha’s blog. She’s a real humorist.