M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, July 25, 2007  


M. Small caught some kind of cold on or after or camping trip. It was inevitable that we were going to get it, especially since he's in an affectionate phase right now. It warms our hearts when he gives us kisses and squeezes unbidden, even when these displays of esteem leave us coated in yellowish phlegm.

And lately, he's even been asking us to take off our glasses so he can kiss on each eye. There is no defense. Even terrorists would be hard-put to envision a more efficacious delivery system for biological weapons.

And delivered it has been. Trash is now on her third week of suffering through debilitating throat pain that has nothing to do with the still-healing scar from her thyroid surgery. I was able to hold out a little longer, but last week I too was felled by whatever nasty bug had been incubating in my adorable little walking Petri dish.

He's fine now, but I can only hope that the pathogen currently ravaging my upper respiratory system and Trash's didn't have the same effect on M. Small. In fact, I would almost have to conclude it didn't, because he spent a lot less time bitching about how miserable he was than I have been. He's over it, in any case. Or at least he is if we can believe what he says when we ask him how he feels. "I feel fine," he calmly asserts.

My normal reaction to getting sick is to want to sleep a lot more. But even if I could – with my manuscript deadline less than six weeks away and about eight weeks of work left to do on it – it wouldn't help. My current bug has a charming feature whereby twenty or thirty minutes after I fall asleep, my mouth and throat dry out and start itching like crazy. For instance, yesterday I lay down for a catnap, promising Trash that I'd get up on my own in less than a half hour. Twenty minutes and one sleepy coughing fit later, I was as good as my word.

But that's nothing compared to the agony upon waking up in the morning. Upon approaching consciousness, one first becomes aware of a ball of sandburs that has taken up residence behind one's uvula, one that undergoes spontaneous combustion every time you swallow. So then you spend the first half hour out of bed alternately loading up on some of every cold medicine we have in the house (and some I bought the other night after running out) and coughing up great gooey hocks into the toilet. If all goes well, the pain is reduced to a manageable level just before one gets to work and has to start dealing with other kinds of pain.

"So go to the doctor," you say. Did that. All I learned is that I'm negative for strep throat, and that gargling with warm salt water might actually help enough to make up for how disgusting it is.

So I've been chain-sucking throat lozenges pretty much constantly and counting the days until this is all over. I'm not optimistic, because Trash is a week ahead of me on this and she's still dealing with it. Pretty much the best I can hope for his that it'll be gone before I pass it back to the kid. Just to be safe, I'm refraining from kissing him on the eyes.

posted by M. Giant 7:35 PM 9 comments


The Thieves essential oil blend from Young Living will get all kinds of medieval on all kinds of nasty bugs.

Because it tastes like turpentine.

But seriously. It is awesome. I work in a theater, and a 1500-seat school matinee of the Nutcracker 'round about fall flu season no longer holds any fear for me.

Mind you, none of the wee ballet fans has ever licked me in the eye, or anything.

But it is good stuff. Hope it helps.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 25, 2007 at 9:11 PM  

Sounds suspiciously like the bug I've caught. Nothing much to be done, I've been chugging down quantities of chicken broth laced with as much chillies, garlic and ginger as humanly possible and praying they will kick the bug's butt.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 26, 2007 at 9:35 AM  

See if you can get your doctor to prescribe Tussionex for you (an extended-release codeine cough syrup). It is the only thing that allows me to sleep when I have a bad cough, and it helps a little bit with the pain too. I recommend taking ibuprofen every 4 hours as well to keep the pain from driving you crazy.

By Blogger kmckee7, at July 26, 2007 at 10:24 AM  

Our little germ incubator brought MONO to our house this month. Joy and more joy. How does a 2 yr old get mono, for goodness sakes?!
Hope y'all are feeling better soon. Read some Harry Potter while you convalesce!

By Blogger Bunny, at July 26, 2007 at 1:14 PM  

Just got over that - absolutely sucked big time. After I tried everything over the counter I could think of, I got desperate and called my mom. She reminded me of my early childhood bouts with strep throat and said "Nothing ever worked for you but honey and lemon juice." I made up a small batch, found it worked wonderfully (particularly chilled). The recipe isn't an exact science - some siblings like it more sweet or more sour. I like it just sour enough to not quite give you that lemon throat lock...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 26, 2007 at 3:20 PM  

A long time reader, first time commenter, I had to say I sympathize with your subtitle for this post. I just had my tonsils removed at the ripe old age of 24 and yes, sometimes swallowing is AGONY.

By Blogger dcdiva, at July 26, 2007 at 3:43 PM  

Okay. I know this is going to sound sort of appalling, which it is, but try chewing an aspirin. It's incredibly bitter and faintly metallic, but it really does wonders for sore-throatiness. (Though I admit I have never had a sore throat involving spontaneously combustible sandburs.) Also, in the lozenge department, Cepacol lozenges beat the pants off everything else because they actually numb your throat. 'Course, they taste awful too. Good luck.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 26, 2007 at 7:39 PM  

Addendum to Jennie's advice: Don't chew the aspirin - get BC Headache Powders at the pharmacy (it's powdered aspirin), mix it with water, and gargle it. A great southern, down-home remedy that actually works.

By Blogger Bunny, at July 27, 2007 at 10:33 PM  

Just came upon this entry today (what happened to my notifying email, I do not know....) and have my own bit o' advice for the Nasty Throat Ick, which struck me down for almost 3 weeks at the end of June/beginning of July and which included a really irritating laryngitis to boot: Throat Coat Tea, with honey and lemon in it for good measure. I did double tea bags in one cup, covered the cup and let it steep for 10 minutes per the crazy instructions on the box, then squirted in some honey and lemon and chugged. It was the ONLY thing that helped, especially at night - worked better than essentially drinking Chloraseptic did, which I did before I thought of trying the tea. It's made of slippery elm bark or some such nastiness, but when doctored up with the honey and lemon, it isn't half bad.

Hope you and Trash are well, if not already to render my suggestion moot, then very, very soon!

By Blogger Heather, at July 28, 2007 at 3:34 PM  

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