I have, for two weeks, been suffering through what I've dubbed "The Cold That Will Not Die" (and yes, the capitalization is important). It's bad...I even canceled a class last week, and that's something I never do. I tried Mucinex, but no mucus was moved (stubborn phlegm!). I tried Zicam, but the cold did not speed up. I've been going through boxes of echinacea tea, but the only thing that's done is make my breath all herb-y. Chicken soup has been of no help. I've been ill so long, I'm seriously thinking about finding a voodoo specialist to see if they can help.
So after my spousal unit telling me that she'd brain me if I woke her up coughing at 4am one more time (she's actually been really sweet and concerned about the whole deal, but that doesn't make a good story), I made a doctor's appointment yesterday. First, though, I had to get through three classes, and my throat was raw like sushi afterwards...and I found myself flying through the lecture parts because I just wanted to get home and lay under my blankie. I did note, however, that I have several students who have also been sick for several weeks, and each of them has not yet missed a class because they were at home laying under their respective blankies...no, they were tough, tougher than I.
(incidentally, for one of my readers, they only become blankies when you are ill...I'll accept no childish names otherwise)
My appointment was this morning, and I came away with a startling (for me) revelation: doctor's offices are full of sick people! But you get a better class of sick people at a clinic then you would at, say, an urgent care place.
My doctor thinks it's my sinus infection holding on, even though the symptoms are totally different...but, as one doctor to another, I guess I'll have to offer the professional courtesy to give him the benefit of doubt and see if his drugs will work before I offer a contradictory judgment, even though I strongly suspect some type of super-flu.
If this really is the sinus infection holding on, then I've been sick for a while now. Most of the time, though, I don't find it painful or debilitating but merely annoying. The throat doesn't bother me too much if I don't talk (one wonders how the spousal unit feels about this), and my biggest inconvenience is finding somewhere to dispose of the used tissues...but that's bad enough to make me want this to just go the heck away.
When horror novels talk of super viruses, they always end up being immediately lethal, with the victims dying slowly under mountains of mucus and phlegm. What's probably a more realistic scenario, and one that I personally predict, would be if the victims just had really bad colds that never got better. Society would grind to a halt, because everyone would be at home drinking herbal tea and laying under their blankies instead of working. What industry would be left would center on tissue production, and the tattered remains of our government would be run by the Kleenex family, who would open our national forests to harvesting so they might have enough paper to meet the increasingly steep demand for said tissues. Chicken soup would become the mandatory meal for everyone until we as a nation ran out of chickens. Humanity as we know it would collapse first in the Great Chicken Soup Riots of 2010, Puffs and Kleenex would then, as the only two remaining superpowers, get locked into open warfare, and the battles would rage until we all suffocate because the last tree in existence got cut down for tissue raw materials. When the space aliens finally arrive a decade later, all they find is a mound of used herbal teabags and a pile of medical waste.
Maybe that's just the phlegm talking, though.