If I Should Die Before I Wake

Most of my energy came back yesterday, but it’s a fickle thing.  It likes to hang around all day eating up the Doritos, and then when I need it most, saunter out the door with me asking plaintively, “But where are you going?”  “Out.”  Fickle, fickle energy.

What I’m up against now is the Nighttime Coughing and none of my old tricks are helping.

Falling asleep with a cough drop–doesn’t work.

Sleeping propped completely upright in a chair–doesn’t work.

OTC cough suppressant–doesn’t work.

As soon as the sun goes down The Coughing begins.  Darling Husband has been delightedly making fun of my coughing as payback to all the fun I made of his cough earlier this month.  Ok, I wasn’t technically the one making the fun. Boy8 was.  But I did laugh at Boy8’s antics.  Clearly, Darling Husband is collecting his payback.

And then, when I lie down, it gets worse.  The dragon awakens in my lungs and begins to bellow.  Roar, roar, roar.  After an hour or two of endless coughing, I finally pass out from the drama only to be awakened again every 30 minutes from The Cough.  The Cough leaves me with no air in my lungs and me gasping for breath, tears streaming down my face from the force of the cough, afraid I’ll suffocate by morning. Really, I can’t breathe.  It makes the prayer, “If I should die before I wake” feel dreadfully relevant.

The only thing that works is standing up.  If I stand up, the urge to cough goes away.  I’ve spent the last three nights alternately trying to sleep on a chair, propped up on a couch, or pacing the room mentally inventing various harnesses that would hold me up in a standing position so I can get some sleep.

My last resort is a medicine called  Tessalon Perle.  It’s a gel capsule that is supposed to anesthetize the tickle that makes you cough all night.  Barbetta, my nurse practitioner friend, told me about it at dinner one day.  Someone else at the dinner was complaining of a cough and Barbetta talked about using “pearls.”  I thought this was fascinating since Barbetta is normally highly skeptical of home remedies.  Why would she think that swallowing pearls would help a cough?  But we got that all cleared up (tessalon perle, not pearls) and I said to her, a bit testily, “How come doctors never tell you about this stuff when you have a cough?!  How would I get my hands on this stuff?”  She said that you have to call them and tell them you cannot sleep and ask them for heeeeelp.  I filed this tidbit away for a rainy day.

So this morning, clearly a Rainy Day, after three nights of unrest I called my nurse practitioner (Jen) and got an appointment.  Jen works in the same office as Barbetta, which is a good thing.  I tell Jen all the time, “Barbetta tells me this and Barbetta tells me that,” about my medical conditions.  If Jen didn’t know Barbetta I’m sure she’d just roll her eyes at all the things “my friend Barbetta” tells me.  But Jen knows Barbetta and hopefully trusts that Barbetta knows her stuff.  So when I desperately grapped Jen by the lapels and demanded said, “Barbetta told me that Tessalon Perle can help coughs. Give me some!” she gave it to me.

We’ll know in a few hours whether or not it works.

Oh!  And she also said that it sounds like I had the flu.  The flu!  Influenza, people!  That’s way worse than a man cold.  No wonder there was all that whimpering and lack of energy and tissues everywhere and having my family wait on me.  The flu!  That’s what killed Edward and turned him into a vampire, people!  This is serious stuff!


I finished Breaking Bad two days ago.  I had to buy those last 8 episodes, if you recall.  Without giving anything away to those who haven’t seen it, the one thing I expected to happen, happened.  I mean, we all saw that coming so it wasn’t a big shock.  We were just curious as to how the writers bring it about.

But all the other stuff!  Ay yi yi!  Those writers were brutal.  Wow.  I didn’t expect any of the other thing to go down the way they did.  Breaking Bad is a cautionary tale:  If you do wrong, you’ll get your due.  No exceptions.  Even the innocent bystanders.  Yipes.

Apparently my 70 year old aunt is watching Breaking Bad, too.  She posted a bizarre post on Facebook calling us all “B——, yo!”  Huh?!?  Aunt Ginger!  You are not a 20-odd year old drug dealer!  You’re a little old lady!  You can’t go around calling people names like that.  Someone’s gonna beat you up, yo.

I’m still alive

I’m still alive, in case you were wondering. The man cold hasn’t killed me yet.  Boy8 and Boy11 have been making me toast and caressing my brow and saying, “Poor little bunny,” throughout the day.

Boy8 asked me what I used to do when I got sick and they were babies.  Thinking back I remember having woman colds back then.  I’d manage to tend to them while being sick at the same time.  I told him, “Well, one always takes care of the babies, so I would take care of you no matter how bad I felt.”

Thank goodness those days are over!  Man colds are way better than woman colds.  Bring on more toast and poor little bunny carresses!  Of course, when I’m done suffering through my man cold I’ll add a home ec class to homeschool so I can teach the kids how to cook my favorite meals for the next time I’m stricken with a man cold.  A woman cannot live on toast alone. A little Tuna Helper is welcome from time to time.

I Have A Man Cold

I have a Man Cold*, people.  A Man Cold!  Ahhhh!

I’ve never understood those women who talk about how their husbands become big babies when they’re sick.  When Darling Husband is sick he still goes out and shovels snow and mows lawns and irons clothes and basically never stops and won’t let me play nurse.  I’ve given up.  Now when he’s sick I just sort of wave my hand in his general direction and say, “What, sick?  Do you need some aspirin or something?” and leave him be.

But me?  When I’m sick?  The world stops.  It’s into the bed for long naps, it’s balled up tissues littering the floor, it’s bottles of cough syrup and bags vitamin C drops on tv trays, it’s whimpering and looking for sympathy and letting my voice crack when I try to speak.  I was going to take a picture to show you how miserable I look but that would involve standing up and pressing a button.  It’s just all too much.  Blech.

Darling Husband and Boy11 have been coughing for 5 weeks straight now. They’re getting a little better. Boy11 can shift positions on the couch without going into a coughing fit.  Now he only coughs if he bounces through the house.  He certainly hasn’t been to his karate class in 3 or 4 weeks.  Running around like that would set off an embarrassing coughing fit.  I’ve honestly been a little nervous that maybe the karate people would call some sort of child protection agency to tell them I was hiding my child.

For the past few weeks I’ve been leaving Boy11 at home when I drop off Boy8 at the karate studio so he doesn’t have to breathe in the cold air. But since he’s getting better today I took him with me to drop off Boy8 and then Boy11 and I ran some local errands.  After the errands we arrived at the karate place and the karate instructor saw Boy11 through the big window and came out to greet us.  He had a confused look on his face.  At first I wasn’t sure if his confused face was because Boy11 was actually there, or if it was because Boy11 was wearing his fez. Yes, fez.  It’s a Doctor Who thing.  Boy8 wears his cool fedora everywhere he goes and Boy11 wears…the fez.  Sigh.  It’s a darn good thing he’s homeschooled or he’d get beaten up after school, I know.

Anyway, the karate instructor comes out, glances at the fez, and says, “Boy11!  We wondered where you were!  I thought your parents might have sold you for some extra cash.”


Hang on.  I just remembered that Boy8 ordered himself some bowties.  They should arrive any day now.   It’s a Doctor Who thing as well.  I guess they’re both equally nerdy.  A fez and bowties. Hey, what’d you expect with parents like Darling Husband and me?   They’re doomed, poor dears.

And now I need to go lie down and watch some TV.  I’m almost at the end of Breaking Bad** and realized that Netflix doesn’t have the last 8 episodes.  Ugh.  And when I’m sick, too.  What a world, what a world (yo)…


*After I finished writing this I looked up the link to Man Cold.  Hilarious!  That’s exactly how I am when I’m sick.  It’s uncanny.  Do you see all those tissues around the guy and the stuff on the coffee table in front of him?  That’s me right now so you don’t even need a picture to know what I look like.  Yes, when I’m sick I look like an overweight British guy.

**Speaking of selling people, I’m on the episode where Jesse thought that Gus was selling him to the cartel.

Cool fedora below.  We didn’t take pictorial evidence of the fez.