I am getting sick for the first time in…almost a year and a half. Seventeen months. Thanks to good habits in sleep, diet, and exercise I haven’t been sick since the October I was visiting a friend in Chicago and shivered through all the night on the sofa beside the living room window. (Lesson learned: even in a warm apartment, the Windy City is the Windy City.)
It’s the third day I’ve woken up with a sore throat. Now it’s getting more to the point of numbness, though: where the whole body feels raw and dull. Yesterday my throat was in such a state of hotness, dryness, and scratchiness that I felt hungover (when I haven’t had that sort of drink in ages); today it just feels sort of swollen. Except when I yawn. Then it feels like I’m trying to swallow a needle.
My right ear might be full of water. You know in movies, when the hero barely escapes an explosion and the force of the blast still catches and throws them and their ears ring? There’s no ringing, but that’s how muffled my hearing is in the one ear: like something just exploded beside it.
Past experience tells me things will get worse before they get better: first comes the sore throat (check), then the stuffiness (check), then about a week of flem and runny nose and not enough Kleenex (impending).
There is a silver lining to all this, however: a cold, while not horrifically debilitating, is a reasonable excuse to take it easy, so today—after I eat breakfast and shower—I think I’m going to hole up in bed with a hot cup of chai, The Cider House Rules and my manuscript.
What’s the word?