In Which I Don A Bodysuit Of VapoRub

Listen.

I have had a lot of colds.

It comes with the territory of teaching at a high school, and also having small children who are around other small children during the day. I’m used to having the occasional bug; it’s something I’ve learned to expect and deal with.

But the cold I caught sometime on Wednesday has a devious streak, and I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. In fact, I may have to call its mama and have a long chat about just how tricky this little cold has been.

Wednesday morning started the same way all Wednesday mornings start: I woke up at 5:30, got ready for work while my husband tended to the children (bless that man’s heart–it’s not easy to wrestle a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old into non-pajama clothing), and left with the kiddos around 7:00.

At lunchtime, I noticed my head felt a little…buzzy.

There are, to my knowledge, only two causes of a buzzy head. Since I’m not in the habit of boozing it up during school hours, I figured it was the second option: GERMS.

CUE MUSIC OF DOOM.

Normally, a cold is no big deal. I can take some quality medicine, hydrate like a boss, and even take a day off work if I want. So I planned to do all this, but it never got that bad. It just sort of fizzled out.

I should have known something was off, but oh, I was naive.

I went home Wednesday afternoon feeling fine, and even though Thursday morning brought a mediocre round of the sniffles, I thought, “Eh, it’s probably just allergies.”

(Side note: I have never in my life suffered from seasonal allergies, yet this is ALWAYS my first explanation as to why I’m not feeling well. What is wrong with me?)

Thursday afternoon: I felt fine.

Friday morning: I felt fine. I even gave my last Aleve-D to a co-worker who was about to be brought down by a cold of her own.

Friday night: Fine.

Saturday morning: Ehhhhhhh. Okay. My “allergies” were acting up a little, but I had the following commitments to fulfill:

Our annual family photo shoot at my parents’ 1920s farmhouse (where they actually live, and yes, where I grew up)

My author photo shoot in downtown Birmingham (the pictures I’m using now are from my first shoot in 2009, so obviously it was time for an update)

A friend’s 4-year-old daughter’s donut decorating birthday party (!!!)

Another friend’s 31st birthday dinner (there would be pizza, and I love pizza)

Now, I wasn’t ABOUT to miss any of these. Family photos? PRICELESS. Author photos? NEEDED. Birthday parties? AWESOME.

But midway through the 31st birthday dinner for our friend J (who, incidentally, is this guy), the germs decided to launch a FULL-SCALE AMBUSH on my head.

I couldn’t breathe. I could barely talk through the congestion. I felt chilly, even inside the crowded pizza place. I couldn’t hear anyone because my ears were stuffed up, so I just watched the Alabama-LSU basketball game on the TV while everyone else chatted.

And if you know anything about me at all, I am normally not the one watching sports while other people talk.

By the time Rob and I got in the car, I was pretty convinced I might be dying. And of course, since it was 9pm at this point, none of the pharmacies still had pharmacists on hand. That meant my precious Aleve-D–the ONLY cold medicine that works for me–was under lock and key until the next morning.

(Thanks, everyone who makes meth using cold medicines. This is all your fault.)

The only thing we found that would make any difference in my condition was VapoRub, so when we got home, I slathered it all over myself and crawled into bed, and lo, that is mostly where I have been ever since.

Except I did come down to the living room to watch The Mummy on A&E, because obviously.

My husband was sitting with me when this scene with the beetles came on, and unfortunately for him, it  launched me right into a story about this terrifying episode my family once had with an enormous black beetle that burrowed its way into our house. I'll tell you about it later.
My husband was sitting with me when this scene with the beetles came on, and unfortunately for him, it launched me right into a story about this terrifying episode my family once had with an enormous black beetle that burrowed its way into my sister’s bedroom. I’ll tell you about it later.

The good news is, I’ve got my Aleve-D now, and I’m mentally preparing myself to PRETEND I don’t have the cold from hell, BECAUSE:

In six days, I will be the featured speaker at the Birmingham Local Authors Expo. (It is FREE! Come see me, writers!) And I, um, need to prepare. Because although I often fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to life in general, I always make sure to prepare well for speaking engagements. They’re important to me, and other writers are important to me, and I want it to be a useful, fun, and informative time for all of us.

My first pass edits on PULL are due March 1. Yes, this is over a month away, but what I don’t want is to look up and find that it is February 20th and I still have a bajillion revisions to work through. That would result in some fairly low-quality writing on my part (think Tarzan-style dialogue), and, well, we can’t have that.

Also? I have two more speaking engagements in February. So I really, really can’t procrastinate the way I used to.

I have a job, and there are teenagers who expect me to be there, and I like them. This one doesn’t really need any explanation, does it?

Yellowhammer has REALLY picked up lately, which is awesome! But critiquing other people’s query letters and manuscripts WHILE working on my own edits, WHILE working full time, WHILE snuggling my husband and children in the evenings–you can see why I don’t have time give in to the germs. I have not overcommitted myself at all, but the work is steady, and I can’t just lie around.

It’s times like this when I think a time-turner might be nice.

There’s my ticket to leisure, right there. Somebody make this a real thing kthx.

And because I can feel some of you thinking it (and my husband has reminded me of this at least forty-five times in the past hour), YES, I am resting and trying to recover quickly.

But I’m telling you, this cold? It’s a stinker. And it has hit me at the worst possible time. So if you could send some healthy vibes my way, Grasshoppers, I’d be ever so grateful. And maybe some more VapoRub. And some chicken soup. And–oh, just go ahead and send yourself. There’s nothing quite as healing as a friendly face, after all.

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