Monday, October 9, 2006

Vice Versa

I spent most of Friday evening trying to stave off Jon and his sneezing, sniffling head cold with an abundance of dirty looks and as many nice, wifely variations of BACK OFF as I could think of. He was still in the early stages, free of the migraine headaches and severely clogged nasal passages, so he couldn't see the fault in breathing on me, or nonchalantly leaning in for a kiss. I defended myself by putting a hand on his chest and explaining, "Jon, seriously, I CANNOT get sick! I'm too busy at work and I can't get time off, so please, stay back!" Though he tried, it was not in earnest, and it seems I was destined to catch this cold. And when I woke up Saturday morning with a stinging, prickly feeling in the back of my throat, I would have screamed, if it didn't hurt so much.

My sore throat was tolerable and left me feeling minutely lucky as I watched Jon's version of the cold turn into something much more annoying. He spent most of Saturday hauled up on the sofa, watching ESPN while I drove to the market, walked the dog, and took care of our normal, weekend errands. He barely had the energy to blow his nose, let alone breathe on me, and I sincerely thought I'd escaped the worst of it.

Sunday found me in the same predicament as Jon, but while he was clearly on the road to recovery, I was struggling to see through my blinding headache and breathe through my stuffy nose as I got ready for mass. It took me an additional hour compared to the usual Sunday, but we wandered into church, almost on time, and situated ourselves in a back pew where I thought I was less likely to pass my cold onto an innocent bystander. I successfully fought every urge to cough and/or sneeze and when the time came to shake hands with other parishioners I just smiled, nodded, and greeted them, and when they didn't get the hint that I could not touch their hands I blatantly announced, "I'm diseased." Most people laughed, others still didn't understand, but I continued to smile and nod my way through mass. The homily was about woman being made from man's rib and the two becoming like one person. Jon took this opportunity to whisper to me, "That's why both of us had to get sick; we're like one person." I had to laugh, but quietly began cursing man. I persuaded Jon to leave at the earliest opportunity so that we could dodge the crowd before they became sociable and blocked off the church exits, leaving me to breathe a little too close for comfort.

Not surprisingly, I spent the rest of Sunday on the sofa, watching IFC movies and CSI reruns. I tried to sleep as much as possible, convinced that I could sleep the sickness away, and be mended by morning. And, of course, I was wrong. The soreness moved from my throat, to my ears, to my head, and back to my throat again. Breathing became more and more difficult as the evening progressed. I can remember Jon waking me a few times, telling me "I don't think you're getting enough air in that position. You should turn over," but he didn't know that, amidst all other positions, flat on my back seemed to provide me with the most air. While it was far from quality, I did manage a little sleep last night.

Today I am at work as the annoying girl that everyone uses the forefinger cross to ward off, and exclaim that I shouldn't be here, or had better not get them sick. I smile, and nod, and try not to breathe on them. I only speak from a distance and I have washed my hands so many times that the skin on my knuckles is beginning to chap. I have officially gone through two travel-sized packages of Kleenex and had to use part of my lunch hour to stop at CVS for another jumbo box (the other part of the lunch hour being used to write this journal entry). I'm caught in the catch-22 of trying to keep the boss happy or my co-workers safe. Obviously, I sided with the boss and made face at work, and in turn, took on the glares and disapproval of my co-workers, even though I've made every attempt to keep them as healthy as possible. Luckily, I haven't received too many comments and I actually gave Jon more grief on Friday while he was in the comfort of his own home.

I'm hoping that, after tonight's dose of Claritin, this cold will be a distant memory by tomorrow morning; that I can stop acting like the world is ending, like I will never be a healthy, vibrant 24-year-old again. And then I'm going to scheme and make ready for the next horrendous thing that I can pass onto Jon, seeing as we are one and we should share everything and all.

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