Late last Sunday afternoon, as I was here tidying up my travel trailer just a bit, I suddenly had the urge to sneeze.
And then it hit: AAAAAAAAACHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
And it was a powerful sneeze!
Most of the time, when I sneeze, nothing much else happens.
That sneeze, though, was the opening salvo of five rotten days of of runny nose, draining sinus’s, headache, coughing, watery eyes and a gazillion more sneezes! And four days of missed work!
After that very first mega sneeze Sunday afternoon, my sinus’s immediately started to drain, and when that happened, I figured that I was in for a really rotten session, after several years of fortunately missing these lengthy episodes.
In years past, such a siege of miserableness has often been initiated by a sneeze. and then the race is on!
Monday morning, I went in to work, as the symptoms had not really gotten up to full speed yet, but as the day went on, they did gather momentum. By Monday evening, I was going through tissues by the dozens.
Tuesday morning, my head had all kinds of things going on, and I was in no shape to go into work.
As the week went on, I consumed what seemed like gallons of liquids, including orange and grape juice Drinking those seemed to stoke the fire more than anything, but I was able to stay hydrated.
I profusely apologize for the following verbal description of my sneezing episodes this week, but believe me, the actual physically revolting experiences were much more loathsome in person, than as described in the following words.
During the several days of this madness, the sneezes came quickly with little forewarning, very often, and with nasty results. If I wasn’t within grabbing distance of a tissue when one of the monster sneezes suddenly occurred, more often than not, I was literally left with a disgusting hand full of slimy yellow snot.
Revolting when it happened? You can’t imagine. My expressive reaction to these occurrences, was probably as equally disgusting, if you would have been within earshot when one took place. You have only to use your imagination on that!
The only thing that comes to my mind as being on a similar footing with those repulsive images, was when, during my later college years, I worked three jobs besides attending classes full-time at a university some 50 miles from my home, the first job each very early morning being, working as an Artificial Insemination Technician for American Breeders Service on a farm route near my home in south central Wisconsin. The only way to do that folks, is to stick your entire plastic-enclosed arm into the rectum of a cow to be able to feel your way to the cervical opening of the cow and put the thawed bull semen where it needed to be to make the cow with calf.
Pulling your arm out of a cow’s behind is not exactly a pleasant viewing or fragrant experience, folks, believe me! Especially, if on occasion, the plastic sleeve develops a hole during that procedure.
This process was so much easier if the cow had already defecated into the barn gutter before my arrival and the start of the procedure. If she hadn’t already done this, it was a tough entry, and a must to “clean her out,” before attempting to insert the semen tube or straw, and very gently squeeze the tiny bulb and place the bull semen where it needed to be, just within the entrance of the cow’s uterus, to be most effective.
Oh, incidentally, I was known among my farm route customers then for my excellent “first service rate,” which was better than 80%. Which means that more than 80% of the time, the cow became pregnant the first time I ‘inseminated’ her (if you have ever lived on a dairy farm, this procedure is no big deal), thus keeping the cow in a regular calving and milk-giving rotation within the dairy herd. The quicker and earlier a cow became pregnant, the more profitable she was to the herd and farm milk business.
During those college years, I did the AI route in the early morning and mid-evening, then drove an elementary school bus on a pickup and drop-off route to nearby school, then parked the bus and drove my pickup some 50 miles to my classes, then back home again, for the evening bus and AI routes.
On weekends back then, my third job tending bar for my parents in their nearby supper club supper club. And during those hectic years and many miles, my grade point average was very nearly a 4.0. Good focus, I guess.
Meanwhile, back at the trailer, this week…
By last night, being locked up in this tiny trailer (usable space: about 8′ by 25′) for three days and nights, was getting to me. I thought that, just perhaps, things would get better by early morning, and I would be able to go back in to work.
Alas, when I awoke by 6:30am, I actually sounded the worse I have sounded all week. So, another call in to my supervisor, to let him know it still had its hold on me, and that I hoped that I was better by Monday morning, so I could go back to work.
We were already short-handed at work, after one of our guys passed away in his sleep last fall, and another recently had heck surgery and was out for recuperation for another 2-3 weeks or so.
This afternoon, I drove just about a mile up the road from my trailer, to one of the local Urgent Care-type clinics, to see if the attending physician there had any miracles he could prescribe to send this THING down the road.
The doc there that I saw, spent about 5 minutes with me and promptly prescribed an anti-biotic that he thought would help weaken the condition. Will it work? Who knows? Probably a $120 office visit down the drain…
So, I drove over to the Walgreens Drug Store, about two miles away, where I usually have my prescriptions filled, and asked to have this one made up. The pharmacy was so busy filling scripts, though (lots of sick people around here), that they asked if I could come back in a couple of hours.
I advised them that if I didn’t get back this evening, I would stop over sometime in the morning, and pick it up.
I then made a quick stop at the nearby grocery store and picked up several jugs of juice, and headed back home to my trailer.
After returning, late in the afternoon, I laid back down for some more rest. Amazingly, about 5:00pm or 6:00pm, my sinus’s finally quit running, and my eyes stopped watering, and the sneezes stopped coming as often as previously.
I’m still coughing, with just a small bit of nose blowing, and still have a mild headache, but overall, I think that the condition is finally starting to improve. FINALLY!
In thinking about this condition during this week, although this stuff was rather miserable, I tried to keep everything in perspective, and remember that there are lots of folks experiencing much worse, miserable and painful maladies than I.
Things could have been a lot worse.