I can't breathe.
It started two nights ago with my poor, croupy coughing baby. Because I am a Superior Mother(TM) and an above average martyr, I slept on the floor of his room on a pallet. Up and down, all night long, catching little sleep as I listened to his raspy breath and the hiss of the humidifier.
By the second morning, I could feel it in my throat and my eyeballs. It's moved up and into my brain, plugging my nose and turning me into a mouth breather. My lips are sore and chapped and I can't seem to locate the one tube of lip balm that hasn't been appropriated by my children and turned into a lollipop or rubbed on someone's feet, or used on the dog's butthole. Which, I must say, is looking significantly more supple.
I feel so bad that I hopped down off my cross, slathered myself in Vick's and piled up with the still-sick baby in my own bed. He fell asleep, snoring softly, and I settled in to watch Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. If you can manage to get through an episode of this show without getting up to get a snack, then you're stronger person than I. Despite having no appetite, and not being able to taste anything, I found myself in the kitchen by the first commercial break.
When it comes to food, being sick is a little like being stoned. Meals become less about deliciousness, and more about what you can shove in your mouth as quickly as possible, in the greatest quantity, with the least amount of effort. Leftover pie? Absolutely. Cold spaghetti? Sure. Refried beans? Whatever, man. Did I make beans this week? Does it matter?
As I ate my crackhead supper of bologney on a piece of bread, a slice of cheddar and a handful of chocolate chips, I realize that I can't eat if I also want to breathe. Because I was raised with some decency, I do things like chew with my mouth closed. But I couldn't do that and maintain consciousness, so I was reduced to doing this awful chew-wheeze-gasp thing. A normal person might have have given up because they weren't really all that hungry to begin with, gone back to bed, and changed the channel. But I am no quitter.
I can't wait for breakfast. I'm thinking something...liquid.
2 weeks ago