Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Weekend with the Plague

Although this looks like a beautiful, early spring day, this was actually taken on the coldest day of 2012-2013 winter thus far. As a life-long Maryland resident, there are many things I love about my home state. The weather is not one of them.

Unlike most Marylanders, though, my complaint is not our wretched, thick, heavy, humid summers. I'm used to that, and have actually grown pretty fond of them. No, what I hate is our mild winters. I like extreme weather, and I love all seasons. I want to need a coat and scarf and gloves and a hat when I go outside in the winter, not be able to comfortably walk dogs all day in a sweatshirt. I want a white Christmas and a foot of snow on the ground from December to mid-February, not a few flurries and a catastrophic winter advisory that amounts to a couple patchy inches and some ice.

This last week, the weather gods seemed to hear my grumbling and answered with 20° weather. Wind that bites your face and ears, cold that penetrates through many layers, breath fogging around your face. I was freezing my ass off, but I was a happy kid.

My body, however, did not appreciate this abrupt change to seasonally appropriate weather, and decided to inform me of this by getting sick.

I was a very sickly kid. As a toddler, I was rushed to the ER on three occasions for croup, one time even going blue because I could barely breathe. I had sinus infections all the time. I missed tons of school. Winter was pretty much one long coughing spell for me. I was pumped full of antibiotics constantly, until my body stopped responding to them and then I had to just wait out the now super viruses that seemed to attack my poor little self. When I was about 17, in the doctor's office for about the 3069th time in my life, a nurse practitioner said, "Do you eat a lot of dairy?" I eagerly responded yes, as I was a milk fiend and drank it all the damn time. She told me to stop that, because milk thickens your mucus (is that a gross sentence or what?) and makes you way more vulnerable to infection, especially if you're a pile of genetic crap like I apparently was.

So I did. And I don't get sick anymore. Seriously, almost never. I also eat much, much healthier than I did as a kid, and exercise a lot, which I'm sure helps. But aside from mild colds here and there, I haven't been sick in about four years or so. It's awesome.

My body however, apparently forgot this, and up and crapped out on me. You would think, perhaps, that with my early, hideous childhood state of constant maladies, I would handle illness better than most, but you would be incorrect. I've gotten quite accustomed to my health, and when my body dares to succumb to disease, I get pretty outraged at it. I toughed it out for one more day, determined to cure my ills with the power of health food and rage, but to no avail. On Friday, I woke up an achy, shivery, feverish, coughing mess, and figured my best bet was to give myself a break from the cold and recover.

I'll pause here and tell you that I'm pretty anti-medication. As in a refuse to take it unless it is proven to me to be absolutely necessary. I think we over-medicate the crap out of people in this country, and I think we treat symptoms without bothering to figure out what the cause is. I think Western medicine definitely has it's place, but I'd much prefer to use a natural preventative method as often as possible. I'm also very anti pain medication. My thinking is - pain has its own biological imperative. If I can't tell I feel like crap, I won't be gentle with my body and end up making things much worse, because I'm actually still sick. If I can feel pain, sure that sucks, but I'll probably take better care of myself, and be back to being healthy soon. Capiche?

Perhaps my favorite natural remedy is the Devil's Smoothie. This is a miracle elixir. It tastes pretty really fucking intense, but it works miracles. Every time in the past five years I felt myself starting to come down with the slightest hint of a cold, I drank a blender-full of this and it never amounted to anything.

So, this weekend was spent chugging through 4 liters of that crap, wasting my life away on Pinterest, knitting myself an adorable yellow tea cozy, talking waaaaay too much to my cats, pretending to be a frail and dying Victorian lady as I sobbed like a pregnant woman while reading Little Women, and watching this video over and over again until my eyes bled from sheer, unadulterated joy.

I think my brain has melted slightly, but, aside from sounding like I'm about to hack up lung every time I breathe too deeply/laugh/talk for more than 23 seconds, I'm doing much better. As far as illnesses go, this really wasn't too bad. Friday was pretty rough, but nothing too extreme, and I've been feeling better and better since. Fingers crossed I don't undo my recovery working outside again tomorrow. Although, the temperatures are supposed to be up to 70° by Wednesday, so I'll probably be fine.

70°. Seriously. In January.

I hate everything.


  1. That video is the best thing I've seen maybe ever.

    Also, I'm glad you're feeling better!

    1. Thanks! And yes, it is magnificent. I love the internet.