Wednesday, 19 November 2014


With post-nasal drip. 

I know. It is not the next line you were looking for. But that is my life this week.

My friend Tom Wells told me he cracked a rib once from a coughing jag. Sure, I thought to myself when he told me. Hard to imagine. Not any more. My ribs are sore. I have gone through four boxes of tissues. I briefly blacked out and hit the closet door after one particular violent upheaval, anything to get that grotesque cloying, tickling, gagging effluence out of my body. Suffocating from within. And all because of some microscopic organism, or even worse, a collection of RNA strands coming from God-knows-where, invisible to all but an electron microscope, which have latched onto my cells like some unwanted interloper and have wreaked havoc. At least it is not Ebola.

But back to this post-nasal drip thing. The body's answer to Chinese water torture, a slow steady almost imperceptible stream that courses down the back of your throat while you lie there trying to fall asleep, timed precisely to hit critical mass (expectorable mass, or hocking velocity for the uninitiated) at the exact moment you have dozed off again, setting off another involuntary reaction of coughing.

What kind of sadistic barbarian invented this body defense mechanism? I have done the lot. Sleeping propped up on two pillows to steepen the angle of attack. Lozenges. Night Nurse. Day Nurse. Robitussin. Olbas steam inhaling (now there's a good one, if you want to try and see your body turn itself inside out once that supercharged eucalyptus steam hits your lungs). A brief respite, but only brief. The more times you wake up, the more tired you get, the more your body fights, the more you wake up, the more tired you get and on and on. It has been four days. At least now I can write about it.

I know what you are thinking. Man up, you big baby. Self-indulgent claptrap. Yeah...well you're probably right. Pretty small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. 

But I have gotten it off my chest, if not out of my chest, if you catch my drift. 

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