There have been, and still are, a lot of strong men and women in my
life. No matter their chosen field(s), most have led me to believe that
one must meet challenges head on. That includes greeting individuals
with a hardy handshake.
This western world custom was reaffirmed
during a “real world” advertising class that I took during my senior
year in college. It was especially important for women to extend a right
hand, careful to avoid clasping a potential client’s hand in a limp,
clammy fish-shake. Handshakes must be firm and decisive. So I am a
business hand-shaker, unless I’m sick.
Last week I came down with
the sore throat and gooey head cold that’s currently making the rounds
in Putnam and Allen Counties. I would like to blame the nasty germs on
my cousin Mark. For the last couple of Christmases, he’s brought some
sort of contagion north from the Carolinas and shared them under guise
of gift wrap. But he moved on through to Michigan this time around and
so is off the hook. I could also cast some baleful glances around the
office here, but they all had something before the holidays. This may be
some sort of divine payback for my having skipped around the desks,
gleefully pronouncing that I wasn’t sick.
As I was dripping with
goo from Monday through Friday, I didn’t shake too many hands. So
impressive was my college professor’s teaching that I felt compelled to
tell everyone why I couldn’t shake their hand. By Thursday, my red nose
kept folks at an exaggerated arm’s length, anyway.
What I did do
was to try nearly every cold remedy known to whomever wanted to share
one with me this week. I’m a lousy invalid. I whine and share my
symptoms with everyone, wanting to know when, dear-heaven, will this
persecution be over, and why isn’t that now?
So in the name of
true sharing, here is what I did last week to alleviate my impatient
suffering. Some of the behavior was based on experience. Some were
suggested by other people. I pass along the info in a show of solidarity
to those who are just developing a sore throat and to help me remember
why my bank account took such a big hit during a five-day period.
ingested zinc tablets, hot tea, hot oatmeal (plain), took hot shower,
drank more tea, bought herbal cough drops on way to work, turned on
space heater under desk, drank more tea and cranberry juice, put coat
back on in office and turned up space heater, ate vegetable soup, opened
box of mentholated tissues, drank tea, floated home to hot shower and
Tuesday: added an expectorant and onion soup
added Vicks rub on soles of feet, dropped cough drops directly into tea
and held swollen face over steam, walked to Ottawa Chamber of Commerce
“Taste of Chamber” thinking brisk, cold snowy air would do me good,
shivered back to office, drove home to hottest shower I could draw
bought a decongestant with expectorant, ginger throat spray, ginger
root to add to tea-and-cough-drop brew, drank “pleasant lemony flavored”
night time cold remedy, passed out
Friday: covered entire body
and accessible nasal passages with Vicks, opened second box of tissues,
and ate an entire pummelo (huge exotic grapefruit) on a drive between
Ottawa and Columbus Grove
Some things helped, others not so much.
As My Steven reminded me, as he is still a couple days behind me in
recovery, not every human body reacts the same. Good luck. And, yes Mom,
I will get a flu shot once I’m drip-free.