Monday, January 11, 2010

Mountain Medicine

I've been sick.
It started innocently enough last Monday night; I came home wirh grand plans to go to the gym with Himself and I became aware that I had a bit of a sore throat. I made a cup of tea and dinner, did a yoga DVD, and generally got over myself. By Tuesday my nose was plugged up so completely that every swallow produced this disgusting 'snerk' and I was resorting to open mouth breathing to stay snerk free and keep my blood oxygen level somewhere in the 90s. Wednesday I stayed home.
I have to be careful when I get colds. I had walking pneumonia in college and ever since then, if I don't creep around and drink gallons of water and care for myself like a frail, fainting creature it all drains straight into my chest and sets up base camp to begin filming an IMAX film about bronchial infection. One bout of pneumonia was more than enough; I have no desire to spend another eight months taking theophylline (a delightful asthma medication with all the jittery excitement of double clutching on the yellow line heading eastbound and down with a trailerload and a deadline popping NoDoz like Pez) and sleeping propped up on pillows like the Elephant Man so I don't drown in my own gravy.
I've reached the downward side of this cold; the middle of my face no longer appears as if I rubbed it briskly with a microplaner and now that I don't have to fortify myself with night time cold medicine, the cast of Barney Miller has taken a merciful hiatus from my dreams. My consistent need to evict various nose goblins with fistfuls of Kleenex kept me out of the movies, not wanting to inflict my noises and juiciness on the ticket-buying public. But Sunday came, and I needed to go to church.
Himself advised me on the way in that we'd have to sit in the back, owing to his violent poinsettia allergy. We slipped into the pew normally reserved for the 'slightly late'. I took off my coat and indulged a quick succession of barking coughs that echoed off the rafters. The woman seated directly in front of us abruptly stood up and moved three rows ahead, which was apparently not enough of a disease barrier for her since she turned around and gave me a dirty look every time I coughed after that. I hoped she knew that the 'Passing of the Peace' was suspended so she wouldn't have to risk my cooties in the interest of sharing the love of Christ. Her place was taken by a Woman in a Hat.
You don't see too many of these anymore. Most of them are 'ladies of a certain age'....ladies who remember when all ladies wore hats in church. And gloves. I sat still, trying not to bark, admiring the silk roses and angel pin tacked on the faux fur. Himself said she had strong perfume on, but I couldn't smell it.
I whispered my way through the last verse of the last hymn and started putting on my coat. The Hat Lady turned around. I wondered idly what age ushers in the drawing of the eyebrows half an inch higher than they used to be.
"Are you the one with the cough?"
'Yep, that's me," I said, wondering where this was going.
"You know what you need to do? You need to get yourself a big bermuda onion, and cut it in half and put it in your bedroom. I've been doing that three years running and its worked every time. A nurse up at the hospital (oh, good God) told me about this."
"Well, um, thanks. I'll have to give that a try!"
We drove home. I don't have any onions. I wonder if a carrot would work.


Jenn Thorson said...

Onion? Did they mention what the onion was in aid of? If garlic wards off vampires, does onion ward off the Mucus Family Singers?

Celestial Charms said...

I never heard of onion being the reliever of coughs. Maybe the strong vapors that make you cry, can open up your breathing tubes. Strange! I must google "onion lungs." Hope you get better soon. If this were my first visit here, I would be thinking you and himself were a couple of hypocondriacs ;)

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

MMMMm onions. Just what you need to smell while you hack up a lung. Great Hang in there and feel better soon.

Kristen said...

That was so interesting, I had to look it up. Sure enough, onion was used as a folk remedy for coughs.

"Onion broth: Make a broth by boiling an onion for 10-15 minutes; strain and drink the broth several times a day. The broth will reduce congestion.

Onion juice: Make a syrup by combining 1 teaspoonful of raw onion juice with 1 teaspoonful of honey; let stand for 3-4 hours, and take in divided doses."

If that doesn't sound good, it also recommended grating 2 cloves of garlic, mixing it up with honey, and taking as needed. Um, eew. However you do it, get feeling better!

JD at I Do Things said...

"Are you the one with the cough?"

I thought maybe a fight was going to break out. Who would've expected an onion to be the topic? Not me. Anyway, I hope you're feeling better. (Did the onion help?)

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I suppose if I'd applied the onion the way it has been described here (or jammed it in my nose and then hung over a steam bath, as someone else suggested on Facebook) it might have helped, but this lady was telling me to cut it in half and put it on a plate in my bedroom. The only thing I figure that would do is keep anyone else away who might be carrying germs.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Ack! So sorry you have to suffer through this, but from an entertainment and literary standpoint, I LOVED this post! From the IMAX film crew to the nose goblins.

Meanwhile, get well soon.

BohemiAnn said...

If you don't try the onion method of healing, what are you going to tell hat lady next time she sees you in church?

BohemiAnn said...

If you don't try the onion method, what will you say to hat lady next time you run into her in church?

She'll be looking for you, wondering if you tried her mountain medicine.

Jeff said...

This post cracked me up as per the following comments:

"...I was resorting to open mouth breathing to stay snerk free"

"... and sleeping propped up on pillows like the Elephant Man so I don't drown in my own gravy."

"My consistent need to evict various nose goblins..."

" she wouldn't have to risk my cooties in the interest of sharing the love of Christ."

Nicely done!

sunshine said...

Hi There!
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. :) I came in the other day after you turned me onto parchment paper but something happened with one of the kids that I had to take care of and I never made it back.

Hope that your cold has passed! I hate going places and coughing. Everyone is so anal about it nowadays!

Take care! See you soon. :)


Shieldmaiden96 said...

I am better, other than the croupy bark that will take a while to go away. I was taking a helicopter crew to the hospital to get a patient last night and one of the flight nurses said, Jeez, you got the croup? I said, well, I had a cold, but ever since I had pneumonia I get this cough when I get a cold. She said, yep, you'll have that for the rest of your life. Greeeat.
No one gives ya the stinkeye like OB nurses while you are hanging around the nurse's station coughing.

Glad you found the parchment paper; I was so happy when Reynolds started selling it, I don't have to endure a Pampered Chef party to get it any more.

sunshine said...

Ugggh... Pampered Chef! I almost went bankrupt when one of my nieces seemed to be hosting a party every few months.......

A.Marie said...

Hi! I found your blog while I was over at Lin's blog, admiring gorgeous Hobbes!

This post was hysterical! I loved how you described that asthma medicine...I about choked on my coffee with laughter!! :)

FishHawk said...

"Dispatches from the Northern Outpost" has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope you like the image I featured, and I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.

Candice said...

Forget the onion and just go with the Nyquil. ;)

Hope you're all better soon!

Patty said...

When I get sick I go straight to the chicken soup; lots of onions and garlic cures me every time, hope you feel better soon!

Jen said...

For three years she has been doing the onion thing? Wow. Whenever I have a cold that plugs me up I just open a jar of horseradish and breathe in. It clears me up in no time.

Cindy said...

Garlic works too, for colds.