Ugh, last Thursday I got this really bad sore throat and that mucous-lung feeling that got worse on Friday, worser on Saturday, worser than that on Sunday and so on, and today is Wednesday. I’ve had colds many times over the course of having this blog, but never before has a cold warranted an entire post dedicated just to it.
At some point on the weekend, the cold yanked the voice right out of my throat and left me speechless. I wake up each morning and see if today’s the day my voice come back. I say, “Good morning, Kevin!” All he hears is the sound an air mattress makes when you sit on it it to get the air out.
Laryngitis is tricky to deal with when you’re a mom. The kids come tattling to me about who said what and what punishments should be doled out, and I can only answer with a nod of my head, a shake of my head, or a shrug of my shoulders.
Leo: Mom, Rocco got mad at me when I told him to let me use the stool because he told me I was parenting him, but that’s not parenting.
Me: [shrug shoulders]
Leo: Did you hear me, Mom? Rocco got mad at me when I told him to let me use the stool because he told me I was parenting him, but that’s not parenting.
Me: [shrugs shoulders]
Leo: [repeats message, then gives up and returns to bathroom to yell at Rocco]
It’s super frustrating.
And if you’re wondering why I don’t just whisper—surely I can still whisper—you are right, I can. But it is actually more painful than trying to use my voice, and it is worse for your throat to try to whisper than to talk. (Look it up!) I type messages to Kevin and the older boys, but otherwise I am virtually unable to communicate with them.
The worst thing about this cold, though, is that it seems to be inside out. Instead of all the yucky stuff running out through my nose, it’s running down the back of my throat, and it’s not the nice, smooth kind of mucous, either. It’s chunky. I know this because on several occasions I have not been able to push the stuff down my throat into my stomach and it has landed in my mouth, along with the urge to throw up. I will spare you any further details.
Sleeping? Oh, forget about sleeping! There is too much mucous management at night and coughing spells. It’s like I have two days instead of a day and a night. There’s the day-day where I take care of other people, cooking, cleaning, prepping, packing, shrugging, hugging, nodding, kissing goodnight. Then there’s the night-day where I read books, take baths, drink tea with buckets of honey in it, eat buttered toast, meditate, and periodically try to fall asleep. I know day-night has turned to day-day when instead of taking a third bath, I start cooking breakfast.
Friends, neighbors, and strangers have all been very sweet and helpful. They’ve given me lots of throat sprays, cough drops, prescription mouth washes, home remedies, and advice. One familiar cashier even busted into full ASL with me, signing, “Do you want help out today?” Like laryngitis comes with the side effect of automatic fluency in ASL. I just smiled and signed, “Milk” back at her, as that’s the only sign I remember from my boys’ babyhood.
Unfortunately my cold just looks at all the medicines and throat sprays sideways and says, “Pffffffft.” It’s here, it’s got my voice, and it’s not going away until it’s good and ready.
Damn, it feels good to blog though. The cold can take my vocal cords, but it will never take my fingertips! (Oh Lord, it can’t, can it? Because this one most definitely would if it could!)
Here is what I’ve learned from this wretched cold and from not being able to speak for three days and counting.
1. The human body is a disgusting creation with some serious design flaws.
2. When Mom’s body is present but her voice isn’t, for a couple days the kids will be miserable to each other. Then they kind of clue in and start running the machine all on their own and you’re proud of them but of course, you can’t tell them.
3. There should be a universal sign for “Laryngitis” that everyone knows so that, when you hand the barrista a piece of paper that says “Laryngitis. Tall vanilla latte pls!” people don’t think you are trying to rob the Starbucks.
4. Physical comedy is much harder to pull off than verbal comedy
5. I need my voice more than it needs me.
I’d like to end with this quote and this picture today, which I am dedicating to My Voice.
If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be. –Author Unknown
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Salad with apples, pecans, & blue cheese