Friday, October 11, 2013

Slowing Down

Don’t ask me how I contracted pertussis, better known as whooping cough. No one I know has it, so I must have picked it up in some public place. Apparently it’s highly contagious, and like a lot of diseases of that type, it’s most contagious before you know you have it, in the initial stage when it seems like a cold—and a baby cold at that.

The whole thing came as a big surprise to me, not least because I had whooping cough as a child. I don’t remember it myself, but my mother got to nurse two kids under the age of five through the disease at the same time, so you can bet she remembers. I just assumed it was like measles and mumps, and once you survived the first round, you were set for life.

Then the whooping started. The first time was at dinner, and I thought I'd choked on a bit of lettuce. The second time, at 4 am, I had to face the possibility that this wasn’t an accident. I called the doctor the next morning, and by noon I had a prescription for amoxicillin. Which seems to be working, if slowly.

Problem is, I don’t do illness well. As one of my fellow editors once noted, “You have a great deal of energy.” At the time I thought she meant “man, you’re a pain,” because I had been lobbing issues at her like a demented monkey pitching coconuts (I later found out she meant it as a compliment), but either way, I had to admit she was right. Under normal circumstances, I do have a great deal of energy. I come from a long line of women who kept their households running despite the dozen kids and the herring going south when they should have gone north and the darned boat springing a leak right when it was supposed to put out to sea. In my day job I coordinate the work of a flock of editors while riding herd on fifteen to twenty authors at a time and waiting for the day to wrap up so I can start in on my research or my novel of the moment. That’s when I’m not updating this blog, working on my website, or doing my bit for Five Directions Press. When I read about Victorian heroines who slip gracefully into a decline, my natural instinct is to administer a swift kick in the pants and advice to get up and get moving. Who has time to be sick?

All of which may explain why, once in a while, my body decides to administer a swift kick in the pants to me and force me to slow down. As with pertussis.

I’m sure this is good for me. Really. But if you happen to see any of those wooden stress balls, like the ones Charles Laughton used to play Captain Bligh on Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), send them my way, okay?

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

1 comment:

  1. What about some Chinese Healthy Balls that you roll in your hand! Supposed to held de-stress! You need some time out Carolyn!


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