Hay’s Daze: The common cold isn’t so common anymore

Wow, there’s a wicked cold going around these days, and I don’t mean the Centigrade kind. No, I’m not talking about the outdoor temperatures jumping back and forth from plus Yay! to minus Nay! – bouncing around like a demented ping-pong ball of barometric pressure and messing up all our internal biometrics. I’m talking about this seemingly unprecedented devil spawn of the so-called “common” cold that has hit many of us like a smack in the face with a very large sledgehammer.

It’s been just over four weeks of abject misery around our house on account of both the Better Half and I have been as sick as, well, as sick as really sick dogs. Believe me, it felt like Old Yeller time around here for a while. I’ve ruled out the Black Plague since I haven’t seen a single rat in the house, but I’m going with the Grey Plague for several reasons, not least of which is that I figure the older you are the worse this bacterial/virus/Spanish Inquisition misery happens to be.

We tested ourselves for Covid, and were thankfully negative. But when the sniffles and the sore throat and the worn out, beat up, feeling bad blues turned even more south it became much less fun than, say, being beaten up in an alley by five finalists from the MMA Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Days and nights blurred into wretched random routine: me two hours in bed, the BH three hours on the couch, me four hours on the La-Z-Boy, her back in bed, me an hour in the little white room, her… well, you get the picture.

And of course, this being Alberta, a rich and thriving province being run by morons and our health care being outrageously mismanaged by an incompetent entity called “AHS” (Alberta Horror Story) it’s impossible to see a doctor, speak to a doctor, or even wave to a doctor – if you’re one of the lucky ones to actually have one.

So on the days where one of us could crawl across the floor and out the door and over to the drug store, we would stock up on desperation cold medications, syrups, capsules, pills and anything else that might even remotely bring a mere modicum of relief, including voodoo dolls and Ouija Boards. And when your entire diet for weeks consists of cold pills, jello and popsicles the world just doesn’t seem as shiny as it used to be.

Eventually, we both received treatment for bronchial infection from our respective doctors on the phone and are slowly feeling more like semi-regular humans than sick dogs.

Even through the grey fog of feeling like a soggy bag of day-old porridge we both recognized the fact that we were very lucky that we weren’t REALLY sick like many unfortunate souls, and that we would eventually get the right treatment and finally feel better. Feeling this bad for so long made us remember that things can always be worse and that many people are feeling much much worse than we are.

But it’s decidedly difficult when both you and your Better Half are simultaneously sick. Well, here’s a little story: I was splayed out miserably on the couch, covered in a blanket, absolutely freezing as usual, moaning away unhappily. I feel another blanket being piled on, and then, since the BH who is every bit as sick or sicker than I am insisted on struggling through doing the laundry, the next thing I know I’m being covered with big warm towels straight from the dryer. I’m not sure how you apply for someone to get Sainthood but I nominate the BH.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. You can send him column ideas to harleyhay1@hotmail.com.

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