the nostalgia of illness

A couple of weeks ago I came down with a pretty bad cold. Nothing too serious. It was more annoying than anything else. Earlier in the year though, I also had the flu so bad that I was pretty much bed ridden for three days. One of those three days I suffered through a work day and the next two I had to phone in sick because just getting into the shower was overwhelming. I spent most of that day in bed watching bad TV and movies and sleeping in rotation.

When I would wake up, I would sit there full of ‘energy’ and think that I could go and get something to drink, stand up and then instantly feel like I was going to die, but in that moment I would feel this strange sensation that was like being sick at home as a child. It was comforting and made me happy despite the fact that my brain was leaking out of nose.

On both occasions it started in my head and I just felt a little out of balance for a day or too and then it migrated to my throat and nose and then, like a blizzard that strikes with no warning, all I could see was washed out by the overwhelming sensation that is ‘cold’.

It was comforting and made me happy despite the fact that my brain was leaking out of nose.

Aches and Pains? Yep. Feverish chills? I think someone left a window open. Delirious thoughts? Yes, but that was kind of cool and leads me to this brief little post.

During the prime days of being sick, all I could think about was how the feeling of having a cold instantly transported me back to being a kid during the New England winters.

I think that when you grow up somewhere as cold as New England your nose is inevitably running nose for about two thirds of the year and you’re wrapped up in enough coats to rival an Everest climber.

Now that I’m back in my sane-ish mind, I can’t quite put it totally into words, but the best I can describe it is that I always felt comfortable to the point of slightly being uncomfortable. There was something about being just a little too tired to do anything to the fullest, but not so tired that I needed to sleep all day, that made me feel like I was walking to the bus stop and going to school again.

I don’t really have a conclusion for this essay because I don’t know why I feel like this when I’m sick. It’s kind of a nice little nostalgia trip whenever I have a head cold but it’s an incredibly strange feeling to think about falling leaves, yellow school buses and Mom’s cooking as I cough up a lung.


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