I have had chronic bronchitis – according to my mother – pretty much all of my life. Of course, I don’t remember coughing so hard as a baby that my mom gave me whiskey to try to soothe me. Though, that probably explains my current love of a good dive bar.
I do remember having this hacking cough as a kid. I remember codeine syrup that made me vomit, being sent to the hallway at school, and eventually just being sent home because I was disrupting the class. I was absent 45 days one year.
I remember weekly allergy shots that did nothing, my mom putting me on mega-doses of vitamin C (which did help the cough a little, but it also meant mega-hours of sitting on the toilet…you’re welcome), and I remember hovering at the kitchen table with a towel over my head while I breathed in a steamy concoction of rosemary, sage and thyme. I should have thrown in parsley for good measure. Simon and Garfunkel are so disappointed in me.
As an adult, I do a lot of visiting my pulmonologist, ingesting steroids in the form of pills and inhalers, struggling through workouts, and complaining about Ohio winters. Damp, cold weather makes the condition worse and if it doesn’t rain or snow today, it will be the first FIVE-day period here without measurable precipitation since October. I hate winter with a passion because of the cold, but mostly because I feel miserable for months.
And, I hear a lot of, “You’re sick? AGAIN?” which makes me feel a lot like that little kid who got sent to the hallway. You don’t get, “How are you doing?” because you’re always doing the same. I’m always coughing. I’m always tired and when it gets to be March and I get another flare-up, I’m really depressed. I cried after watching “Parenthood” last night; not because of the aspergers or divorce storylines, but because the characters were all so happy and healthy. Jerks.
My mom still worries about me non-stop and my son told me yesterday, “I’m going to pray really hard for you” but I can’t help but feel like one of these days I’m just going to lose it, pack up the car, and force my family to move to Arizona.
Because, even though peri-menopause and desert heat don’t mix, I’m getting really, really tired of sitting in the hall.