Archive for December 9th, 2008

To Good Health

We fail to appreciate good physical health until it’s no longer our shadow.  Or, until we quit a habit like smoking and discover what a deep and true breath of fresh Minnesota air really tastes like. And yeah, it’s unbelievably fresh, with a hint of pine.

For the past several days, my take-it-for-granted good health found itself forced to the back burner of the stove top.  Somewhere, somehow, I picked up a cold germ. Then, promptly, stuck a finger in my eye or nose or mouth and made sure the blackened biohazard of a germ entered my bloodstream. The result: A standard head cold complete with stuffed sinuses one moment, followed by a water-spigot flow of nasal drainage, proceeded by deep chest coughing fits.  Repeat several times daily.

So with an octave-lower voice often filled with scratch and gravel, I do what others do when colds inflict their systems. Sleep. Dose on vitamin C. Drink fluids. Ingest soups for momentary clearings of the sinuses. And Advil. Blessed Advil. In a few days  I’ll be fine. In the meantime, Kleenex and a red nose are my life. By that description, I define a man only a mother could love.

Funny thing about head colds – they weaken both the body and the mind. My work day starts strong, but by 2 p.m. I’m mentally done and barely recall what I accomplished earlier in the day.  My idle time fills with pessimistic thoughts about the economy, my own skills, about relationships. Vivid Sudafed-induced dreams cause me to talk in my sleep. I know this because when a dream’s ending startles me awake, the cat is staring at me quizzically.

In sickness and in health we only get one body to carry us through to the end. And while it may be “just a cold,” a temporary inconvenience to blur a week of life, it’s a powerful reminder to be cognizant of the good days we receive and not take any of them for granted.



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