When the Bug Bites

As I’ve mentioned on my blog over the past several months, I’ve been traveling a lot. I travel to the west coast frequently. One thing I’ve become wary of during my many trips are the sneezing, coughing and virally challenged multitudes I’m sharing my air with on the six hour plane ride from east to west coast and back again. Sometimes I wear a scarf around my neck so I can put it over my nose and mouth if someone particularly bubonic is sitting near me. Or small children, who are all bubonic, generally speaking.

But germs are microscopic. All that re-circulating air on the plane means even if Typhoid Manny is sitting ten rows away from me, his virulent strain of whatever could be wafting up my nose while I sit and unsuspectingly sip my Diet Cola beverage.

And this past Monday, on yet another plane ride from right to left, I felt a twinge of something sneaking into my lungs while I sat there, trapped in the center seat. I was sitting next to a guy whose left arm kept smacking into me as he rhymically played a video game for FOUR HOURS and a nice woman at the window seat reading from her electronic book.

By the time 48 hours had elapsed, I could feel “signs” increasing, body aches and a bit of a cough and some sneezing. I ran to the drugstore and stocked up on Zinc lozenges (known to boost the immune system and are supposed to shorten the length of a cold) and Echinacea, which is a cone flower plant extract from the Daisy family… also thought to reduce inflammation in the body and help boost the immune system.

But it was too late, I had already been infected. By Wednesday night I was really suffering. Yesterday I was so sick I could hardly get out of my hotel bed to go to the bathroom.

One thing I’ve learned to deal with (sort of) is getting sick on the road. It’s very unpleasant to not be in your own bed, but there are small advantages by having so many staff around to help you out when you’re down for the count. Just by poking my head into the hallway yesterday, the nice ladies who clean the rooms gave me an extra box of tissues. And when I ordered a bowl of soup from room service last night, the gentleman could see my state and said please call down later so I can bring you hot water for tea…

Needless to say, except for the gentleman who brought me my soup, I have not allowed anyone to enter the sick ward that is room 658. I’m holding my own at this point, and continuing to chomp zinc lozenges, Vitamin C, and chewable Echinacea tablets with the zeal of a homeopathic believer.

I’m pleased to report that while I am not better, I’m not as sick as I was yesterday. And since I’ll be in California this weekend and next week, I’m hopeful that by Sunday night this regimen will have served me well enough to get me back on my feet.

But while in my hospital… er, I mean hotel bed, I’m wondering if I should go online and buy surgical masks for the flight home?


6 Responses

  1. Oh gosh, Carol! I am so sorry to hear you’re sick. And while on the road, to boot. Yes, buy surgical masks! What a plain lousy thing to deal with. I will ask the Universe to help you get better soon.

    • Thanks so much Patrick. I went outside today for the first time since I “crashed” on Thursday. I sound much better, but I’m still a little wobbly on my feet. I got some soup for lunch, a major accomplishment after having been in bed for days! :-}

  2. Hi, Carol.
    I wish, that you feel better soon.

    The picture with the girl and the Dragon on my blog.
    ”Draken liefde” is dutch for ”Dragon love” in English.
    But I think you guessed that all ready

    Ontopic … your story.
    Because I need, and want to improve my English.

    Bubonic. [nice and interesting word]
    Without treatment, the bubonic plague kills about two thirds of infected humans within 4 days. [wikipedia]
    I think that you feel very bad. Very-very bad when you use this word.

    ”chomp zinc lozenges”
    What does this mean?

    ”But while in my hospital… er, I mean hotel bed,”
    The ”er” does that mean you make a miswriting on prupose?
    Slip of the tongue? i think it is.
    But what does the ”er” stand for?

    Your story sounds like the song Hotel California… withe hot water for tea

    Wish you well, George aka Asbloed.

    • Hi George,

      Thanks so much for your comment, and yes, I finally feel much better! I will be able to go back to work tomorrow which is great. 🙂

      And yes, I figured out that Dragon Liefde was probably Dragon Love because the dragon was hugging the girl. I enjoyed the picture.

      Ahh, so my posting… I see sometimes when I am trying to be funny it may not translate to Dutch. 😀

      When I say that the people on the plane are “bubonic” I am (trying to be) humorous… obviously no one has bubonic plague and it’s an extreme comment, but because people get sick from being on planes all the time I am suggesting that it’s very easy for sickness to *spread* on the plane.

      Also, it’s well known that small children get sick very easily because they lack the exposure to germs that adults have… so they wind up spreading illness too.

      Chomp – to bite, to chew

      Zinc – a natural chemical that the body uses to improve its immune system defense against illness

      Lozenge – a kind of chewable “pill” but it is not prescribed by a doctor. You buy “throat lozenges” in the United States when you have a sore throat – it is a sugar candy with the “medicine” mixed with it. You put them in your mouth and let them “melt” to make your throat feel better

      And finally “hospital … er, I mean hotel” yes, I am trying to be funny again. I compare my hotel bed to a hospital bed because I’m sick and can’t move. Of course, if I was smarter I would have said the staff in the hotel were my “nurses” too. 🙂

      “Er” is hard to describe to a non-English speaker. “Er” is a meaningless sound you make sometimes when you are speaking because you are making a break between one comment and another. It gives the speaker a moment to think about what they might say next. “Um” is another sound English speakers make which has the same effect.

      I found a link for you about this to help describe it better: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/06/the_odd_body_language_fillers/

      Thanks for asking your questions George; it really helps me appreciate how what I write can be misunderstood or possibly harder to understand by a non-native English speaker. It’s always great to have this perspective!

      P.S. Will you post any more blog items on your site in English? 😉

  3. Hi Carol,
    Thank you for the reply, it helps me very much to understand the whole story. Don` make it easy for me. It`s better for me to learn and understand your langues and ‘slang’ …

    In Dutch we have the … uh
    Looks very close to your … um
    I read the link, thank you.
    The …er was unknown to me.
    I think Twitter and SMS are the blame for creating and using those words.

    I can try to post a short story about Dragon Filosopy, but even my Dutch reader have trouble reading those story`s. Then you have to read them all to understand.

    I give you some information you need. And then I write a story for you. When it`s ready, I give you a ping.

    Basic things to know.
    It is one person. Me.
    There are voices in his head.
    But not creasy … er, or perhaps they are.
    You start with two Dragons.
    Yin and Yang. [mother and father]
    Conception. [nine months later a baby]
    Then comes me ”George Asbloed” as a adult … er, he thinks he is.
    Now you have three Dragons.

    Me … Mother White Dragon and Father Black Dragon.
    A unique person. As you are also.

    The story starts allways white a question.
    [keep in mind, it is only me, talking with my Dragons]
    But I also want to give you the impression that I am talking to God.
    I am talking to Maria, Jezus, Mozes, Gersom and Mozart.
    I even can talk to in my head. And you answer as Carol.
    Then I would give you the name … er, Carol Dragon.
    For you to find out who is giving me advice. With each new story, a new dilemma comes up, a new Dragon comes in, and the strugly in me gets more difficult, or easy when I listen to the right Dragon.


    — Yes, son.

    I want to learn, how to write, a proper English written Dragon Story.

    — Well … let me think …


    Father, it takes you a long time to think. Why?

    — Oh … I am thinking in English. Very slow. It is not easy to think in Eglish. But … not impossible. Son, do you know Carol?

    Yes, I know Carol W. Greider. And …

    — No, be serious, son. I mean Carol Deminski. She is a author in the USA. Maybe she can write proper English. Give her a Ping.

    Father, and what if she is not a nice person?

    — How many times have I told you? When you reach out, one day a person will say … er, I don`t know. I don`t know. You have to find out your self. And now let me sleep. I`m tired.

    Hmm … I need an Reachout Dragon. A polite one. I need Mr Ping Dragon. I call him Asbloed. And I need Mr.Frank LLoyd Wright. Lets try Chicago. lets try to give a Ping from the formerly named, and still commonly referred to as, Sears Tower. Yes, lets try Carol Deminski.

    — Son!

    Yes, Mother?

    — Be nice! Very nice.

    Yes, Mother.

    — Ping. Hello, this is Carol.

    Hi, this is George from the Netherlands.

    — Hi George, nice to meet you.

    Father, Mother, wake Up! She is a Nice Dragon. What do I have to do now?

    — Son, write her a story. A Out of the Blue story. And let her know that we all wish her well. and if she needs one, we can send a Doctor Dragon.

    And so I did.

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