Monday, February 07, 2011

The Ys and What-nots of Bacteria

or "why my trip to the gym to shake the cough out of me was not the notion of geniuses."

So back in the early days of me and M (early 2010) I got my annual flu-thing (and no, I do not believe in flu shots in any case) and because I imagine myself a sturdy specimen and believe that sheer stubborness can evict any illness or must, I decided after days of coughing, congestion and bedrest, that I would accept the lovely M's invitation for a winter hike. Of course, the friends of Intaglio came unglued and protested. But they did not yet know M and I did not let him know how sick I was or how unhappy were my associates. The hike was gorgeous, a true winter wonderland of a day and we ended up in downtown Yellow Springs in small bookstores and coffee shops and I knew I had found a good idea and was instantly on the mend. I spent time out in the freezing cold and came back feeling as if recovery was finally reaching me.
I was "well" in a day.

This gothic, grotesque, illness requires too much thoughts about that hideous word: phlegm and the colors of such a thing. Polite people say such crude things to me as "mucinex" and I am transported to cartoon boogers on seventies La-Z Boys and I am thinking about fedoras on snot-men and I am tired of all of this repulsive goo-speak. But when the wise Gretchen M. wrote me and said that I would not ever be better without medical attention, I did some research and it turns out that if you are coughing up a little Christmas, you might have a bacterial infection, you might be a walking pneumonia in hot black boots, after all. And just because you have promised yourself a Valentines' red lipstick if you go to the gym at least three times before Saturday, you will not be spared lung damage from your refusal to go to a doctor.

Turns out, sheer will won't chase this ghoul away. Only antibiotics and unless one of my two readers know of a street-dealer in penicylin, I am destined to deal with the medical community, with great disappointment and soon.

I have found this wonderful new treat called Arctic Zero, a lowfat, low calorie icy dessert that comes in flavors like Vanilla Maple and Pumpkin Pie. It is a Whole Foods product, which means I sell a kidney to buy some but I am liking it enough to consider that fair enough.

Brown Lung
Sometimes I’d spend the whole night coughing up
what I’d been breathing in all day at work.
I’d sleep in a chair or take a good stiff drink,
anything to get a few hours rest.

The doctor called it asthma and suggested
I find a different line of work as if
a man who had no land or education
could find himself another way to live.

For that advice I paid a half-day’s wage.
Who said advice is cheap? It got so bad
each time I got a break at work I’d find
the closest window, try to catch a breath.

My foreman was a decent man who knew
I would not last much longer on that job.
He got me transferred out of the card room,
let me load the boxcars in the yard.

But even though I slept more I’d still wake
gasping for air at least one time a night,
and when I dreamed I dreamed of bumper crops
of Carolina cotton in my chest.
© 1998 Ron Rash. All rights reserved.


Gretch said...

Nice post. Go to the doctor.

a-smk said...

Have gone and am all medicated. Thank you Gretchy.