Tuesday, September 30, 2008

wasted cold

As a kid and teenager, I never got laryngitis, which was a fairly major disappointment to me. It always seemed like it would be pretty cool to lose one's voice. It is such a noticeable symptom, sure to elicit sympathy from all. No one would doubt that I was really sick. People would tell me to get on the couch and take it easy with some tea and honey. I would not get guilt trips about skipping school or work, because it was so obvious how sick I was.

This is why it is interesting to me that in the last 5 years or so, I have gotten something akin to laryngitis every year. What happens, I think, is that I get all congested and it settles in my throat, making it difficult to speak. This happened just this weekend: I woke up on Saturday with a scratchy throat and by Sunday morning, I could barely talk.

The irony, in my mind, is that I only started having larygnitis-like symptoms when I quit teaching and became a stay-at-home mom, precisely the point where sounding like I had smoked 3 cartons of cigarettes in 2 hours, was of no benefit to me at all. Have you ever called in sick to work and wished you sounded sicker so your boss would really believe that you weren't faking it? Well, this cold that I get is perfect for that. I sound so awful, much, much worse than I feel, and when someone hears me, they get really concerned and assume I am sicker than a dog. It is the perfect cold for getting out of work and completely convincing your boss that there is no way you should come in and infect the whole office. The other great thing is that congestion and fatigue aside, I don't feel that bad. It's just your run-of-the-mill cold.

What a waste. These symptoms don't impress my kids, who still insist that I carry them on my back and cater to their every whim and fancy. They give me odd looks here and there when I speak, and once while reading a book to him, Danny asked me to quit whispering, but other than that, my cold is not even on their self-absorbed radars. I have no one to call in to, saying that I am taking a sick day. No one to tell me to take it easy and get well soon. No one to encourage me to stay in bed and watch TV and not exert myself. All these fabulously sick symptoms and no one to impress with them.

Where were these colds when I worked full-time and could have really put them to use? What cruel irony!


Elizabeth Channel said...

That is infinitely unfair! I agree! You could press for some sympathy still, however, by asserting your need to "rest your throat." Maybe even put a heating pad on your throat area. I find that dragging out a heating pad always makes people take your pain/illness/malady more seriously.

beckbot said...

What a tragedy! Can you at least get some extra dishwashing or cooking out of your husband? or get out of some church stuff?

Amy Jane said...


You kill me! I love your hilarious spin on this. I think it sucks that when I lose my voice and really shouldn't talk, Nick just doesn't get that. I still end up having to talk to him all day and answer his endless questions, much to the detriment of whatever voice I have left. And of course, in my case, losing my voice REALLY freaks me out every time, especially this time, when my voice has now been compromised for a week, and I have to sing a Mozart aria in less than three weeks! Ack! I hope we both recover quickly.

mrsbear said...

I agree, it's lame, especially when life at home goes on unimpeded. At least in my house the kids are grateful for it, since it means they can feign ignorance when I call them.

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Patty, you are so funny! I totally agree, that just isn't fair. And kids just don't have a sense of appreciation for those symptoms! Hope you feel better soon.

kia (good enough mama) said...

Life is full of that cruel irony, isn't it? I too would have loved the opportunity to take advantage of a well-timed laryngitis.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, I can relate to this. Total unfairness.

Finally, though, after 4 years of being a SAHM I got sick enough that I got a day off. It took a never-ending cold turning into pneumonia for my husband and Mom to realize that I really, really needed a day of rest. And it worked wonders. I slept almost an entire day and the healing began.

I used to get that laryngitis cold thing every year too. That one hasn't happened in a long time.

I hope it passes quickly for you.

Anonymous said...

I lost my voice for the first time in high school- the day before we recorded our Christmas CD. I had to sit in a church for 4 hour and watch them record-if I missed I had to write a LONG essay. No fun.
The kids don't care if we are at deaths door they still want their milk with the curly straw-no the blue curly straw