Each morning this last week I awake with a rasping breath and wheezing lungs. It hurts to swallow the last of the watered down juice by my bed, my throat clutches at itself trying to ease its pain. As I roll over to sit up, a deep cough rattles my chest. I feel my entire body shake with the repercussion. "Look at that blubber fly," as Homer Simpson says.
I give a small throat-clearing harumph, but that hurts too. I breathe slowly with pained effort, alarmed by the noise of air whistling through narrowed passages and I feel the restriction that limits my intake of air. My bladder is full from the night's consumption of juice and I need to pee. As I throw back to the sheets, my feet search for my slippers. The effort of walking to the bathroom stirs up things in my chest, things I don't want to think out, but I am forcing myself, just for you. As I piss into the bowl, I start another cough. I cannot piss straight and cough at the same time, so I stoop for a second, freeze the piss, catching my cough before it takes control. I hold my breathe until the urge passes, and then try to piss, push above yet relax below to start the stream again, for I have been dreaming about a long, long pressure-reducing and eventually pleasurable piss for the last extended and vivid portion of my sleeping consciousness. I let it flow.... Soon, much sooner than in the dream I get the beneficial effects... ooh man, that's goooooooood.
A bigger cough starts and I cannot stop it. From deep in my chest, the focus of the cough is rising up into my throat, cough after cough working together, a sequence of accelerating constrictions that strikes and shakes at my inflamed trachea. Thick green phlegm on the walls of my bronchus loosened by these paroxysms ascends as though up a ladder of spasms and as a crescendo, spurts into the back of my mouth where it gags me with its choking bitter taste.. I transition into different hawking vomit-like spasm as I find my mouth filled with mucous. It is disgusting, like holding warm bile-flavoured jelly in my cheeks. I spit it into the urine-stained water, where clumps of it swirl with some inner coriolus effect. Gross. I cannot breathe through my nose. I blow with some toilet tissue, ripping at the mucous membranes, and some of the phlegm that hit my sinuses clumps out into the tissue. I feel like gagging again, just thinking about it.
I try to breathe and find it a little easier, but then the spasms return and another coughing fit starts. More phlegm is drummed from my bronchial walls and transported up to be expectorated. I think of those many years ago, when I watched patients in Intensive Care have their ETTs sucked out after physiotherapy, prior to me doing their chest X-ray. That rolling sucking sound like the sound my straw makes at the bottom of my near-empty mocha-Iceblend at The Coffee Connoisseur. That cool ice would be nice on my raw throat now. Three more times I go into the rolling paroxysms and spit chunks of jellied dead mucous to the toilet bowl, the amount gradually lessening each time, my breathing becomes less labored after each clearing out.
I breathe deeply several times, checking for any residual crap and turn on the hot-water service, time for a shower. I feel oh so dirty.
For the rest of the day, every second breath triggers another cough, sometimes still producing involuntarily a gob of acid-bitter phlegm, and like at dinner with Milos, Izzy, Indy and T last week, I have no option but to spit loudly and grossly, like some sweat-stained-singlet-wearing Uncle who has been smoking unfiltered horse-hair for 120 years. Fortunately, if not forgivably, we were at an outside table.
My throat, you've no idea.
OTHER MONKEYS SAID
Oh my poor thing! Shall you be wanting a sweet young thing with a PLA to come over and nurse you back to health (naughty nurse outfit included. probably).
Go have a doctor poke at your bits. Course that's advice I never take myself when I'm sick since doctors are always bad news and there's a whole hospital of future docs here in college, but the world would be so screwed up if we all took our own advice.
go to the doctor..that's the other part of my story...sinusitis, bronchitus and one more day..it would have been pneumonia...the drugs are good, sugar! (i'm still too loopy to really write...)
VPS: PLA in Naughty Nurse uniform, pronto, front and centre! I need TLC from a PLA, ASAP!
Sav: Thing is, other than the cough, I am not really all that sick! No fever, not chills, no bronchitis - I have had asthsma (from our medical photographic chemicals) and bronchitis before so I'd know it. It's just this post-nasal drip thing building up over the night. And continuing during the day with this fucking cough. The cough syrup was making me drowsy, the mucolytic was giving me a rash... I'm living on Strepsils.
I'll just suffer noisily if that's OK. I've taken two days off work, but they're working on the flat upstairs so no rest here!
Less details of the expectorate please darling! You remind me of my husband who heaves up bronchial stuff into his handkerchief in the middle of the night, and I cringingly cry out "Can't you use a tissue for that?" Afterall I have to wash his handkerchiefs!!
Hope you get well soon...
Um, I was trying to be as detailed as possible. That was, like, the point of the post.
Yes give the man some tissues for god' sake! Asians don't use handkerchiefs at all, but use more hygenic tissues, or the footpath...
I just got desperate and sillly and tried a course of antibiotics. Didn't work. Going to the Chinese medicine next.