By Pamela Moeng
A bout of seasonal gut-loosening coughing, likely induced by post nasal drip caused by my allergy to some obscure pollen in the air, has gifted me with a few hours to read. Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island moved me to smile, giggle and guffaw - when I wasn't in danger of blowing my lungs through my mouth with my whooping cough antics.
My partner teased me gently for several days about the ladylike puffing that was the precursor to the gale force blasts assaulting me now. When the puffs upped their force factor, he started to mutter about infectious states. Today he's just concerned that Mrs Why-Go-To-A-Doctor because lemon, honey and a triple tot of Johnny Walker cures anything from dysmenorreah to shingles, has finally conceded that perhaps a bit of something more direct - like an antibiotic - is needed. Now!
Some might say a few days of non-stop chest-wracking coughing are good for shaking up the innards and giving one a new lease on life. I for one can only say I'd rather ride a galloping ostrich than cough my way through another meeting, where colleagues visibly inch away, fear of flu or worse etched on their faces.
The advantage of being sick during school hols is the care my soon-to-be-twelve son showed me. Dragging blankets from the bedroom to the couch, so I could watch Cartoon Network with him, and filling me a hot water bottle to comfort me, he kept me company. He didn't even flinch when cough after cough rent the air. Of course, the earphones plugged into the computer so that he could play his game without disturbance probably blocked most of the cough cacaphony. But hey! It's the thought that counts.
Minutes away from my 11.15 appointment with my GP, I feel like a fraud - the coughing has slowed down. Maybe one of my reasons for seeing a visit to the doctor as a last resort is that feeling just as you walk into her office that after all I'm really not that sick. But no, that demented gnome with a feather inside my throat is at it again. Watch out! Here comes the mother-of-all coughs - is that my left lung flying out the window?