Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Long for Sweet, Sweet Death

Isn't it sad that all it takes is a bit of a head cold for one to question whether death is really so bad?

Maybe it's just me who jumps straight to the life-is-shit point of view as soon as my sinuses clog with inflammation and excess mucus. This may make me sound like a whiny little wuss, and I probably am, but I honestly tend to deal with discomfort fairly well. I didn't see the need to take pain medication for a severe ankle sprain or the surgical removal of my wisdom teeth. It really just didn't hurt bad enough to put up with that foggy feeling brought on by the pain meds. It took me three days to decide that shooting pains starting in my neck and bringing weakness to my right leg was bad enough to require a trip to the doctor. I didn't even complain about it. I couldn't move for a couple of days, but you didn't hear me complain.

My wife seems to think she deals with discomfort better than I do, but I think it's really more of her believing that old saying about women dealing with discomfort better than men. I'll admit my wife was a total bad ass when she was delivering our son, but here are the ailments that brought a mild complaint from me in the past couple of years: Pneumonia, multiple bouts of strep throat (the same disease that offed Mozart), and a herniated disk in my neck. Here are the types of things that caused my wife to worry that she was dying: tummy aches and moderate muscle soreness after she spent 30 minutes on an elliptical machine. I've got a feeling that taking a day off work because the flesh at the back of my throat is being eaten away by a colony of mean-spirited bacteria, or because the swollen connective tissue in my neck is pressing against my spinal chord isn't exactly overreacting to the circumstances.

But getting back to the cold thing, yes, I am a wimp in this regard. Honestly, even I find it a little strange that I find strep throat less of an inconvenience than a decent head cold. Part of it, I guess, is that strep throat gets to a point where the pain is so bad that the brain finally just goes, "Fuck it. I'm ignoring any signals from the throat until that stupid bastard stops complaining about his annoying house guests." Seriously, I've gone to the doctor before with strep, they asked how bad it hurts, and I responded "it hurt pretty bad yesterday, but today I don't really feel anything." That's usually followed by, "Oh my god! It looks like ground beef back there. That should hurt." See, I'm such a bad ass that I even shock middle-aged medical professionals with my badassery, but give me some swelling of the sinus membranes, ramp up mucus production, and give me a bit of a cough and I'm wishing I could die.

Oh god, I want to die.


Chris said...

I hope you get better instead.

My household has been passing around some weird cough for the last couple weeks. Logan has had some sinus issues with it, but Meaghan and I just had the cough and nothing else. Strange, and really annoying. I hope we're not dying.

Haukur (ratebeer) said...

good post..

although we men tend to have "man flu" most of the time..

A Free Man said...

Suck it up, mister!


Julie said...

I tend to agree with you. Strep throat hurts but at least it's localized. Back pain is no fun but you learn to deal with the pain and not twist your neck to make it worse.

Sinus problems and colds are on a different level. Science has yet to make a medicine that is effective. The only relief I get is by using a neti pot after a steamy shower and guzzling alkaseltzer at night. And it can go on for days! Maybe it makes me a wuss, too, but I agree with you. I don't want to die so much as I want science to come up with a better solution - if that means medically induced coma, so be it.

courtney said...

Strep throat sucks. I had that twice a year for a long time as a kid. I'm also a giant wuss -- I passed out in a rest stop the other day after changing the bandage on a cut on my finger. Me no likey blood.

Hope you feel better.