So yes, I thought I’d go ahead and get myself a little bout of bronchitis just to make things interesting.
What can I tell you, it’s great. I’m not getting any sleep, I can’t breathe, and I’ve coughed myself into this constantly pain ridden-creature who can barely sit up in bed, never mind walking, sipping and thinking coherent thoughts. My ribs ache, my chest aches, oh and it feels like I’m growing a new limb in the back of my throat, one that spends its day rhythmically punching me from the inside. Just as demented as all my other limbs have proven themselves to be in time.
I’ve taken three days off from work this week. This from someone who’d only taken two sick days in total during the last four and a half years in this country, humanity!
I pretty much dozed all through Monday, barely dragging myself to the kitchen to put the kettle on and rest my head on the counter while the water heated, then back to bed and dreams of my mother washing my hair in the bathroom sink when I was a kid, her hands rubbing and turning my head expertly, like she was rinsing vegetables for soup.
Despite another sleepless night, Tuesday found me in better spirits. I managed to make it to the living room, where I spent the day on the sofa, wrapped in all the blankets we own (three), drinking industrial quantities of camomile tea, reading National Geographic and messing with the remote. Towards noon I actually found it in me to deal with this years’ batch of holiday cards, and then, motivated no doubt by the small stack of ready to be delivered red envelopes on the coffee table, I decided I’d actually get out of my blankets and sort out our Christmas decorations as well. It’s worked out fine, more or less, mainly because we’re not decorating a lot this year. The tiniest tree in the living room, a wreath centrepiece on the dining table, and window lights. I’d managed to put half the lights up before I succumbed to a coughing fit that got me feeling dizzy and short of breath, and only passed once I lied on my side for a minute or so, counting my breaths.
So our place sported a slightly depressing, half Christmassy look for a day or so.
On Wednesday I actually put some mascara on and traipsed to the train station, determined to finally make it to work. Just my luck though, every other train turned out cancelled due to, wait… for… it… shortage of drivers.
Assuming they all got some form of debilitating bronchitis, I decided I’d be caring and understanding for once, and eventually coughed my way back home and into bed. Later in the day, I finally managed to hang the rest of the lights in the window, which I must admit has made me feel a lot better than the gallons upon gallons of sweet tea and mountains of Strepsils of the past days combined.
I’m loving this time of year. Despite the zero snow situation, the psycho coughing, the driver-less trains, the seriously disgusting way in which I’m being treated during my last days in the office (I will not rant about this. I. Will. Not. Rant!!!).
Christmas is in the air, despite all that. And it makes me happy that we’re enjoying it in our new home, and away, just the two of us, and in the company of wonderful friends. I’m happy that we’re making it work, that we’re trying at it, despite the difficult year we’ve had and the sort of unsure times waiting for us ahead. And I’m feeling great! OK, not right now. Right now I’m still pretty much the zombiest I can be, though I’m proud to report that I have managed to make it to work and eat a couple of biscuits without feeling my throat peeling raw.
All in all, life’s good. I’m off home soon, just in time to turn the Christmas lights on as it’s getting dark. We’ve wrapped and labeled all of this year’s presents, and they’re now stacked around the living room, waiting for people to arrive. Our red enveloped cards are making their way to Romania, different corners of London and faraway sunny places as we speak. I’m planning to try my hand at some homemade mulled wine tonight, so that I’m not caught unprepared when the time comes. Then it’s homemade bun-less burgers and greens and, if I’m feeling particularly rebellious, mince pie. Lights blinking in the window. No rush, no worries, no drama.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we’re ready. We’re absolutely, no doubt about it, ready. Bring it on, Christmas!