The progression of the man-cold

Unlike the common cold, the Man Cold can be tricky to overcome. I weakened my immune system to see how I would fare. Unfortunately not all men can be as tough about the whole thing as me. I kept a journal, as a Tough Man would.

Day 1:

Coming down with cold. I blame our children who I’ve renamed as The Human Petri Dish and Typhoid Fever. One drooled into my mouth with the precision of a World War II B-29 bomber. I handled it like a man by tossing kid onto the couch en route to the bathroom to dry heave for 20 minutes. I watched a documentary about how younger lions often challenge the older, more handsome ones to eventually take over the pride, and this feels eerily similar. I’m considering placing children in plastic bubbles and only interacting with them if one of us is shrouded in some type of space suit.

This illness will probably be over in a few days. I’ll handle this with the toughness of an iron lumberjack.

Day 2:

Throat beginning to feel like I’m choking on a chipmunk. But it’s a small chipmunk. No big deal.

Wife suggested drugs. Easy, pusher. You’d like that wouldn’t you? Getting me all doped up on something and take advantage of me? I’m on to you. I dumped out the water she brought me “to help keep you hydrated” because “I love you.” To KEEP ME IN A DISORIENTED DAZE, no doubt, so I agree to do whatever freaky things you want — like agree you need more shoes and that you really “have nothing to wear” despite a closet full of clothes. Can no longer trust wife. That’s OK. I don’t need her anyway. What’s the saying? Starve a flu, dehydrate a cold? Something like that. Hydration is for the weak.

Day 3:

Bad news. What I thought was a throat chipmunk is actually a throat PORCUPINE. That or sometime during the night my wife poured broken glass in my mouth, which I wouldn’t put past her.

I didn’t even have the energy to tell her to hand me the TV remote but somehow summoned the ability. It’s probably one of those desperate situations you read about in the news – like how a pregnant lady is able to kill a polar bear that’s attacking her children with her bare hands. Nobody seemed to notice my triumph but me, though. That’s fine. I’ll contact the paper tomorrow if I’m not dead.

Day 4:

Apparently the levee in my nose broke sometime during the night. The Red Cross has been incredibly unhelpful in providing relief. If this doesn’t constitute an emergency than WHAT DOES RED CROSS?!

With my eyes beginning to water thanks to what can only be described as the worst nose itch in the history of the WORLD I now look like I’ve been watching The Notebook and crying for the last four hours. When the Drug Pusher asked what was wrong I shouted “I look hideous and you never unload the dishwasher!” Let’s see how SHE likes someone spontaneously acting irrationally for no reason.

Throat feels like a nest of fire bees stinging liquid pain. This is probably the worst anybody has ever felt.

Day 5:

Barely made it to the computer today but nobody cheered. Checked webmd.com and I either have a cold, Ebola or Alien Hand Syndrome. Probably all three. I always knew I couldn’t trust my left hand. That’s why it throws things all weird.

Day 6:

There’s now a competition between me and The Human Petri Dish to see who can produce the most fluid in a given day. The winner gets a bottle of NyQuil.

In a delightful turn of events, a cough has begun. This just keeps getting better and better. I can only hope this is all a result of being bitten by a radioactive spider and I’ll come out the other end of this with super powers.

Beginning to question if life is even worth living anymore. Can someone bring me some soup?

Day 7:

I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t pain. Voice has been replaced full-time by a ragged cough that scares the cat. Nobody feels sorry for me. The fire bees have armed themselves with harpoons. The flood has subsided and it has been replaced by a drought. I’ve already forgotten what it feels like to breathe out of my nose. Do people actually do that?

Wife has banished me from the bedroom due to excess noise. Sure, make the nearly dead leave. No, no, that’s perfectly fair. There have been lots of times I’ve heard this announcement at hospitals:

Intercom: “Can all you sick people just please sleep on the floor in some other room? We have some nurses that need a nap. OMG you’re gross.”

Day 8:

Attempted to blow nose and woke up on the floor.

Day 9:

I spent today shuffling around the house with a sign around my neck that read, “Why doesn’t anyone help me?” with a frowny face, storm cloud and kangaroo. I love kangaroos.

Day 10:

They say laughter is the best medicine, but wife refused to tickle me. That’s OK, I’ll just die then.

Day 11:

Still camped out on the couch. It’ll probably need to be destroyed after the paramedics haul away my diseased body. Nobody has gotten me any drugs. Nobody has gotten me any soup. Nobody feels sorry for me. Nobody loves me. What’s the point anymore?


Kelly Van De Walle can be reached at vandkel@hotmail.com or via hallucination.