It’s presently, godforsaken, 4:34 in the morning and I’m on the sofa in the living room writing this post from my iPhone. I’ve basically been up since 12:01 AM and things unraveled as such: I fell asleep thereafter for seven minutes then woke up at 12:08 unable to believe only seven minutes had passed. I then tossed left, right, sat up, lay back down, then fell asleep again. 28 minutes passed during this second nap and I woke up again. My mouth felt like what I imagine an old camel’s would after a 10-hour shift of hauling tourists all day around the Sahara Desert. There was no way I was going to fall into slumber under such conditions and turned to study Nick’s face instead.
He lay beside me in a heavy sleep, breathing deeply and rhythmically through his clear, breezy nostrils. His peace almost brought tears to my eyes until I realised they were probably watering because the fluid in my face had nowhere else to go.
i.was.fucking.disgusting! It’s better that Nick was sleeping so as to not be a witness to the haggard monster that I turned into since we hugged and kissed each other good night only hours earlier. “You’re so beautiful,” he said to me with heavy, lusty eyes while brushing my hair off my face and kissing my forehead, “I’m so lucky to have such an angelic, dainty girl friend.”
I’m just kidding, he didn’t really say that – but, he was so obviously thinking it. I really just included that for dramatic effect so you can better visualise just how ghastly things had become since we said good night.
I tried desperately to absorb some of his slumber via osmosis, telepathy, vicariously, anything. I tried breathing in sync with him and only ended up basically hyperventilating because my sinuses weren’t allowing me to draw a nice lungful of air and his slow, deep-sleep breathing left me gasping for it and I was downright defiant over being forced to breathe through my mouth so I settled for all that my only available (although barely) nostril would afford me. Okay, okay, I admit that in my defiance things did become desperate as I really couldn’t breathe properly, so then, like a fish out of water, I would gasp quickly through my mouth without knowing it was coming and then shut my mouth again.
Vicarious breathing techniques were a fail.
I swear, under the slices of streetlight sneaking past our curtains, Nick actually looked like he was smiling. Or, maybe a shadow was just in perfect position. Or, maybe I was just looking for something to be angry about.
Nick was oblivious to the torment that was going on beside him only a foot extension away – thank god. I was in tumult as I started to make matters worse by psyching myself out as I anticipated what was obviously going to become a complete blockage of both nostrillular (I made that word up) airways at some point. When I get sick, my sinuses do not mess around, as noted in a past post: TMI in the kitchen with Andrea. It’s like they fight over which one is going to be the most congested then, when they cannot agree, they both just slam the door on each other thereby closing off all chances of me breathing through my nose.
Let me tell you, it’s very hard trying to contain the need to thrash around, blow your nose, sneeze, and cough in an effort to respectfully not disturb the person beside you who has to be up in five hours for an early morning shift. When a cold manifests in such a way, I really am better off on my own island.
To make matters even more ridiculous, we are flying to Puerto Vallarta in four days. I’m banking on getting my shit together before then, otherwise I dread, with every cell in my body, having to fly with a congested face. I’m hoping, though, that it’ll clear up by the time I get there and am in the warmth and sunshine.
At 2:47, I eventually got up and visited the medicine cabinet. In a total fog and complete inability to understand time, I wracked my brain trying to count the hours since my last administration of decongestant and anti-inflammatory drugs. My mistake was to separate my Advils from my decongestants so I couldn’t remember when I had last taken which. “Was it two o’clock that I took that decongestant? Or, was it two hours ago? Or wait, maybe I took the Advil two hours ago and was supposed to take the decongestant two hours later?” I popped them both anyway.
You know what’s really stupid of me? When I’m taking over-the-counter medication like this and it seems like I might be taking way more than the directions are advising, I actually take the time to tell myself, ”If you were in a hospital they’d give you quadruple the strength of medicine than those silly little pills you’re holding in your hand right now.” and, that’s how I feel better about exceeding the recommended dose.*
For fuck sakes, Nick’s alarm is going to be going off in an hour. He’ll open his eyes, expecting me to be there, but instead he’ll find me on the sofa buried by Kleenexes, smelling like Vicks and a camel.
It’s getting hard to type this on my phone so I think I’m going to try to close my eyes sitting up and hope for the best. I will write more when I am less upset with my circumstances.
2013Feb13 - Greetings from Hotel Catedral Vallarta.
I AM in the hell of all hells right now.
First of all, remember when I was terrified of flying congested? Well, my nightmare came true during our descent into Puerto Vallarta. My popping ears were nothing compared to the immense, shocking, severe pain that was radiating across my entire forehead. Your forehead? you ask. Yes, my forehead! I compare the feeling to how, I imagine, it would feel if someone slowly began ripping the skin off my forehead to reveal the fresh, raw flesh underneath. Then, after doing that, they would take some sand paper (coarse grade) and rub it side to side, but, not before spraying the area with rubbing alcohol first. It was almost so unbearable I contemplated calling the flight attendant but then figured there really wasn’t anything she could do for me. To make matters worse, Nick was two rows behind me. I didn’t even have his hand to crush, or his shoulder to snot on, or his expressions of sympathy and complete and utter pity. Instead, I was against the window beside a couple that brought their own freshly washed veggies in individual Zip-loc bags. I had basically been blowing my nose and/or sneezing and/or coughing the entire flight and I’m sure they were making plans to disinfect themselves upon landing. I tried so hard to keep it away from them and did all the courteous things like coughing and sneezing inside my sweater and using hand-sanitizer practically every 10 minutes. I knew they really hated me, though, when I asked the lady beside me if I could borrow her pen (which was sticking out of the pocket in front of her) so I could fill out our declaration forms. Her tray was down at this point but the pen was most definitely jutting out beyond the level of the tray. She told me that she “couldn’t reach it” because her “tray was down.” At that moment I felt so sorry for myself I just curled into a ball, threw my hoodie over my head, closed my eyes and wished death would hurry up.
Since landing, I have gotten worse if that was at all possible. I’m typing this from our bed while Nick’s on the veranda of our boutique hotel reading contently under the warmth of the sun; where I should be. Instead, I can’t fight the urge to rest and sleep. This, whatever it is, has completely overcome me while I am on vacation and I can’t even begin to describe how frustrated I am. It’s our second night here and I can just feel the sickness setting in. This is way beyond the little cold I thought I was going to have to contend with. My poor body, it’s like, stop moving right now! But my conscience is like, but I’m in Old Town Puerto Vallarta, leave me alone! I can feel it moving downward, too. As if staying in my face was too boring. I can tell by the cough I just developed this morning that it’s unfriendly and likely very vicious. It BETTER not become bronchitis while I’m in Mexico.
We had a wonderful and romantic supper last night on the beach at the ocean. Candles on all the tables, waves crashing on the shore. It’s so fun walking up to a dinner table with your toes in the sand. I had a couple delicious-looking Pina Coladas and some margaritas and a delectable-looking, serious, Fajita, however, I have no idea what they tasted like. I had to use my imagination and also made Nick taste everything then describe the flavour in great detail. It felt like such a waste.
But nooooo, I’m on vacation in Mexico. My body and I are in a big argument because I refuse to feel shitty while lying down. Instead, I’ve been feeling shitty while doing all the things that people who are not feeling shitty would be doing. I’m sure it’s quite counter-productive but I’m stubborn plus would feel guilty if Nick was stuck playing night nurse this entire time.
Anyway, have you heard of “rebound congestion?” I took Afrin yesterday because the pressure building up in my face was making my eyeballs feel like they were about to pop out of my face and run away only to never return. It’s a very annoying feeling. That, coupled with sinuses that are so inflamed that I can’t get any air in or out of them (probably the worst part for me), has made me so tense which is thereby making me even more tense at being tense in the first place. So, I lapsed and took some snorts in desperation. For four whole hours I could breathe through my nose. We swam in the ocean, rode the crashing waves, slept on the beach, walked the streets of Old Vallarta, and hiked up to where the money homes are – you know, the ones owned by rich foreigners.
Come the fifth hour I could actually feel my tissues closing up again with each inhalation. I felt like Cinderella at midnight. It was so deflating and it happened so fast, too. I spent last night feeling even more congested than I ever had thus far – if that was even possible. The only way I can properly illustrate the condition is exactly like this (those are corks):
(don’t you love how my hairstyle keeps changing? I think I look like a backup singer for Bon Jovi here)
Anyway, tomorrow is v-day. The day when I’m supposed to feel pretty, romantic and smell nice as Nick and I celebrate our romance. I wish I could feel a little more fancy, and Valentine-y, but I think I’ll be feeling more Frankenstein-y than anything. Oh well, thankfully Nick’s in it for the long haul, eh?!
Alright, I don’t want to be the vacationing blogger, especially when I don’t have many lifelines left while my condition seems to worsen with every character I enter.
I’ll leave you on this sick note. Olé!
*This is honestly in the most extreme of cases and the only time I’ll classify anything as extreme is when it has to do with my sinuses. Like, I could lose an arm in a shark attack and reject the painkillers; THAT’S how resilient I am.