Monday, May 15, 2006

Cough, croak, barf

On Friday, one of the teachers had a bad cough, and her voice was giving out. She was really sick. She told us that she had been to the doctor, who had stuck a camera down her nose and told her that she she had inflamed vocal chords on one side and should stop talking for a week or two otherwise she would end up with polyps, which would require surgery. I have been coughing for a couple of weeks now, and my voice is also not good. I worried when I heard about her experience. We can't take time off easily, and who wants polyps? What are polyps, anyway?

The Man said, when I told him about it, that I should visit our doctor today. The Man is always right in matters of health, so I did, after work.

The doctor asked lots and lots of questions about my habits. He was sure something had changed, and that I had some sort of allergy. Had I painted my room? Had I been working somewhere different? I told him I hadn't done anything unusual. He checked everything he usually checks, plus he stuck my finger in a machine to measure how much oxygen my capillaries were taking up (or something like that). The results were all right, he said. I tried to dredge up a cough, to demonstrate, and finally managed one. "Oh," he said, "Like THAT!"

Then he gave me prescriptions for a cough. He also told me that this year the allergies from pollen weren't as bad as usual, but allergic reactions from the kosa (yellow sand) were much worse. He said that was because the sand used to be just sand, but with the rapid industrialization of China it was drifting over industrial areas and picking up pollution (I knew that) and was causing problems. This year it was bad, he said. People were getting horrible reactions. Usually allergic reactions in spring were confined to eyes and nasal passages, but this time it was throat and bronchial tubes. He thought that might be what had happened to me. I have been polluted by China's industrialization.

I came home with my medicine. I had given The Man instructions to buy asari (clams) for me, which he had done. I cooked and ate asari spaghetti, which was delicious. That was at around seven thirty, and at about nine o'clock I threw up dramatically and copiously.

Now I feel fine.

I guess there was a bad asari in that lot, but I have to admit the first thing I thought as I was squatting over the toilet was, "At least I haven't taken the medicine yet!" I wouldn't have known what to do. Take another dose, or wait until morning?

That was a quick dinner. In and out in no time at all. We didn't even have time to become properly acquainted.

(Also, how come I was throwing up pink pickled ginger? I didn't EAT any pink pickled ginger.)

At least I'm not coughing much, but it's been mostly in the mornings anyway. The rest of the day I just croak a lot. Tomorrow my plan is to have the students talking most of the time so I won't have to, and my vocal chords will be spared. I will give them lists of (corrected) questions they wrote themselves for homework, and they can just work through them. They wrote some unanswerable questions like "When will I be happy?" "Who is that at the door?" and "Why were we born?" I'll give them possible answers for those on the board. I will write:

"Why are you asking me?"

"Who knows?"

"What do you mean?" and,

"What are you talking about?"

They usually love these answers. They have no idea that you can answer a question with a question until I teach them. Last year this activity was a wild success, and I'm hoping for something similar.

The only problem is that after doing this activity, I get the unanswerable question answers at times I don't really want to hear them. When I ask,

"Why are you late?"

I don't really want to hear,

"Who knows?"

But I suppose it's better than, "I was sleeping," so I will try to be grateful.

Oh, gawd, I'm feeling bad again. Maybe there were TWO bad clams. Back soon.


False alarm. I'm feeling all right now, and capable of sorting out today's pictures. There were only three, taken on my way to work - two purple flowers and one yellow. The yellow one is very small, and the purples are both bulbs of some sort, I think. Is that first one another iris? They were down by the river.

I wanted to take more pictures on the way home but by then it had clouded over and become quite cool and I just wanted to get home. Plus I had to get to the doctor.

I've just realized that the doctor forgot to ask me how my bowels were. I KNEW there was something wrong as I was leaving. I hesitated at the door when we'd finished. I felt that something was missing. But he didn't say anything.

Doesn't he CARE about my bowels anymore?


Radioactive Jam said...

Thank you. I needed something like this to trigger an about-face for a rough morning.

And what a delight, to teach someone how to answer a question with a question!

Carrie said...

Sorry to hear about your Chinese clam pollution.

kenju said...

First pic is iris, don't know the second one although it looks a lot like a dendrobium orchid.

Sorry about the clams, etc., and maybe your doc didn't ask that question because he was afraid of the answer...LOL

Faerunner said...

The third picture looks a lot like some kind of mustard, although I´m not very sure of that :)

Hope you feel better soon!

Writer Mom said...

I don't know how to comment. I'm too busy trying not to pee myself laughing while Googling the Chinese pollution epidemic--IS IT COMING HERE??? (I've had a runny nose lately), while thinking your dinner sounded so delicious, but am also confused about the ginger. Odd. How ARE your bowels?? And those pictures are FANTASTIC!
This post is genius.