I spent Christmas eve and Christmas day sick as a dog, and not just any old dog either — a sick dog.
How bad was it?
When I get a head cold, it usually builds up for a week to a 24-hour period when I go through a whole box of Kleenix all by myself in one day.
By the end of that special day, my nose feels like it’s been rubbed with sandpaper for 12 hours.
(Or rather, I assume it does. I’ve never actually rubbed my nose with sandpaper for 12 hours just so I could make a proper comparison.)
Well, last week I had two consecutive days like that. I finished off two boxes worth of Kleenex in two days. The trash cans in my house were filled with a blizzard’s worth of used tissues.
By the end of Christmas day, I walked into my bedroom to find my nose standing on the second story window ledge, threatening to jump if anyone approached it with a Kleenix — even the kind with lotion.
Of course, that may have been a hallucination. After two days of feeling like my head was stuffed with wool soaked in Elmer’s Glue, I wouldn’t put it past myself.
Years ago, when my wife was going to college in Duluth, she was hit by a drunk driver in a pickup truck. According to the police report, the concussion threw her the length of a basketball court.
There were remarkably few side effects from the experience. However, the olfactory nerve connecting her nose to her brain was severed, so she lost most of her sense of smell.
For years I’ve wondered what that must be like. Now I know!
After two days feeling like my sinuses had been rinsed out with Draino, scoured with pipe cleaners, and subject to a small incendiary grenade, I sat down to eat bacon and French toast on Wednesday — and couldn’t taste a thing.
I could feel the textures of the food in my mouth, and the sensations of hot and cold, but couldn’t taste the food at all. It was unpredicted and surreal.
I had no idea until last week just how much the senses of smell and taste are connected.
Everything in your body is connected somehow. You relearn that every time you whack your elbow and feel a twinge in your stomach, or eyelid, or the bottom of your foot.
I think that fact is where the concept of “side-effects” comes from. You take a pill, and the part of your body it’s meant for sighs with relief and says, “Ahhhhhhhh.” The rest of your body looks at the medication and thinks, “What the hey?”
Page 2 of 2 - Anyway, maybe this is a good week to eat all those foods I swore I’d never touch when I was a child, just so I can say I did.
Brussel sprouts, here I come!