Maybe it was the comforting and creative turkey recipes you all sent, or perhaps it was five straight days rest (okay, there was that madcap codeine run to Harvard Square yesterday, but that is a nutty story of narcotics hi-jinks for another day), but I am thrilled, thrilled (!) to report that I was able to walk the dog for her usual three miles this morning.
And I am still awake to talk about it!
She, however, is fast asleep.
Don’t wake me, monkey.
You might think I’m kind of making a lot of a case of bronchitis, and I suppose it would appear that way if you didn’t know that seven years ago when I still lived in NYC, I came down with a case of bronchitis at the end of October, but I kept going to work, to the gym, to Halloween parties…I just kept up my usual schedule, albeit while hacking and coughing up alveoli everywhere I went. By November 2nd, I couldn’t walk around the block. From then until early December, I did not leave my apartment.
By this I mean I did not even go down the hall.
Long story short, the virus caused lung inflammation, I lost half my lung capacity, at the worst of it I could not raise my arms above my head because that movement compressed my lungs too much for me to breathe, and a good day was when I could sit up in bed for an hour or two. I didn’t resume anything resembling a normal schedule for six months. As ailments go, the excruciatingly slow progress of this was maddeningly like something out of the 19th century, except that I was not sent to “take the waters” for six months. Which was a shame.
At the time, the pulmonologist gave me a two-year horizon for full recovery and I have minor, but apparently permanent lung damage.
What was my mistake? I didn’t respect the virus. I didn’t understand that I was dealing with the Godfather of Viruses. By the time I got the picture, the Godfather of Viruses was saying, “You come here and ask me to leave you alone, but you don’t show respect, you don’t show friendship.”
That’s when you know you’re gonna get whacked.
I haven’t had bronchitis in the intervening seven years (thanks be to God!) and this virus seems far less virulent than the one I had in 2000, but then again, I know now. I respect the virus, children. I don’t push my luck. I don’t go out in public coughing and hacking and flipping off the virus in a whole variety of ways that makes it very, very angry. Because I know what happens.
You end up as a character in The Magic Mountain.
So that’s why bronchitis is a big, ole, hairy deal Chez Mad Dog. That’s why we’re hunkering down and knitting The Sick Socks and doing crossword puzzles.
I’m also making the Superior Ruffled Pullover, which looks like this so far:
If you don’t knit, this yarn will make you want to learn. 70% cashmere, 30% silk. Superior. Ask for it at your LYS.
And I’m slowly re-entering the world. But this time, I’m showing respect.