It’s ok, I don’t want sympathy. Cheering up would be good, but don’t make me laugh, it hurts.
I’ve spent the last four nights in work wraking up the inside layer of my lungs past my rapidly swelling throat, the last two of those with pretty much no voice at all. Ok, not a pretty picture and probably too much sharing, but the background will make my train of thought seem a little less like a de-railed tram.
My first train of thought went off somewhere about listening to my body again. I cough often, I’m quite used to it now, it’s usually caused by cleaning out the hay from the rabbit’s cages, or too many traffic fumes, waiting on a platform for a train, or if I’m stupid enough to stand next to someone smoking. I’ll cough for a little while, sometimes I’ll wheeze like I’ve been smoking 60 a day for the last thirty or so years, it will peak and then go away. Meanwhile I suck on antiseptic lozenges or gargle T.C.P. to stop any infection catching hold on my scraped throat and everything’s fine.
This time it wasn’t fine, for starters three days (or nights) is too long and for seconds I’d pulled a muscle in my back with so much coughing so off to the doctors I went. Now I usually treat the doctor’s like I do the dentist, avoid it at all cost until I really need to go and then turn up with whatever’s wrong plus a list of little niggles to be fixed at the same time. As it turns out, I was right about it being more than a cough, it’s a chest infection and the pulled muscle ? Yes, you guessed, that’s where the infection is. Luckily the antiseptic lozenges have done their work and the infection hasn’t caught hold of my throat or glands. Anyway, I’m off tonight and hopefully a few antibiotics helped along with a level room temperature and a little less disturbed dust than last night, along with a throat well oiled with warm milky coffee should hopefully get things fixed in time for Sunday’s shift.
My second train of thought wasn’t about me as much as about everyone else’s reaction to me. Since I was stupid enough to go into work after the visit to the doctors anyway, by the end of the night my throat hurt to even utter a tiny sound so I was resorting to miming the words slowly and clearly along with exaggerated gestures to go with them.
I made myself understood quite easily, I gesticulate a lot normally so waving my hands around to accompany my mouth was quite natural. I learned to sign the alphabet in school, but that only helps if the other person can do it too. There’s a profoundly deaf lady in work and although we don’t manage a very meaningful conversation, we pass the time of day easily enough and share a few smiles. I also find it quite easy to explain certain words to the few not-s0-English-speaking employees we have too. I don’t envy them trying to learn English as a second language, it seems pretty much impossible to negotiate your way through some of the sentences we rattle off without thinking.
Ok, so obviously there were the usual comedians who instantly whispered or mimed back but over the few days as my voice disappeared I noticed that people were starting to look directly at me if they were speaking to me, to talk in slow simples words and short sentences, as if because they were having trouble hearing and understanding me then, even though my ears were working perfectly, I would be having trouble understanding them too.
I started to wonder if this is how it would be like if I had a disability, if I was deaf or blind would I be classed as stupid too ? At first I was a little put out, but then I started to find it sort of amusing. I though about conversations I’ve had with my not-so English-speaking friends and realise that I simplify my words and sentences to make them easier to understand then.
My trains of thought rattled off into the distance and fizzled out somewhere ahead. What I’m actually doing trying to stay awake for a while longer to give myself a better chance of sleeping through the night tonight. My brain is wandering off on its own while my fingers are typing away without thinking (one of the few useful skills I did learn in school) I’m failing abysmally at staying awake so I guess I’ll move away from the laptop and drink one more coffee before hitting the pillow.
As for the picture, there was a lovely sunrise this morning but I really didn’t have the get up and go to get the camera out so I just smiled at it … and found one from the files to share with you instead.