Telling Tales – ‘Tis the Cold Season
By ANGEL KANE
It’s inevitable that as cold and flu season makes its way through town, my kids will catch the sniffles. So when my mother heard my youngest cough and wheeze over the Thanksgiving holidays, it was also inevitable that she would break out the Vicks.
My mother is a firm believer that any ailment can be cured with a thick layer of Vicks!
So as coughs and runny noses invaded our house this past week, everyone took on their usual roles.
My eldest takes a cold in stride. She wraps herself in a blanket by the fire and sleeps it off. Then again, she is a teen-ager so sleeping is something she does often and well. But this time I know she is sick because before taking to the couch, she manages to use her last bit of strength to pull herself to the computer and – – – update her facebook status to “I’m sick.”
My “Type-A” middle child immediately goes into war mode. The moment her throat becomes scratchy, she breaks out the cold medicine, begins popping Flinstones with extra Vitamin C and demands an immediate trip to the doctor. She‘s got things to do and being sick isn‘t one of them. “I can’t afford to be sick,” she informs me. Considering this 10 year old has yet to contribute a paycheck to the household, I’m not sure what she is talking about but she is so convincing that by the end of the day she has a Z-pack in one hand and a written excused absence in the other.
And my youngest – well – he is like me….. he thinks he is going to die.
“My ears are stuffy. I can’t hear. And my throat is realllllly sore!!!” he cries out.
I try not to panic. But it only takes about two more minutes…and he does it for me.
“Why can’t I hear? Mama, I am going deaf! What – what did you say? I can’t hear anything!!” he moans.
Again I try not to panic as I Google symptoms of ear cancer and immediately reach for the Vicks vapor rub.
But finally, as the week comes to a close, all the children begin to perk up as the combination of Vicks, orange juice and mama’s paranoia eventually work their magic.
Which inevitably means that at week’s end, my husband and I are now sick.
I immediately alert my husband to my Google search findings. “ I have all the symptoms of throat cancer. Inability to swallow, pain, and swelling of the lymph nodes. Do I look pale or wait, maybe even a little yellow? Oh great, now I‘m jaundiced!”
“You don’t have cancer, you have a cold,” the voice of reason tells me as he chugs back a second glass of alka seltzer cold medicine.
He’s probably right ….but just in case …I dab on a little Vicks.