Friday 30 Sep 2016

Sick People
Matt Seinberg

I really hate sick people. Yes, that's a harsh statement, but I have some good reasons for it. The first is that I hate getting sick, and being around sick people is the main cause of that.

Right now, my wife has a miserable cold at home, and one of the managers at work has a cold. Therefore, the chances of me getting sick in the next week have doubled, and I have to do everything I can do not to get sick.

My first line of defense is constantly washing my hands and avoid touching anything they may have touched. Then I'm going to take massive amounts of Vitamin C and hope for the best.

You see, when I get sick, I just don't get a cold. I end up with an upper respiratory infection, bronchitis or almost pneumonia. I say almost because last year I came very close to it, and caught it just in time that antibiotics helped get me better.

When I'm sick, all I want is to be alone. Sure, you can make me some tea; bring me a snack and medications. Other than that, please leave me alone. Let me be miserable in peace and watch television, read or sleep.

My wife is the worst sick person, ever. She will fall asleep and deny it. Last night I went to get a snack, and she was asleep. When I came back into our room, instead of asking nicely for me to get her something, she yelled at me for not asking if she wanted anything!

My reply was simple: “You were sleeping. Why would I ask if you wanted anything?” She denied she was sleeping. I know she was because I heard her snoring. Again, she denied it, but there was no snack or tea for her. Ask nicely or don't ask at all.

I also believe that if you're truly sick, don't go to work and take the chance of infecting your friends and coworkers. A cold or worse can spread like wildfire in a closed environment like and office or store.

My wife says I'll run to the doctor no matter what. I know what can happen if I get sick, as I mentioned above. So why take the chance of getting sicker when I can head it off at the beginning. I certainly don't want to lie in bed, as Marcy did today if I can help it. I don't think anyone enjoys a runny nose, sore throat and body aches. Hey, I just described the flu. Marcy has everything except the body aches, and a couple of other things that don't need mentioning.

I remember the first time I was sick. I was 17 and in high school. My father took me to the doctor, who said I had bronchitis. I think I was out of school about 10 days and I was bored out of my mind. I could watch only so much television and read before my mind turned to mush. This was in the days before we had hundreds of cable channels to watch.

The worst time I was sick, I think, it was in 2001, I had to take Michelle to the doctor. The pediatrician looked at me and asked how I felt. I said miserable. He asked if I felt like a truck ran over me. I said yes. He said congratulations; you have the flu. He wrote a note for me to bring to work and saved me a visit to my own doctor.

The next week I felt even worse, and went to my regular doctor. He told me I had bronchitis. Imagine having the flu and bronchitis, combined, that is misery and torture combined. Luckily as a store manager, I had unlimited sick time. My boss called me up and asked when I was coming back, and I said I didn't know. He told me that if I didn’t get back to work by Monday, I'd have to go on short-term disability.

I went back on Monday, still feeling weak and only 80% recovered.

Now, 39 years later after my first bout with bronchitis, I don't recover as quickly. I was out of work for 2 weeks, and it took me another two weeks to feel 100% again. That's just another problem with getting older; the recuperation time gets longer and longer.

Getting old sucks, but the alternative is worse.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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