Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Am a Petri Dish

One is obliged to suffer in silence when operatic sopranos massacre bush songs, because there's a number of particularly nasty flus working their way around town, and in the past eight weeks, I've had all of 'em.

Last week I had three at once.  As I shivered through one, and coughed technicolor through another, I pressed my face deep into a nebulizer mask, sucked greedily at the bronchii-dilating gasses, and felt very sorry for myself.
"I haven't been this sick since high school."  I moaned.  The sound echoed weirdly inside the mask and, being higher on the albuterol than a 747 at cruising altitude, I stopped breathing to giggle.   Thick white steam curled out of the vent holes in the mask and twined up into my hair, and I thought about what I'd said.

"Hah."  I grunted.  The smoke jetted out sideways and I giggled again.
I've been out of high school for 12 years.  Any sort of immunity I had to seasonal flus is long gone - and now I'm back at high school as a teacher.
I've had pinkeye six times this year.  Every damn bug floating loose in that hot-pot petri dish of germs and hormones is latching on to my under-exercised immune system like limpet mines on a unguarded merchant fleet.

Everyone at work is being exquisitely kind, and when I call croakingly to say "Yet Again" they tut soothingly and tell me inspiring stories of everything they endured back when they started working in the school system.

Through a near-terminal  addiction to soap and water and anti-bacterial hand gels, I've been fending off the gastro bug that's been plowing through the senior class.   It worked all the way up until last Monday.   Just after I got out of a week's quarantine for suspected Whooping Cough. 

My co-workers really are VERY kind indeed.  And if I make it through all this, I won't catch another flu for YEARS.

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