An apple a day…cannot change its spots

January 25, 2010

You know, it has come to my awareness that anyone at all visiting my parents’ house should get an Airborn cocktail and a sprinkling of Lysol upon exiting the premises. There is always, always sickness here. It’s unreal. Before I had temporarily moved back in with them this year, nearly every time I’d visit for a weekend, at least one of these people—up to all three—would be ailing. I frequently consider whether this house is cursed, the antibacterial Dial soap dispensers are haunted, or merely our particular genetic coding is meant to die out. Perhaps it’s the perfect storm of all three, and some day the entire lot of Hofer hearth and home is meant to collapse into a Biblical-level of plagues.

“And on that day, Walgreen’s closed its doors in mourning, and the pharmaceutical world wept bitter tears.”

I very much used to be part of this state of perpetual malady before I had moved away from home, continually falling to this flu and that cold, this infection and that bacteria. So, since moving back in here at the beginning of January, I’ve been particularly wary of anyone in this house who even sniffs in an odd manner, let alone gives up a cough or a pained expression of some sort.

And it’s not like my family doesn’t continue to hand me significant challenges. Currently, due to a minor back injury (see previous two posts), I’ve spent the last few days laying on their living room couch, first atop a bag of ice, and then atop a much friendlier hot water bottle. And meanwhile two out of the three house-dwellers have once again taken ill, parading around me with Kleenex all weekend. I have been handed beverages and pills from these people, all the while knowing that the people doing the handing are harboring millions of nasty little germs that would love to claim another weakling. But I was hurting, so I tried not to move too much. So far, I have sat in the bacterial lion’s den and haven’t gotten bitten. So far. Quick—everyone reading go knock on wood! Both of you!

How have I evaded this illness so far? Actually, how have I—a member of this group—managed to have avoided internal bodily calamities for generally the last half year? (Note: I’m not counting frequent migraines, asthma-related issues, or the odd cough and sniffle.)

Well, I’m not entirely sure. My best guess is that I appear to have managed to escape it so far this season by washing my hands roughly 45 times a day (by roughly washing my hands 45 times a day, too), a maneuver I highly recommend to anyone whose hand skin has grievously insulted them in some manner, since this will certainly kick the ever-loving crap out of it (if not beat it within an inch of its life). Who needs hand skin, anyway? However, if your hand skin has not offended you in some way, I really only would prescribe this for people like me—people who seemingly just have a wad of gum and an old “IOU” in a prevailing deity’s handwriting where their immune system was supposed to have been placed.

I don’t know precisely what’s kept me from falling subject to the wrath of family microbes, but I’m going to try to ride this out as long as I can. Now if I could only have a similar talking-to with my muscles and bones, I might be on track to becoming a normally functioning human being.

But then there’s always that pesky psychological factor. Hmm. Must hammer out the details a little more with my superego.

Until then, here’s wishing you (and me) good health!

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