I Wish I Could Stop Breathing…

Oh, not for good… I am feeling a bit sorry for myself, but I’m not that far gone… yet…

It’s just this stupid cold (I mean flu) which Sup33 & Co didn’t give me.

I discovered only today that a cold is not the same as the flu (I always thought cold = flu = viral, but I am only partly right, it seems), and that what I have right now is the flu. Flu, says Wikipedia, is more severe than a cold, comes with fever on the side (not onion rings or fries), and is marked by a sudden onset, while a cold builds up gradually. Apparently both are viral though. So why the doctor has put me on antibiotics, I don’t know, but I suppose that’s what doctors do best.

On Thursday, when I took the girls to school, they seemed ok, so I decided to wait outside the class. For about 20 minutes, all was fine. Then Tara started to cry and the rest of the one-hour session was chaos. She refused to sit in class at all and would only be pacified by being allowed to play in the sandpit, which, apparently, was ok with the teachers. I was impressed with that. (Naturally, Mrini wouldn’t stay in class for more than 2 minutes without her beloved twin – no matter what enticements were offered.) So the rest of the session was spent somewhat sulkily in the sandpit, with only the last few minutes being spent back in the classroom.

On Friday morning, I was already coming down with the flu, and what’s more, I had to spend the entire school session in class with the kids, to prevent a fresh outburst of tears and dramatics.

Saturday passed in a haze, with Amit struggling to manage all the household tasks and prepare for an official trip abroad, while I whined and snoozed.

And now he’s gone. It’s Sunday, my household help (the paid ones) are off, and the kids are home all day. So I have to single-handedly bathe them, feed them, play with them, cook for them… All that fun stuff, you know.

And tomorrow is Monday and I have to drive them to school bright and early in the morning – apparently they have been shifted to 9-11 a.m. instead of 11-12 noon as it was so far. And I’m not to be allowed into the classroom “even if they cry”.

In case you think, by now, that this whole post is about how I’ve got the flu and how lousy that is, let me tell you, that isn’t what this is about at all. No, really. It’s about how I want to stop breathing for a while, and why.

See, what with my better half at the other end of the globe and the twins still trying to get used to school all over again, what I really don’t need right now is for either of them to come down with what I’ve got. Can’t I just imagine it: driving to school to deposit one wailing kid all alone in class while the other kid, sick, accompanies me on the drive both ways but doesn’t get to actually go anywhere. Not to mention all the fever, body ache and all that stuff that they will have to suffer. Not to mention that just as soon as one gets well the other will certainly fall ill.

So, I really, really don’t want them to get it. To the extent that I’m actually washing my hands with soap about 25 times a day, in the hope that that will help.

Actually, I don’t want to pass it on to anyone else in my inner circle either – not 8-month pregnant Shaba-aunty, not park friends (of either generation), not the twins’ school mates and teachers, not even, retrospectively, the traveling spouse who, if he gets fever, will probably be immediately isolated on suspicion of swine flu. None of this would be nice.

Which is why, while I don’t want to stop breathing for good or anything – it would be great if I could stop for just a few days till I get this virus out of my system. Oh and, while the breathing is suspended, please god, could you hold off on all that coughing, sneezing, and snuffling business too? Not too much to ask, is it? Thank you so much.

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