Kage Baker would have bet that Christmas would not arrive, sooner than that her annual bout of bronchitis would not arrive. She’d probably have won the bet, too.
She caught colds that promptly mutated into bronchial infections every year between high school and her death: they got a little better after her tonsils were evicted in her 30’s, but never quite went away. She only found surcease in her very last winter, just before she died: because she was having radiation therapy and enough chemo to supply a plague ward.
Although, in her own opinion, what really knocked the bronchitis on its ass was the hot toddies I made every winter. That particular combination of Irish whiskey, lemons, sugar and hot water was the universal panacea, for Kage. As long as I made it, anyway. Kage thought I had some sort of weird healing bartender vibes …
Alas, nothing works that well – or deliciously – on me. Tonight I am dying of a cold as vile as the bug that took out Wells’ Martians in War of the Worlds. My throat hurts, my sinuses ache so much all of my teeth ache as well, I am half deaf and all but voiceless. My fingers work a little though … I can at least complain to all of you Dear Readers.
Luckily for me, Kimberly and Michael are taking excellent care of me. I have lots of hot drinks and smooth foods to comfort me – if I can’t taste them much, at least the warmth and the texture are comforting.(She even found me some nice cool creamy ambrosia, an antique treat that soothes me marvelous well.) I will never run out of tissues. I have many warm blankets, meds to combat mucus and sneezes, and occasional cats to keep me warm. Harry has learned to mimic my coughing, which he does at hilarious length – I don’t know what he’s saying, or what thinks I am saying when we hack at one another. But it’s pretty funny, and charmingly companionable.
If I die, it will not be because of neglect. Kimberly watches over me as if I was a prize orchid, needing a special atmosphere to grow and flourish. Personally, I think she is wasting her time on me, but I am too freaking grateful for all her care to tell her to stop. I cannot imagine what horror would be looming over me without my family’s ferocious care.
I don’t have enough oxygen, though, to write much. So I am going to sign off after this brief little banner, waved weakly at you all from the trench of my soggy illness. Oh, and just for inspiration – today is the anniversary of the 537 CE date of the completion of Hagia Sophia. Let us all celebrate the temple of wisdom!
To which end, I am going to go gargle. Maybe with gin …