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the miracle of the left nostril

I write to you today from a place I have been blessed, so far in my life, to rarely visit: sickland. I hate it here, but I’m going to try to relax and take whatever good I can from the experience.  

Which is what I just told my son to do, too.  Sam was due to fly out at 11 a.m. today to begin a visit with his dad in Florida, but called at noon from the airport.  He said that the plane had taxied to the runway, about to depart. And then, he said, they all watched in horror as a baggage truck drove into the wing. So now Sam is standing in a long line of furious people trying to be rerouted, no idea how or when or where their bags are – a small kind of hell. 
One day it’ll be a funny story at a dinner party, but right now it’s just a mess.
So here’s a flu story. It will never make funny talk at a party but I’ll tell it anyway.
I should not have stayed up as long as I did yesterday, as sick as I was. But it was the Sunday before Xmas; friends dropped in to visit, and then the kids came over for our long-scheduled early Xmas — because of Sam’s departure, we were going to have our turkey dinner last night. That ended up being me lying on the living room sofa watching as pizza and wings were devoured in the kitchen by my own two children, 3 of their friends and our friend Dave. I gave the kids “The Simpsons Monopoly”, and after eating they all sat down to play. It was so great listening to the banter, the bargaining and jokes that I couldn’t bring myself to go to bed. 
By the time I did, I was in worse shape than ever – headache, body ache, general misery. My nose was so stuffed up that I couldn’t sleep, but certain drugs make me speedy not drowsy so now I just use nasal spray.  I was propped up, nearly vertical, struggling to breathe, for hours. I thought about the pioneer wives, those women getting through the winters with babies, no drugs or doctors. I thought about my friends with cystic fibrosis who fight all their lives for breath. These thoughts did not cheer me up.
Finally my nose was blocked solid; I had no choice but to lie down and breathe through my mouth.  But that’s so uncomfortable, my mouth got dry… flailing and cursing – I actually said, “Shoot me now,” though I did not mean it – and then suddenly, my left nostril cleared. Just like that, I could breathe through my left nostril. Oh the bliss, oxygen moving through that small open passage.  I took a sleeping pill at 5 a.m. and slept till 9. 
Why did my left nostril suddenly open? How could a baggage truck driver not see the extremely large airplane right in front of him? Who can explain these mysteries? 

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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