If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2024)
Drawing of Cough © Doodle-Vector 2024
What comes after the Midwinter jollity and Ho-ho-ho!? (And this year it was all very jolly indeed). Alas, however, the answer in mid-January was a never-ending dry cough: hack, hack, hack!
If other people’s illnesses can be boring, then usually one can muster up some interest in one’s own. But not a dry cough. It is very boring indeed. The entire body struggles repeatedly to cough up … nothing at all. There’s no phlegm, no satisfactory feeling that one is clearing clogged lungs. Just a never-ending cough, cough, cough. Every rib aches. It’s impossible to sleep at night, so the days are passed in an exhausted trance. One cannot even listen to soothing music, because someone in the audience is coughing unbearably.
Basically, it was an enforced ‘time out’. (By the way, it was not Covid, a routine test showed). It was not a relaxing rest, because it was so uncomfortable. It was not in any way romantic (no lying in languid elegance on a chaise-longue, writing great poetry). Nor was it beautiful in any way. The coughing body does not feature in great art. Staying put to cough non-stop was totally boring.
Was there any silver lining? Well … that’s a good challenge to the incorrigible Pollyanna in me. After all, the cough did stop after a few days, which was a great bonus in itself. And being briefly unwell certainly did make me appreciate the inestimable value of good health. Such a cliché … but valid for all that.
So, as I am now recovering, I am resolving to get even fitter than I was before the never-ending cough struck. I am back in the swimming pool in the early mornings – pushing myself to kick hard all the time, and not to hang around at end of each length. Annoyingly, I am still unusually tired a lot of the time. At last, however, I can feel a spring returning into my step. Ah, Spring …
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