Seven days or a week — all the same to Mama

BY BOB WACHS, Columnist
Posted 2/28/20

A significant number of folks are, have been or soon will be infected with what we may delicately call “the Chatham County crud.”

For some folks it’s more a full blown case of the flu, for …

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Seven days or a week — all the same to Mama

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A significant number of folks are, have been or soon will be infected with what we may delicately call “the Chatham County crud.”

For some folks it’s more a full blown case of the flu, for which many took a shot weeks ago only to find that some of the flu going around and some of the shots weren’t on the same page.

So much for advance planning...except where it did work.

Others of us are suffering with one “bad” cold (is there any other kind than “bad”?) after another while still more folks find they are infected with a less than stellar — perhaps the better word is “lousy” — set of sinuses.

Put me down in that latter category.

In their desire that I not forget them ever, my folks gave me not only lousy genes as far as orthopedic issues are concerned but they also, especially my dear mama, gave me the worst set of sinus cavities known to mankind. To add insult to injury, when said head and nose areas would go over to the enemy, my dear departed mama would tell me that “every time a cold wind blew” across my rear end I would catch a cold.

Thanks, Mama.

I would be less than truthful, however, if I did not tell you that even though the dear lady was part and parcel of my misery she was also a big part of my getting well...until the next time.

No antibiotics for me, no Z-packs, no this or that from the corner drugstore or doctor’s office or even emergency rooms, especially since there weren’t all that many around.

No siree. When I got sick, became ill, was under the weather, I — and maybe you with your mama — got a combination of the following and in large number: hot lemonades; Vicks Vaporub on the chest, on the neck (complete with a large handkerchief tied around my throat) upside the temples, and even on the feet with a pair of socks; lots of tomato soup; some chicken noodle soup; water, more water and Cokes and Pepsis; and a few things I can’t or won’t or refuse to remember since they were so bad.

Truth be told, in a strange — I guess — sort of way I kinda liked getting sick when I was a little boy, especially since it wasn’t fatal. One reason was I could miss a few days of school. As a little guy that was cool; as a teenager I didn’t like it. But another big reason was Mama would let me stay in and sleep in her big ol’ bed, complete with bedside table and the only radio in the house other than the one in the kitchen where the 6 p.m. news, weather and sports from WPTF took all of five minutes.

Compare that with the talking heads today who chat about this and chat about that, and their favorite movies and everything under the sun, except what you tuned in for.

Anyway, in addition to the radio, I had my latest stack of comic books, the aforementioned food, and a pile of books. After downing three hot lemonades, some tomato soup and enduring a good tummy rub of Vicks, I’d take up the comic books until Mr. Sandman took over. But then, upon awakening, I was still in Mama’s bed, the comics were still there and Bill Jackson was on the radio. It was on that radio while I was in that bed that I heard a recording of the “beep beep” of Sputnik when the Russians sent the thing into orbit in 1957.

Depending on the nature and severity of the illness and the effect of the various drugs and treatment, I would, on average, be sick for either a week or for seven days.

As time has passed since those days (and years) I’ve had a few more instances of flu, colds and lousy sinus issues and lately, it seems, they hang around longer.

It could be because I’ve had a few birthdays since 1957 and my once dynamic body and immune system is less than it was. But I’m thinking a big reason may be I’m not in Mama’s bed. Come to think of it, I don’t even know where it is, a victim of breaking up housekeeping after she left us.

And while the nurse I live with does a mighty good job, I can’t get Bill Jackson on the radio anymore.

What a pity...


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