Right now I have bronchitis and it has been annoying because it has lingered on for nearly 4 weeks. I usually don't get sick so this affliction is doubly annoying for that reason. I have been to see the doctor twice and between prescription drugs and over-the-counter I feel like I'm keeping Big Pharma afloat. Over the weekend my wife, Sharon, engaged me in a conversation about what it was like growing up and getting sick. Some things are indelible in our minds, or at least in mine.
First, while I took a school bus it did not stop close to our house and I had to walk about a half mile to meet it. That also meant that I had a waterproof raincoat and a pair of galoshes. My mother was insistent that if I got wet I'd catch a cold. Most moms of that era had the same mindset and I was not the only one so dressed against the elements.
But there were occasions when I did get sick. Usually it had to do with either head or chest congestion and a sore throat. The old standbys for these were Sucret lozenges, some local pharmacy mixed cough syrup that tasted terrible even if Mom told me it was cherry flavored, and Vicks Vaporub. The Vicks either got smeared on my chest or put into a device called a vaporizer. I still hate the smell of menthol. No matter what the ailment I could figure that I was due for an enema along the way. These were always the same--a warm Ivory soap solution delivered from a combination syringe. Constipated or not, this always cleaned me out.
But then when it was time to eat, my choices were limited. On of Moms preferred choices was hot tea with lemon and some toast--this was especially preferred if I was sick to my stomach. Ginger ale at room temperature and thru a straw was also on this list as was either Cream of Wheat or another hot cereal that I only ever saw in Oklahoma, Wheatena.
So there was the regimen. Maybe 2-3 days of that and I would be back at school. I told my wife that she should give me an enema and make me a bowl of Wheatena, but her reply was that the meds from the doctor should be allowed to work. Besides, she has no idea what Wheatena is, but she is no stranger to enemas, either taking or giving. Now you'll have to pardon me because it is time for my inhaler.