My Cold: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I’m still sick. But I’ve successfully moved on to Phase 3 of my cold, so I’m confident that I am on the mend and will be back to normal by the end of this week. Phase 1 of my cold started earlier this week with an overall feeling of “blah”, a fever, and the insatiable desire to crawl under the covers and sleep for the next month.  Stubbornly I fought my icky feelings and insisted I could maintain the same level of activity, thinking “Only wusses get sick”. However, after almost falling off the treadmill because my vision started to go fuzzy, I finally gave in an accepted that I was indeed sick.

Phase 2 took full effect on Friday with a rampant sore throat that caused my voice to come out in almost an inaudible squeak, like a decibel that only dogs could hear. Even though Clay himself is still sick, he found this new development in my cold to be wildly hilarious and went out of his way to make me laugh in a weird, helium-sounding way that in turn, made him laugh so hard that he ended up coughing himself stupid.

Now I’m in the third (and hopefully final) stage of my cold which merely consists of a relentlessly stuffy nose and the desperate need to cough every two seconds. Clay and I could barely make it through Moneyball on Saturday because we both took turns hacking and had to constantly pause or rewind the movie to see what we failed to hear while the other person was busy coughing up their lung.

In fact, Clay’s coughing has been so bad that we haven’t slept in the same bed for well over a week. Out of courtesy to me, Clay has opted to sleep on the couch until he’s sure that he won't keep me awake during the night. It’s an overwhelmingly sweet gesture on his part, but our big bed is getting rather lonely and I miss his body warmth. I’m not even sure what good his chivalrous offer to sleep downstairs is doing anyone because now both of our coughing is echoing all over our townhouse. I’m sure our neighbors hate us.

Needless to say, most of our weekend was spent intravenously dumping cold medicine into our systems and sleeping. I had to laugh on Sunday night when I opened a cupboard and saw that we have 4 different, almost-empty bottles of various cold and flu-fighting concoctions. We could open our own pharmacy. 

Despite being sick, Clay and I managed to pull ourselves together long enough to enjoy at least some of the weekend. Before meeting our friends for dinner on Saturday night, Clay and I left our sick beds long enough to go outside and enjoy the ice storm we had the previous night by ice skating on our back porch (as evidenced below). 

I was also really excited to come home from a long day at the Indy office on Friday night to discover that our dining room table had finally been delivered! Clayton’s grandmother is in the process of selling her home in Tennessee since she now lives here in town with my in-laws, and earlier this week a moving truck brought the rest of her furniture up North. She promised to give Clay and I her table and matching buffet a couple of years ago, and I was over the moon to finally see it sitting pretty in our modest dining room. We’ll have to wait until we have a home or bigger townhouse before bringing the buffet over, but for now the dining room table is a perfect fit by itself. Apparently the table was purchased back in the 50s and is quite the antique. More than finally having a table big enough to actually invite people over for a meal without forcing them to sit on the floor, I’m so grateful to have something of hers. I don’t have any mementos or belongings of any of my own grandparents, so having something from Clay’s grandmother is really special. 
I did have a slight meltdown on Saturday night that I am totally blaming on the numerous doses of Nyquil I had been shooting all weekend. After having dinner with our friends, we got back to our townhouse only to realize we forgot to stop and get more cough drops on the way home. My husband, the good provider that he is, told me to relax on the couch while he ran back out to get the medicine. 

“Okay,” I squeaked with my scratchy throat, sounding more pathetic than usual. He kissed me on the forehead and left.

Wal-Mart is not even a 5 minute drive from our house, so when he wasn’t back in a half hour I started to feel a little uneasy. We did just have a huge ice storm, so maybe it was taking him a bit longer than usual to navigate the icy roads? That’s when I noticed that his cell phone was laying on the coffee table.

45 minutes went by. I pulled myself off the couch and looked at the window in hopes of seeing his car coming up the road. I heard ambulances screaming in the distance. I tried not to let my mind wander too much. 

60 minutes went by. I started full-on panicking. There’s no way it took an hour to make a 5 minute drive for cough drops. Awful scenarios started to play out in my head as I started to pace the living room, trying to figure out what to do next. He had both sets of keys, plus his car was frozen shut from the storm, so I had no hope of driving out to Wal-Mart myself and looking for him. 

What could I do? The only thing I could do in that moment was put on my coats and boots and start walking in the direction of Wal-Mart. Almost paralyzed with fear, I shakily open the front door and gingerly stepped out on the icy sidewalk. I slowly started walking towards the main road. 

It was then that a car turned the corner and I almost peed myself with relief when I made out the familiar headlights of our car. Clay pulled into a parking spot and before he came to a completely stop, I beat on the passengers door until he unlocked it. I was prepared to yell at him for taking so long and making me worry, but when I opened the door and saw his face, I burst into tears. Like straight-up sobbing. Had my boogers not been frozen, snot surely would have been running out of my nose.

“WHERE WERE YOU!?” I shrieked, my voice cracking like a boy going through puberty. 

Clay enveloped me in a hug and apologized profusely for worrying me. After I finally calmed down, Clay explained he took so long getting home because on his way out of the store, he got sucked into a conversation with an elderly Wal-Mart greeter. “She has Alzheimer’s,” he explained. “And she just needed someone to talk to. I knew I had to get home to you, but she kept talking and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I won’t leave without my cell phone ever again.”

Is my husband the greatest man in the whole world or what?

After the great success I had with my Mexican meatball stew, Clay and I are on a soup kick. So on Sunday night I continued our comfort food streak and made a giant pot of stuffed pepper soup (it’s like making stuffed peppers, but for lazy people). A few weeks ago our favorite diner had it on their lunch menu and I promised Clay I would try and recreate it at home. As it turns out, it’s a very simple recipe. All you need to do is brown a pound of lean ground beef, add half a cup of chopped red and green peppers each, and simmer for about 30 minutes with your favorite spices, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. You can serve it alone or, as we did, with a big spoonful of brown rice on top.  One batch of soup makes about 8 servings, so we’ll thankfully be able to eat it several more days this week.

I finally had enough of my strength back on Sunday night to attempt the long run I so miserably failed at earlier that weekend. I didn't want to push myself to the full 7 miler I was scheduled for, but I cranked out 5 at a faster-than-normal pace with minimal discomfort. It was a huge relief. When I couldn't do my long run on Saturday morning I honest-to-goodness started crying. I hate being down for the count. I am not a weak person, but being so sick made me feel that way and I could not tolerate it.

How was your weekend?


  1. That table is really beautiful! I can't believe you guys are still sick though. :o(


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