Dignity And Moth Wings

Ya God/Goddess/Universe… You’re really funny. Ha ha. You got me good.

As i have mentioned before, Chattanooga is the allergy capital of the country – or pretty damned close anyway. And this time of year it is off the charts, especially with tree (Oak) pollen, which apparently i am insanely allergic to. Every year at this time, my head fills up with enough snot to fill an Olympic pool, and then it begins doing daily sprints between my sinuses and my lungs. While it makes these laps, i am either sneezing uncontrollably, or coughing up everything north of my hips. It is very unpleasant.

Of course, because i am so old that, as my son once said, on the very first game show i ever saw, the prize was fire; my body has a hard time coping with the 300 mile per hour gust that is coming from my respiratory tract. (No, i’m not exaggerating. I actually looked it up. A cough can produce gusts up to 300 mph. A sneeze produces a wind up to 100 mph. I read it on the internet, so it must be true!)

Anyway, like i was saying… I’m old. And i’ve had 3 kids. So sneezing or coughing that hard, unless contorted into the bent over yoga pose that i affectionately call the “Mom Maneuver”, well…. All that force has to go somewhere. Especially if you are trying to hold in  said cough to avoid sounding like a duck who has smoked too many cigars, or are trying to kibosh the sneeze because you are in the middle of a parking lot with no tissue in sight. Your body has all this kinetic energy built up. If it doesn’t come out your mouth or nose…….

If you are lucky, you will only pee a little.

In the car driving home from the store yesterday, i wasn’t so lucky. I was in traffic when i felt that twinge that told me i was about to start a coughing jag that would scare a money-hungry Pulmonologist, so i pulled to the side as quickly as i could, but it hit me just as i stepped on the brake. The force! I exploded with a cough so hard that it made me shoot a fart that sounded like a cannon! That made me laugh – even tho i was still coughing – so then i couldn’t hold anything in. A good 15 minutes later, half my lung was in the pile of tissues, i had wet my pants, my tears had smeared my makeup so i looked like an old drag queen on a bender, i had snot on my shirt, and the car stunk of cheese toot.

If i had any dignity, it would have been lost.

But thankfully, i have very little dignity left, so i just wiped my face and drove home.

Since i have been plagued by this for a week, the coughing jags have gotten less frequent, and i was certain i was doing well enough to do my weekly girl maintenance last night before bed. Relaxing bath. Fancy schmancy face masque. Sugar scrub on the feet. Aaahhhh.

Then for the less enjoyable part. I had the wax in the warmer, the usual accoutrements laid out. All good and ready to go. Leg propped and body balanced like i’m in frigging Cirque du Soleil. After the third or fourth application, that lung tickle starts again.  I can feel that mucus engine racing and rumbling like a ’55 Thunderbird. I try to get one more swipe of wax on before it overtakes me….

Bad idea.

I try to bend over so i don’t pee (Because i already needed to before i started), but forgot that my leg was halfway up the wall, so i start to fall over. Toss the tongue depressor/applicator to grab something to keep me from hitting my head because OMG IF I KNOCK MYSELF OUT THE MEDICS WILL FIND ME LIKE THIS AND HOW THE HELL WILL I EXPLAIN IT AND THOSE PEOPLE KNOW ME!!!!!!!!!!! I reach out and grab whatever is beside me – I’m coughing and sneezing and tearing up too much to see it- and because my hand has wax on it, it sticks and jerks my arm back, and i end up on my back on the floor.

Holy hell.

I open my eyes. Over my head, the oversized popsicle stick that is the wax applicator is swinging far over my head where it apparently stuck to the light chain when i tossed it. Back and forth like a puttanesca pendulum. Poe would be pleased.

The fact that my hand is stuck to the toilet seat becomes a happy coincidence, as i would likely be unable to get up unassisted as i have only one leg on the floor, and the other is still up on the sink. I pull up with my hand and push up with my foot…. And make it about 6 inches before falling back on the floor.

My back and ass are stuck to the paper floor protector, and my foot was standing on it.

I wiggle myself til there is bare floor space to set my foot, and manage to stand. The paper is still stuck to my back and looks like giant moth wings. That makes me smile, so i leave them on while i rip off the last swipe of wax that caused my literal downfall and is now as hard as a Klingon Warrior.

There aren’t enough cusswords to describe that pain.

I smile one last time at the wings before trying to peel them off. Thank the heavens that i don’t have a hairy back! I managed to get most of it. (I thought i had all of it til i went to take off my nightclothes the next morning, and found them stuck to my left ass cheek by one last bit of wax.)  Then i started coughing again.

Well, shit. This sucks.

A hot toddy later, my cough subsided enough for me to sleep. The symptoms weren’t nearly as bad today, tho the pollen count climbs again later this week. I’m sure i still have plenty of coughing and sneezing in my future. But given the events yesterday, i’ll be lucky to make it out alive. And since i have no dignity left, i’ll only have indignity left to salvage.

I may have to make myself some more moth wings as a consolation prize.

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