Katherine Hayton | Back to work
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31 Mar / Back to work

After having the day off sick yesterday, today I made the valiant sacrifice of going into work.

First of all I had to get out of bed. This required a few stops for coughing fits, but done.

Next, I had to get showered. Luckily the cleaning happened while I was leaning against the side of the shower wall coughing. There was soap involved somewhere.

Then I dried myself off, something that being doubled over coughing actually contributed helpfully to, and then I had to get dressed.

I performed that while sitting on the bed and lifting one limb and then one cheek at a time.

By the time I got to the couch I felt certain that I’d earned a medal, but it turns out all I earned was a ride to work.

Coffee helped. Morning tea helped more. I made it through the day.

And then on the ride home it started. The tickle that you get which means you have to cough loudly and inappropriately. The sort of cough that you really don’t want to get on public transport.

Especially not when the double seat you scored on the bus was immediately filled by a little old lady. A little old lady who looked first alarmed and then horrified when I exploded into fits of suppressed coughing.

The problem is that no matter what you do, you can’t stop a cough forever. You may twist into paroxysms of suppression until your face is bright red and your eyes are streaming tears, but that sucker is still there. Waiting.

And the longer you try not to cough, the more you have to, and the more you have to, the less relief you get when you finally succumb, and the less relief you get the quicker you need to again.

Until finally you get off the bus and all urges to cough go away. But they’re waiting. They know I’ve got an Orbiter to catch tomorrow, and they’re lining up right now.

By Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog

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