As a kid and teenager, I never got laryngitis, which was a fairly major disappointment to me. It always seemed like it would be pretty cool to lose one's voice. It is such a noticeable symptom, sure to elicit sympathy from all. No one would doubt that I was really sick. People would tell me to get on the couch and take it easy with some tea and honey. I would not get guilt trips about skipping school or work, because it was so obvious how sick I was.
This is why it is interesting to me that in the last 5 years or so, I have gotten something akin to laryngitis every year. What happens, I think, is that I get all congested and it settles in my throat, making it difficult to speak. This happened just this weekend: I woke up on Saturday with a scratchy throat and by Sunday morning, I could barely talk.
The irony, in my mind, is that I only started having larygnitis-like symptoms when I quit teaching and became a stay-at-home mom, precisely the point where sounding like I had smoked 3 cartons of cigarettes in 2 hours, was of no benefit to me at all. Have you ever called in sick to work and wished you sounded sicker so your boss would really believe that you weren't faking it? Well, this cold that I get is perfect for that. I sound so awful, much, much worse than I feel, and when someone hears me, they get really concerned and assume I am sicker than a dog. It is the perfect cold for getting out of work and completely convincing your boss that there is no way you should come in and infect the whole office. The other great thing is that congestion and fatigue aside, I don't feel that bad. It's just your run-of-the-mill cold.
What a waste. These symptoms don't impress my kids, who still insist that I carry them on my back and cater to their every whim and fancy. They give me odd looks here and there when I speak, and once while reading a book to him, Danny asked me to quit whispering, but other than that, my cold is not even on their self-absorbed radars. I have no one to call in to, saying that I am taking a sick day. No one to tell me to take it easy and get well soon. No one to encourage me to stay in bed and watch TV and not exert myself. All these fabulously sick symptoms and no one to impress with them.
Where were these colds when I worked full-time and could have really put them to use? What cruel irony!