Saturday, January 26, 2013


The flu doesn't die easy. I told my feverish five-year-old a few days ago that there was a war going on in her body. She had been invaded, and her white blood cells were inventing weapons that very minute to bash the bad germs. Soon they would be experts at beating those germs, and her sickness would go away.

And it worked. We are all much better. Sniffling and coughing still, but well on our way to wholeness. The doc has cleared the children to return to school, and our naps are getting fewer. A sore throat lingers for me, though, and I asked my husband to make me a hot toddy.

My husband's hot toddies are dangerous. They taste good, they soothe the throat and ease the coughing. But they are deceptively powerful. One means I am in for the night. Two means it will be an early night.

So I am nursing my toddy and watching the fifth season of The West Wing. Unlike the toddy, it is absolutely awful. Hard to believe that show could tank so badly and still go on for two more seasons. Now that I mention it, it's a lot like this virus. Bad television as flu experience. I'm seeing medical schools showing the last three seasons of The West Wing to teach sympathy for infectious disease patients.

We have church tomorrow, but I will probably need to stay home. I'm not quite ready to trust this coughing body to the public. I'm a forty-year-old mother of four and... I don't need to explain, do I? Let's just call it The West Wing Effect.


  1. I totally agree about West Wing! I was flying through the first few seasons and now I just CAN'T bring myself to finish it. It's too awful. I think Aaron Sorkin quit writing for them after season 3 or something like that. Hope you get some good rest!

  2. That is my least favourite part of the flu. There is a certain drama to the 4-5 days of fever, where there is reliable scientific evidence to prove that you really are sick and need to spend most of the day napping. It's the 1-2 weeks after the fever departs that suck, where you have ostensibly returned to health, but you're depleted and apathetic and yet somehow expected to resume normal activities. The worst part for me is that during that part of the recovery process, I always become skeptical of the fact that I am still sick, and that there IS such a thing as feeling better than this. I start to believe that my memories of feeling full of optimism and energy are just a willful self-deception, and that this is, in fact, how I ALWAYS feel (and always will feel), but for some reason I'm just too lazy to accomplish anything.

    So anyway, if you're feeling any of those things, you ARE still sick, and you WILL get better (in a week or two).

  3. Season 5 of The West Wing is the season that shall not be watched or spoken of (with the exception of "The Supremes".) Seasons 6 and 7 are better. They alternate between the White House and the campaign for Bartlet's successor. They aren't the genius that was Sorkin's seasons 1-4, but they are much better than 5, I promise.