Tuesday, 16 December 2014
It was 8 years ago that my Dad passed away from cancer.
I'll never forget the day that he left us. December 14th, 2006.
After months and months of pain and suffering, it was inevitable that my Dad was not going to survive this horrible disease. Not only had the cancer taken away his energy, his muscle tone and his strength....but it had taken away something worse. His spirit.
His last week was spent in the palliative care ward in the hospital and there wasn't a moment that he was left alone.
In the last few days of his life I had grown numb. I knew what was happening and I didn't really want to face it, so I had blocked off my own emotions in order to look strong and happy whenever my Dad laid his eyes on me.
We had slept in my Dad's hospital room almost every night for that last week. We made beds by putting the lounge chairs together. Our discomfort was nothing in comparison to what my father had been going through for the last few months, so we didn't complain. But we also couldn't sleep.
But one night, miraculously, we all fell asleep.
And I had somehow sunk into the deepest slumber I had ever gone into.
It took several attempts from a nurse to wake me a couple of hours later. I opened my eyes and she sat quietly to give me a few seconds to get my bearings.
When she saw that I knew where I was and that I was coherent enough to understand what she was going to say, she whispered,
"Your father has passed. I'm so sorry".
I looked up at the clock in the room.
I didn't know what to say.
I mean, there really is nothing to say when your world suddenly stops.
To this day I wonder why my Dad was taken from us so early.
He was the healthiest man I knew. He played tennis everyday, he was in amazing shape, and his diet consisted mainly of fruits and vegetables.
And he lived for his family.
I am a girl who believes in fate, and believes that everything happens for a reason. But a loved one's death is one thing that my heart and mind struggle with all the time.
I think of my Dad very, very often.
And even though he has been gone for 8 years, he is still so present in our family. For just recently I have caught glimpses of him in my sister, my brother, my mom, my aunt and my children. And every night when I strip off all the makeup and foundation, I look into the very same eyes that I inherited from my Dad. An eye-color that my Aunt once described as "not beautiful blue like your Moder's eyes but grey like your Fadder's" :)
Last Sunday I couldn't get to sleep.
Of course I couldn't....it was December 14th.
I did everything I could to avoid going to bed and being alone with my thoughts. I watched a movie, I did a load of laundry, and I read my book.
It was already much later than when I would normally go to bed, so I turned off the light and tried to force myself to sleep.
But I couldn't. My head was spinning with thoughts of those last hours in the hospital with my Dad. I was feeling so many mixed emotions. Sadness, anger, frustration......everything was eating me up inside.
How would I get through the night?
I flipped over in bed once more and did what I try never to do when I can't get to sleep. I opened my eyes and looked at the time.
And there, staring back at me, was a time that was permanently engrained in my mind....
My head dropped back down to the pillow, and almost immediately, peace washed over me.
And I instantly fell asleep.
I may never know why my Dad was taken from me so early.
But I will feel a sense of peace knowing that he is in a better place.
And that he is always watching over me.
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
As most parents can understand, when you have children, your home suddenly becomes a disaster zone.
It starts off filled with playpens, high-chairs, boxes of diapers, swingy-chair thingys, and any other massive space-taker that comes along with having a baby in your home.
But as the years go on, and the large baby items make their way to the local donation centre, then your home becomes inundated with toys, books, electronics and random "stuff". In my case, pink and purple stuff.
Because I find myself so busy tidying up this stuff, in addition to the million other things I need to be doing every week (such as writing my fabulous blog), I find that the things I used to get to around my house are being completely ignored. Things like sweeping, vaccumming, putting laundry away and organizing are all going out the window. Come to think of it......I WISH that the dust and dirt from the floors was going out the window...that would make life soooo much easier!
Anyway, as I was getting the girls ready for their weekend with their dad last Friday, I started thinking about what I needed to do around the house in order to make it beautiful again.
I was going to spend ALL weekend cleaning my home. It was going to look so amazing after I was done with it! It was going to sparkle! Like Queen Elsa's ice palace!
I definitely was going to need the ENTIRE weekend to complete this assignment. No slacking would be allowed. I would have to stay focused and diligent if this house was going to get super clean again.
Ok.....soooooo.......I ended up going out with Mandy on Friday instead.
Just for a small glass of wine.
It was a long week.
But Saturday morning I woke up ready and raring to go!
But first.....a delicious home-made pancake breakfast. One cannot clean and work on an empty stomach! That's preposterous!!
I'll just sit down, have a nice breakfast, fill my belly with yummy food and then get straight to work. I'll just turn on the TV. Just for a minute. Perhaps an interesting documentary is on.....or maybe I'll just watch CNN for a bit and get caught up on what's going on with the world.
Back to the Future is on!! I haven't watched this movie in FOREVER!
Ok.....I'll just watch this movie, and then get straight to work! This house will be clean before you know it!
After 2 hours of watching one of the greatest movies of all time, I finally started working on the house.
But instead of cleaning, I realized that my Christmas decorations were only sub-par.
I needed this place to look like a winter wonderland!
I went down to the basement and pulled out the remaining 4 tupperware containers of decorations and got right to work. I created a snowglobe table, added way more ornaments to the tree, moved the 'not-so-attractive' home-made gingerbread house to a glass cake dish....which improved it's overall appearance tremendously, and then I decorated the whole mantle with stockings, lights and a gorgeous silver ball wreath.
Then I went outside and added more lights to the only tree I have in front of our small townhome. I hit myself several times in the head trying to whip the light string around the tall tree....and I also got spruce stuck under my nail. But one must suffer for a beautiful Christmas home.
By the time I finished, I was exhausted. I fell onto the couch and within seconds was asleep.
An hour later, I was awoken by the sound of my cellphone.
It was Amy.
"Babe! Come over! A bunch of us are hanging out tonight!"
I knew I shouldn't. There was soooo much cleaning to be done. And I just made it worse by bringing up all those tupperware bins. Now, in addition, to the REGULAR cleaning, I had Christmas decorations cleaning!!
But I really wanna go! It'll be fun!
NO LEO! You need to stay home. You need to clean!
Yes... I've made up my mind. I will stay home and clean. That's the right thing to do.
Don't say a word!
I don't wanna hear about it.
It's ok. I still have Sunday.
I will clean ALL DAY Sunday.
And then after I walk Bruce Lee.
And then after I snuggle with Bruce Lee.
Dogs need snuggles too!
It's 5pm on Sunday now.
The girls are coming home in a few hours.
I can't spend my last few hours without the girls cleaning?! I'll be sooo tired when they come home! I need to relax for a bit.
Let's see if there are any good movies on.....
Eeeeek! The Holiday!
Jude Law looks utterly delicious in this movie.
I'll just put my feet up and relax until the girls come home........
The girls have finally arrived. They run into the house and give me the biggest and most gigantic hugs and kisses ever!
They run into the house and immediately freak out over all the new decorations. They love the tree, the mantle, the snowglobe table and the new pedestal for our ugly gingerbread house.
Under the tree they find all of their old Christmas books which I laid out, and they excitedly go through each of them....one by one.
I look at them with a feeling of contentment and peace.
Even though I didn't do what I had intended on doing all weekend, I am a Mommy who is relaxed and happy.
A Mommy who spent her weekend enjoying life and laughing with the people (and animals) she loves, rather than spending them cleaning.
A Mommy who knows that sometimes you just need to give yourself a break, and not worry about whether the laundry is put away or whether the floors are shiny.
And a Mommy........who was slightly out of breath .......because she spent the last 1/2 hour of her alone time doing EVERYTHING she should've done over the last 3 days!
HERE HERE to being a Mom :)
Tuesday, 2 December 2014
My cousin just had a baby. A gorgeous little boy. Her first.
While texting back and forth last week, she said something that immediately brought me back to month 1 with Lola.....
I'm only NOW understanding what spare time means when you're a mom!
I know EXACTLY what's she's talking about.
I remember all too well what it was like to go from no baby in the house....to "what the hell just happened here???"!
It was 3 weeks before my due date and I was getting ready to bring a new fabulous child into this world.
I was pretty confident in what it was going to be like to have a new baby, even though it was my first.
The nursery was finished, my hospital bag was packed and I was rocking a new short hair do. I was going to be a super-stylish mom. Like Angelina....or, Heidi, or Gwen!
I was soooooo excited!
There was only one teeny-tiny thing that kept bugging me.
But I knew just who to ask for some advice.
"Hey Syl! Quick question. People are telling me that I won't have time to shower when the new baby arrives. That's totally bogus right?"
Sylvia, who like me is a fellow Polack who enjoys her bleached blonde hair and red lips, and who just 6 months prior had a baby girl, wrote back a few days later.
"Unfortunately it's true. There's just no time."
Even though I immediately felt a tightening in my chest....I was still not convinced. And I refused to take this as her ....as Regis Philbin would say... final answer.
"But you still found time to get ready? And put makeup on right?"
Again, I waited patiently for her answer. The horrific message came the next day.
"No babe :( I didn't wear makeup for the first 3 months. My roots are still out-grown and if I leave the house at all, it's a good day".
This was not good.
This was horrible.
Something was wrong with my friend Sylvia!
I'm SURE she had time to take a shower, or even draw on some eyebrows for heaven's sakes! But for some reason she didn't want to!
I couldn't figure out why.
I sent her one last message saying that I was there for her..... anytime she needed to talk.
After 13 hours of labor, my gorgeous and chubby 9 pound baby had arrived!
It was a GIRL!
She was perfect! Red hair.....full lips....and dark blue eyes.
We were going to sleep together, and snuggle, and go to the mall, and go grocery shopping!
Just me and my beautiful girl!!
I haven't left the house in 35 days.
I haven't showered in 2 weeks.
And I haven't slept in 48 hours.
Not a stitch of makeup has touched my face, and I'm pretty sure there is a family of squirrels living in my hair. I look disgusting!!
What has this baby done to me?? How can I not find even ONE SECOND to do anything for myself?? What the heck is going on???
This was ridiculous!!
Suddenly I had a very strange feeling that maybe it wasn't just Sylvia.....
After months of waking up 6-8 times a night to tend to the baby, I finally got a sort-of decent night's sleep.
I wasn't exactly ready to leave the house yet, but I knew I HAD to in order to preserve some sort of sanity. I decided to take baby Lola to our first play group at the YMCA.
It was a bit of a fiasco getting there, but soon enough, the babies were playing and I was chatting with the other moms and drinking a coffee. De-caf....but still.
I immediately felt much better. Like I could finally stop and breathe!
It felt SO GOOD to be out of the house and be talking to adults again! Sure, we all looked a little scruffy around the edges...no makeup, greasy hair in a ponytail, trackpants and bags under the eyes....but we had finally had a moment for ourselves.
I was laughing with one of the moms when suddenly a group of women walked in the door. I looked up and was immediately shocked to see women that didn't look like us.
They were beautiful.
Their hair was flowing, their trendy tops matched their super tight yoga pants, and each of them had the perfect shade of lipgloss on.
None of them had vomit on their shoulders. None of them were lugging around a car seat and a diaper bag. And none of them looked tired.
They looked free....and fabulous.
I soon noticed that their kids were with them, but the kids were older. Totally self-sufficient.
I watched as their children did everything by themselves. Took off their coats, pulled off their boots, grabbed their lunch bags and kissed their moms good-bye as they ran off to their groups.
The moms stood in their circle for a bit longer talking amongst themselves, and occasionally sipping from their large Starbucks cups or purified water bottles. There was probably caffeinted coffee in those cups......maybe pumpkin spice lattes. Sigh....
I tried not to stare. But I couldn't help it.
They looked so fresh. So relaxed. So well rested.
What was it like to feel like that? To LOOK like that.
I couldn't remember......
The relaxed moms finally left.
Not because a baby was crying, or needing a nap, or needing a diaper change.....but because the mom was ready to go. She left at her own free will.
I stared at them in envy. And as the last mom walked out the door, she looked back and saw Lola sitting in my lap giggling. She smiled at Lola....and then at me.
I smiled back as she walked out the door. And I watched her as she flicked her soft bouncy hair out of her face, threw her yoga mat over her shoulder and skipped off to class.
I heard the door slam and a pitter-patter of feet run in at 7'oclock.
"DOOD MO-NING MOMMY!!!"
Lola and Molly ran into my bathroom and jumped up on the counter.
I finished applying my ruby red lip gloss and kissed each of them leaving a shiny wet smooch mark on their chubby cheeks.
"C'mon you crazy cats! We gotta get to the Y!!"
I threw my yoga mat over my shoulder, flicked my platinum bangs out of my face and skipped down the stairs after my 2 little girls.
Never thought in a million years that this day would come ;)
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
The next 20 Ridiculous Facts about this Ridiculous Girl.
61. After a summer long visit to Poland when I was a kid, I forgot all of my English. One afternoon, after we got back to Canada, Mama overheard me trying to talk to some kids in Polish on my street. I soon became the laughing stock of our neighborhood :(
But don't feel bad, eventually I learned English again.
62. But....I'm pretty sure that's why, to this day, I continue to mess up common English sayings. For example, instead of saying "Not the sharpest tool in the shed", I will say "He's like, not the sharpest pencil.....no wait....nail?....in the .......toolbox?? Oh forget it! Sayings are stupid."
63. I'm extremely claustrophobic. Once my kid tried to go down a tube slide at an indoor play park, but once she got to the top, she was too scared to go down. I had to go up and rescue her. It didn't go well. Let's just say that the kid got down fine.....and then a call had to be placed to the local Fire-hall :/
64. I'm not really a perfume girl, but when Queen Gwen came out with her new L.A.M.B. perfume, I immediately went and bought it. Unfortunately, I broke out in a serious rash every-time I wore it. But of course that didn't stop me from wearing it religiously everyday. So for the years 2007-2009 I had red bumpy skin all over my neck and wrists.
Hey....you have to suffer for beauty right??
65. I can't say the word "request". It always comes out as "weh-quest" or "re-qrest".
66. I can burp like a trucker.
67. I hate close talkers. They're almost as bad as lingerers. Ughhh...lingerers.....
68. In Poland, an hour after breakfast, everyone sits down to the kitchen table again to have coffee and cake. I think this is the best tradition EVER. And I have decided to share it with all of you by bringing this wonderful tradition to Canada. You may start it tomorrow.
69. I can't talk and drive at the same time. While driving and telling a story, my foot will just start to come off the gas pedal?? Recently, all of my friends and family have noticed this and have asked why I am driving 30 kms/hr in a 70 zone.
I personally don't think they should complain.
I mean....they ARE getting treated to fabulous stories by THE Ridiculous Girl. Let's not get greedy ok?? You can't have everything you want in life.
Write that down.
70. When it's movie night at our house, I always try to coax my kids into watching movies that I like.
Kid: "Mommy, can we watch Frozen??"
Me: "OR....we can watch FINDING NEMOOOOO!!!??? YAYYYY!!!!!!"
71. I love baths. And I love putting stuff INTO my bath. In the past year, I've experimented with mineral oil, olive oil and epsom salts. I'm pretty much a chicken cooking in a giant pot of soup :/
72. When I was 14, I convinced myself that I would actually marry Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block. Looking at him now, he's still pretty damn cute.
Too bad he got rid of the rat tail.
73. I'm not scared of the dark. At all. In fact, a few years ago I walked into the middle of the forest at our cottage at night. I'm not sure why??
But, that's when the aliens came.....
74. I'm a huge advocate of green smoothies. I drink almost 2 liters a day. But......I'm also a huge advocate of Mars bars.
75. Once, while play-fighting with Molly, I lost an eyebrow. I found it imprinted on her arm 3 hours later.
76. I love to leave creepy voice messages on my friends answering machines. "pickup pickup pickup pickup pickup pickup pickup pickup pickup pickup..."
77. When my brother was going through med school, and before we had cell phones, I used to write long letters to him. I used to write them in "Choose Your Own Adventure" style.
Les, Did I tell you that we got a new cat? If YES, then skip to page 3, if NO, continue reading...
78. I have 20-20 vision. I feel like that's important for you to know.
79. I don't believe in werewolves. I just believe in me.
80. When I was a teenager, my dad let me take our family boat for a ride. It was my first time driving the boat by myself. I took my sister and my cousin with me. We anchored the boat in the middle of the lake. My sister and I suntanned while our cousin read her book. All was fine and dandy until an alarm started blaring from the engine. Naturally I assumed this meant that the boat was going to blow up. I screamed "EVERYBODY JUMP!!!" and within seconds we were all overboard. My cousin jumped out so quickly that she jumped with her book.
My dad rescued us 10 minutes later. He showed up shaking his head with disappointment. Apparently the alarm goes off when you don't pull the key out of the ignition.
I think the moral of the story is that it's better to be safe than sorry. And when an alarm goes off.........just jump.
That's my take on the whole situation.
I am happy to report that my cousin's book was still intact. Poor thing swam for 10 minutes holding it over her head.
Now that's talent.
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Last Sunday, I joined my best friend Mandy for church.
The message was about raising your kids so that they would eventually grow up to be kind, intelligent and good people.
Mandy and I listened intently trying to memorize every word in hopes that one day our children would become adults that wanted to spend time with their parents.
In my mind, this was not an easy thing to do.
I take my parenting role very seriously and for the most part, I think I'm pretty good at my job.
But sometimes I get completely consumed with the everyday struggles that come with my position. The tantrums, the emotional ups and downs, the energy......oh, the energy! The Energizer Bunny has nothing on my kids.........NOTHING!
Some days it is nearly impossible to keep up with them. I've spoken before about collapsing on my couch shortly after I put the kids to bed. Some nights I am even too tired to treat myself to a glass of wine.
Can you believe that? Too tired!! For WINE?? That's a problem.
The night before church, I had planned on a lovely evening with my kiddies at the Santa Claus Parade. Since I had never taken them before, I was excited to share in this special moment with them.
But my special moment had soon turned into a pile of goo as Molly screamed and screamed over her snow pants.
"I WIW NOT WEAW MY SNOW PANTSSSSSS!!"
I took a deep breath and calmly responded "Yes you will. Put them on please."
"NOOOOOOOOO! Tate dose snow pants awaayyyyyy fwom meeeeeee!!"
I looked away from Molly and whispered quietly to myself, serenityyyyyy.......
I thought about my yoga practice and how it could help me at this very challenging moment. But for some reason the only thing that popped into my head was the image of a cat stuck in window blinds......??
After trying to squeeze Molly's big booty into too-tight snow-pants....all while she was kicking and screaming....I decided to give up. I realized that this was a hopeless task....and I didn't want to lose my cool.
But inside...my blood was boiling.
"MOLLY! You can't go see Santa if you don't wear your snowpants!"
She crossed her arms and huffed and looked away.
"I don't tawe. I don't want to see Santa. I want to stay HOME!"
Well, it was clear that Molly was not going to go to the parade.
She would not get to see Santa's belly shake like a bowl full of jelly while he rode down the street in his fancy red sleigh.
Refusing to cancel our plans and disappoint Lola, I instead left Molly with one of her best friends. Maybe Molly wouldn't see Santa or a red sleigh, but she would get perogies and a fancy red sports car.
"Vat?? Vat is going on? Molly! Vat did you do??"
Molly ran into my mom's arms and said, "I wiw stay wit you Babbi. They tan doe to da pawade. We wiw stay hewe otay?? Do you have pewodies??"
I left Mama's house feeling frustrated that things did not go as smoothly as I had planned. I wished that Molly was older so that I wouldn't have to deal with these annoying tantrums anymore.
After a long drive through tons of traffic, we had finally found a parking spot and were soon walking alongside the parade.
Lola held my hand tightly and kept saying "I'm having so much fun Mommy!"
I looked down at her and smiled as a snowflake fell right on her nose and melted away.
"Me too angel. Me too."
I thought about my earlier battle with Molly and her snow-pants. I definitely felt defeated. Just like a fighter in the ring, there were times that my 3 year old got some good shots in......even though I was the one with more experience.
But as I looked down at Lola, who continued to catch snowflakes on her nose and tongue, she suddenly resembled Molly. She looked innocent and very cute and like she was 3 years old again.
I stared at her and realized that she would never be 3 again.
As I watched the snowflakes melt on Lola's warm face, suddenly my frustration from the day had also melted away.
I scooped Lola up and kissed her. And within minutes the sky was filled with fireworks. Her face lit up as she watched the sparkles fall around her.
I made a point to live in that moment and truly soak it all up.
Because I knew, it would never come again.
When I got back to Mama's house, Molly ran into my arms.
"Mommy. I didn't want to go to Santa. And I don't lite my snow-pants."
I started laughing.
"It's ok baby! It doesn't matter".
She kissed me with her tiny little lips and squeezed my neck really hard.
Our fight in the ring was over.
It was a tie.
We both won.
Mandy and I sat listening to the Pastor finish his sermon. And as he did, the band quietly went up on stage.
The lead singer began singing a song by Trace Adkins, and when he got to the chorus, my eyes filled up with tears....
You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast.
I sat listening to the lyrics of the song trying to hold back the tears, wondering if anyone else was getting choked up.
And then I heard my best friend sniffle, and reach into her purse for a tissue.
The days may be long.....but the years are short.
And I just have to keep reminding myself that in the blink of an eye, these kids will be adults. And hopefully good ones if I continue to do my job right.
Raising children is a transition......and I need to remember to love my transitions. Good or bad.
Because some moments will be spent struggling with your 3 year old as she refuses to put on her snow-pants. And those will be the tough times.
But other moments will be amazing.
They will be incredible.
They will be......fireworks.
But even fireworks, they light up the sky, and then they are gone.
So if I know that and remember that every moment in my life only happens once.....then perhaps that moment becomes that much more special ;)
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
You all know my struggle with working out right?
My struggle being that I don't want to work out.
I will pretty much do anything to stay out of a gym environment, similar to a cat who refuses to take a bath.
But for some reason, I always look forward to my next yoga class. I go at least twice a week and I'm starting to get pretty good at it! I can almost do a headstand!
And my flexibility and strength have remarkably improved!
But as with any exercise, there will always be challenges. And new things to learn. And you may just get yourself into a compromising position that you don't know how to get out of.
Just recently my yoga teacher said something to the class while I was struggling trying to get into triangle pose.
My legs were shaking, my hands were sweating and I just couldn't seem to get the position right. I just wanted to get into the pose and stop struggling.
I was getting very frustrated.
My yoga teacher must have felt my frustration, because she calmly said,
"Sometimes we rush to get to the next phase, and we forget to live in the moment. Try to just love your transitions."
Why have I never thought of that before?
What a simple, yet glorious concept.
Love your transitions.
How perfect was that?
It made SO much sense!
Not just with yoga....but with MY LIFE!
If I think back over the years, I have always been focused on my future. Looking for the end result. Waiting for a time when things would be easier, effortless, painless, and simple.
What I failed to realize is that the path that was getting me to my end result was a part of my life, and a part of my journey.
And who knows if things would ever be easier or simpler?
What I needed to realize was that every transition I went through was helping to create the new me. A better me. A stronger me.
Realizing this made me so happy.
Suddenly I was open to a whole new way of thinking.
That everything I was going through, at any given moment in my life, good or bad, was helping shape the person I needed to become. And without those difficult and challenging transitions, I probably wouldn't change. And I definitely wouldn't grow.
Everything was happening for a reason. And instead of being frustrated, and hating the process, why not just give in to it?
After all, it was a rite of passage, wasn't it? Who knows what amazing things life has in store for you once you get through the tough times.
Suddenly I had a huge appreciation for the transitions in my life and what they were actually doing for me.
And I was grateful.
Suddenly I felt very strong. Like I could do anything.
And I relaxed my muscles, took a deep breath, and finally got into that triangle pose.
Realizing that my path would eventually get me to where I needed to be, it gave me the peace of mind to just relax and let go. And even though the struggles are real, and difficult, and the tunnels may be long and dark......there's always a light at the end.
So why stress and get frustrated over the process?
Why not try to enjoy it?
And in the words of Ferris Bueller,
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it".
Anyway, that's what my yoga teacher taught me the other day :)
I have to go now.
I'm off to yet another yoga class.
I need to go and meditate.
You're still here??
This blog is dedicated to Marcy Barbaro. Thank you for everything. But mostly, for teaching me to love my transitions :) I will miss you xo
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
I have a cold.
It's one of those stupid colds that lingers around forever. And you know how much I hate "lingerers". Ughhh.....lingerers.
It's one of those stupid colds that no doctor will prescribe any medication for because it's a "virus and not a bacterial infection".
Great. That doesn't help me at all.
So..... I just cough.
And cough some more.
Sometimes the cough gets so bad that I have to drink hot water with lemon and honey for hours on end. And if that doesn't work, then I take cough medicine. And if that doesn't work, then I suck on a Polish eucalyptus candy. And if THAT doesn't work......then I spray Chloraseptic spray a million times down my throat.
I know what you're thinking. How could something from Poland NOT work? I know right?? It boggles my mind too. I might have to contact the Polish Consulate about this....
Anyway, for some reason the Polish eucalyptus candies won't work for this cough, but the Chloraseptic spray does. The fact that I get SOME relief from this God awful cough is good enough for me. But the results are only temporary so I have to plan my day very carefully around this cold.
I did my whole spray routine the other day right before I had to run some errands, in hopes that I wouldn't have an embarrassing attack outside of my home. Because looking and sounding disgusting in the privacy of your own home is one thing.....but doing it in front of complete strangers? Well that's completely unacceptable.
I went to the library first. But as I made my way to the kids section, I felt it.
That tiny and annoying little tickle that scratches the back of your throat. I knew what was happening. The cough attack was coming. I quickly threw all my books down on a table and walked at a very quick pace to the bathroom.
I tried very, very hard to stifle the cough.....but it was coming....and it was fierce. I couldn't hold it in any longer. I started gagging. I gagged and made weird hacking noises as I burst into the women's washroom and ran into a stall.
There, in the bathroom stall, I coughed violently for 5 minutes straight. My throat and chest were hurting, my stomach was aching and there were tears pouring down my face.
When my cough finally subsided....I felt such relief. I took a deep breath and relaxed.......until I realized that I was deep-breathing in a public bathroom.
I finally felt good enough to leave. And when I opened the door to the stall, I was surprised to come face to face with a very disheveled looking old lady.
"You arrright??" she said in a slurred and raspy voice.
"Oh yes. I'm so sorry. I have this yucky cough. Were you in here the whole time?" I asked while making my way to the sink.
"Yeahhhh. You sound ROUGH! You need to get to a dawc-tor" She pulled out a pack of cigarettes and flicked them in her hands.
"Oh, yeah. I did. They sent me home. Said I should just rest and drink hot fluids. But that was over a week ago. I'm sure it'll go away soon".
"Nawwwww. You have whooping cough." She said very confidently as she looked me right in the eyes.
There was a moment of silence as we stared at each other.
"Ummmm. No....I don't think so? The doctor checked me. He said I just have a virus".
"Nope. It's whooping cough. I can tell. I've had it before." She pulled out a cigarette from the pack and stuck it in her mouth.
"Oh. Ok. Thanks. I'll look into it." I washed my hands and walked over to the air dryer.
She wasn't leaving the bathroom though. In fact, she stepped even closer towards me.
"You.....you need some good meds. Like, REALLY good meds." She said while pointing her cigarette at me.
"Oh ok. You think? Like what?" Why I was asking her advice, I have no clue. But clearly she had my best interests at heart.
"Like...strong stuff. Really strong stuff. Cough medicine with co....co.....what's it called again? Oh yeah! CODEINE! You needs lots of codeine." She sniffed and brushed her long curly grey hair out of her face.
"Codeine. Ok. Got it. Thanks. I will. Bye!"
I walked out of the bathroom thinking that our encounter was finally over, but she walked out with me!
"My grandkid had whooping cough. It was really bad. We went to the hospital and everything".
"Oh geez. I'm sorry. Is he ok now??" Now I felt bad for her.
"Oh yeah. He's 20 now."
Without saying goodbye, she finally just turned towards the door and left, still muttering about whooping cough.
I walked away from her wondering how is it that I always get stuck in these weird little conversations with strangers? Why does this always seem to happen to me?
I finally made it back to the kid's section and was quickly grabbing a few movies and books for Lola and Molly when I felt the tickle again.
I grabbed what I could and ran to the computer to check out my items. As I scanned my card, I started hacking again. I stepped away from the computer so that I wouldn't cough my germs onto the screen. And as I backed up, I bumped into an old man who worked at the library.
"Oh dearrr. That's a pretty bad cough you got there eh? I remember one time I got this bad cold. Oh man. It was rough. I was on all sorts of meds. But the only thing that helped me sleep and rest was this strong stuff. I think it had....what's that drug called again?"
I was now leaning over the computer table coughing, my head buried in my hands.
I managed to stop hacking for just a second and look up so that I could whisper one word......
"YEAH! Haha! How'd you know? Anyway.....it was a bad cough. Have you seen a doctor yet?? I've got this great guy! Old friend of mine. He became a doctor but I've always loved the library, that's why I got this job here....."
I folded my arms on the table in front of the computer and rested my head on top of them.
It was clear I wasn't going anywhere. So I just lay there as the old man went on and on about his job.
Sometimes you just need to give your body what it needs. And you need to stop moving and just rest.
And sometimes...........you just need codeine ;)