I’m writing this dispatch from deep within the trenches of what is sure to be the end game for our times. You see dear readers, it seems that in the past weeks our house has become ground zero for the 2016 outbreak of the Bubonic Plague. What? Too dramatic? Ok, the Black Death? Mock me if you wish but I’ve just contacted Amazon.com about ordering up a few black lung machines and an extra hyperbaric oxygen chamber for the living room and when you need to borrow it, I’ll remember this mocking.

As with any hard fought struggle, it’s not difficult to pinpoint the inciting incident that transformed a tiny battle into a full blown war.

Time: 17:00 hours

Day: Last Wednesday

Place: The Multipurpose Room of the family homestead, AKA, My Kitchen

Incident: My precious Nugget, having been rather ill all day, was sitting innocently on his loving mother’s hip as she argued with Nugget’s big brother, yet again, over the fact that he was going to do his homework and she didn’t care that he thought 2nd grade math was stupid because he was going to shut-up and do it anyway. While her mouth was in the fully open and upright position, darling Nugget unleashed a sneeze, expelling a mist most heinous of toxin-filled phlegm which drifted into all open air passages of said mother. Infection was not immediate but inevitable.

Intent: Was Nugget defending his brother? Did he believe he was taking down a tyrant? Or was it simply a very lucky shot by an uncontrolled toddler. The answer is not certain, but the truth is out there. (Sorry, I’ve been watching a little too much vintage X Files this week.)

While horrific, mucus-filled illnesses are to be expected this time of year, it’s not the norm for this family, especially, me – the matriarch. We tend to be astonishingly healthy, capable of dodging most cooties with a deflective wave of the hand. Sure, that Nugget may have drawn the short straw in regards to healthy ears and kidneys, which sometimes compromise his immunity, but for the most part, we don’t get sick.

For the past three years, Patient X, (aka Number one Son) has carried toxins home from the parasitic hotbed he visits daily known as elementary school, but we are generally able to fight those infectious bastards off with our Turk-centric diet and super-powered immunity. (To all those ladies at the food store who look at my cart like I’m running an illegal produce stand, suck it. It keeps us healthy. Or, it did.) In the off chance someone does fall victim to the odd cootie, they never seem to receive the full victimization of their peers and thus, we win again. Until now.

As of today, Nugget has been toxic for 9 ungodly days and I’m going on day 5. What in the name of all that is unholy is this crap?!?! Patient X brought it home two weeks ago and after coughing for two days, rebounded perfectly. Where is the justice in that Universe?

Fortunately, the Turk has not fallen. The fall of any man is a horrific trip into the overly dramatic realm but when a man with a genetic link to Genghis Khan falls ill, the drama reaches Medieval Torture levels. The mere fear of falling ill was so severe this past weekend that it drove him off for a mid-afternoon nap while I attended to the needs of the offspring amid feverish delusions. (For reals. If you think your man is bad…you got nothin’ on this one.)

I’m trying to fight though the phlegm but between the brain fog and decongestants, I’ve managed to delete three chapters of my current book, miss four deadlines, email my tax return to my dentist and send the Midget’s dental X-rays to the accountant, rebuy the same grocery list twice because I forgot I’d gone shopping yesterday and checked out an enormous stack of library books to entertain Nugget and then left them at the library. And it’s only Wednesday morning.

But fear not readers, Nugget and I are fighters. We will continue to medicate ourselves with a combination of early 90’s television and Bob the Builder as we await the return of our health, sanity and senses. (I got fart-bombed by a 7 year-old last night and had no sense of smell to save myself and my poor one-eared wonder has an infection in his lone ear giving him the sense of balance of a 10 month-old.) Alas, we shall overcome. I will pull him up to the top of that soiled tissue mountain and amid the confetti of cough drop wrappers, we will find greatness.

Vintage nurse
Photo: Imperial War Museums Collection

4 thoughts on “I’m Pretty Sure It’s Bubonic Plague…

  1. I hope everyone gets to feeling better! We just had the first one fall down here this morning…here’s hoping it’s a quickie because I really can’t handle Bob the Builder…


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