The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

February 15, 2014

Theresa Timmons: Common cold brings a man to his knees and his recliner

Last week my husband Seth approached me and said the words no wife ever wants to hear. I knew in my heart what was coming — I could tell by the look on his face, and I reached out and supported myself on a kitchen cabinet.

His eyes were half closed, and his voice was weak. “Oh Theresa, I think I am getting sick....”

There are a few phrases that have been uttered throughout history that carry the same weight as a husband announcing he is sick.

“Was that an iceberg or what?”

“That cloud looks just like a mushroom.”

“Ah, Mount Vesuvius is always spewing a little.”

The tranquility of my home was about to be disrupted by the presence of life altering entity — a man with a cold. But I resisted the urge to make a call to hospice. “What doesn’t feel good?” I asked.

He coughed then, to demonstrate the critical condition of his lungs. It was more of a forced throat clearing. “It’s in my chest BAD,” he said, purposely lowering his voice an octave so I could appreciate the congestion.

He kicked off his boots and staggered to his recliner. “Feel my head. Do I feel warm to you?”

Women are equipped with heat sensors in their lips that are activated during childbirth. Mine have always been accurate to within .2 of a degree. I felt his forehead and got the reading in one second.

“Ninety nine point five.”

He looked at me with fear in his eyes. “I am usually subnormal. Oh no. I probably have pneumonia!”

“Probably. Maybe you should go to the doctor in the morning?” I suggested. I often quickly pawn him off on the doctor. The doctor gives him antibiotics, which give him diarrhea, which amuses me.

After his doctor’s appointment the next day he called me on the phone at my work.

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