Monday, March 7, 2011

Vick's VapoRub on your feet. Try it.

“How ‘bout a cookie?”

I just dodged a bullet. Kay was snuggled in the recliner in front of the TV; she had the thermometer in her mouth and a warm cloth on her forehead. I was getting ready to run up here to the study to talk to you guys, but stopped long enough to ask if I could get her anything. I actually used the word “anything.” What a gamble!

A wise person once said that if you’re afraid of an answer, don’t ask. That proverb has served me well over the years. I don’t apply it to Kay all that much, ‘cause, hey, what husband would not suffer a bit of inconvenience for his wife? – It was rhetorical. Men, put your hands down, and women, quit pointing.

Fortunately, like I said, Kay needed for nothing. I came off looking thoughtful and loving without having to go to the store, reposition the TV or buy her a dog. Sometimes stuff just works out.

This is only Kay’s second day of sick. I started mine two weeks ago, and am just now over the cough. Whatever the sickness is starts with a runny nose; progresses onto a headache, conjures up a sensitivity at the top of my head, develops into a fear of being touched, scales up the runny nose a tad and then goes straight to a cough. A long, lingering, aggravating cough. Kay hasn’t reached the cough phase yet. I’m not sure she’ll get there.

Kay is turning out to be a much better sick person than me. Or even I. Anytime she asked what she could do for me, I came up with something. “Uh, maybe a Dr Pepper.” -- “Would you turn on the fan?” -- “Cashews! I need cashews!” – “Could you shut that door over yonder?”

I can’t watch TV with the door to the utility room open. Just can’t. Has more to do with mental illness than physical. Just one of the 817 quirks of being me. Kay thinks I’m a heck of a catch. Tells me that a lot.

Fortunately, Kay knows how to handle a sick me. She’s sweet as can be. Unfortunately, she’s now the sick one. That means I have to make-believe I’m sweet. “Oooh, who wants a cookie? Does Li’l Sweetpea wanna cookie? How ‘bout milk? Want some milk with that big ol’ cookie?” I wouldn’t say stuff like that to Kay if she wasn’t sick, ‘cause she’d kick me right in the terminals.

I really don’t think Kay handle being as sick as I was. Near the end, my cough got so bad that I was drinking olive oil at bedtime. I read somewhere that olive oil helps lubricate the, uh, coughing place in your throat. Not corn oil or motor oil. Just olive.

Oddly enough, the olive oil did work… for about 30 minutes. Then I woke myself coughing.

A couple of nights ago, Virginia called and recommended that I try Vicks VapoRub. On the bottoms of my feet. I’m not joking. She said she read that if you generously coat the bottom of your feet before bedtime and then put on some socks, it’ll kill your night coughs.

I told Virginia that the closest thing I had to Vicks VapoRub was sweet pickle relish. Fifteen minutes later, Freeman was knocking at the door with a two-ounce jar of Vicks. I didn’t know they made it that small. He probably paid $10 for it at the Quick Stop.

Freeman and Virginia. If I could sell ‘em for what they’re worth, I’d be like a zillionaire. Then I could buy all the friends I wanted. You’ve gotta think of stuff like that.

Three years ago, I would’ve made fun of Virginia for suggesting I put Vicks or pickle relish or anything other than an inner-sole on the bottom of my feet. But, the girl made a believer out of me after she suggested that Kay and I stick a bar of soap at the foot of the bed to prevent leg cramps. Kay and I had both were having periodic leg cramps. The only thing worse is a big toe cramp. I don’t care to talk about it.

So, Virgina tells us to go to bed with a bar of soap. I did laugh at her about the soap. Made fun of her, too. “Why soap, and not an ear of corn?” But, one night Kay stuck a bar of soap at the foot of our bed, and no more cramps. Like I say, that was about three years ago. Of course we periodically switch out the soap. A bar of Irish Spring loses its anti-cramp power after a couple of months. Any more than two months and I’ll get the twinge of a cramp as I’m getting out of bed. Change out the soap and I’m good to go.

Unlike Irish Spring, Vicks VapoRub was not an instant cure. While I did cough less, I still coughed. I’m not so sure it wasn’t the smell of Vicks on my hands that did the trick. That stuff does not wash off easily. Don’t know if you knew that. Anytime my hand came near my face I could smell the smell of sick. That’s what I always associate the smell of VapoRub with. Same thing with Pepto Bismol. .

Last night was the last night of my Vapofoot application. And, the last of my cough. I don’t know if it was the Vicks or the shot in the rear the nurse gave me, or the inhaler, or the antibiotics. I doubt it was the inhaler, because one of the side effects was “coughing.” I kid you not. Never read the side effects of a medication. It introduces an anti-placebo factor to your brain.

Speaking of something entirely different, I’ve never taken a medication, the side effects of which did not read “may cause the Big C, the Big D, or both.” Don’t make me spell it out.

Like I say, I’m pretty sure Kay’s illness will end without a cough. She’s just too sweet. However, if she does end up coughing, she’ll be wearing my socks to bed, ‘cause no way will she get Vicks on her own socks. That’s pretty much where she draws the line. That and when I speak baby talk to her. Ask her real sweet if she wants a cookie or something. When she gets her strength back, she’s going to hurt me for that. Oh, yeah, she’s hurting me big time.


To watch Mark and Brad’s review of Hubbell and Hudson in The Woodlands click here: Hubbell and Hudson

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