Why one shouldn’t complain about a cold | NevadaAppeal.com

Why one shouldn’t complain about a cold

Karen Woodmansee
Staff Writer

I have indulged in more than a week of complaining and being irritable and miserable and feeling sorry for myself.

I have had the most horrible chest cold, or bronchitis, or whatever for the past week. I have had to work from home, because going out in the cool air releases coughing fits so bad that my dogs hear me and cower in fear, and my husband tries to find something he has to do, someplace he has to go. Besides, I didn’t want to infect anyone.

I am a lousy patient. I want him to take care of me one minute and get out of my face the next. Fortunately, I married a man with the patience of the saints, and he has been able to tolerate my miserable self ” so far.

I tried everything ” Nyquil, Mucinex, Alka-Seltzer Plus. I have had numerous hot toddies, which will probably become my winter drink of choice, they are so good. I have slept a lot, drank lots of water and done everything possible to get well.

I went to the doctor Monday, who gave me some cough medicine, an inhaler, a prescription for antibiotics if the first two didn’t work, and ordered a chest X-ray, which I had done on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I was trying to get my stories done, still from home, so I didn’t infect anyone when I got a call from my doctor, a call I realize many people get and deal with in the best way they can.

“The X-ray shows something on your lung, about a centimeter around,” she said. “You need a CT scan.”

“Something” can be a scary word.

I know it could be minor. My husband was found to have “something” on his lung a few years back and it turned out to be scarring from an old surfing accident from his youth. Earlier this year a mammogram showed “something” on my breast, which turned out to be a minor cyst.

But I also had a friend, Don Johnson, who was treated for bronchitis for a year before the VA in Reno realized his “something” was lung cancer.

I don’t smoke, but I did, for about 20 years. I quit 11 years ago, and although quitting lessens the risk of cancer, it doesn’t eliminate it. Right now I wish I had never seen a cigarette.

I am now thinking about all the other people who hear that dreaded word, “something,” on a breast, lung, bone, liver, Pap smear or whatever. How many of us have heard it? Probably too many to count. I am now among them, hoping, praying, and in my own way, commiserating.

Thanks to Betty Retzer, of Stagecoach, I met some women who were cancer survivors about a year ago as they walked the labyrinth at the Carson Tahoe Regional Health Center and offered support to each other in their continued fight against this disease. I remembered how in awe I was of their strength and cheerfulness in the face of such a difficult problem. I felt some of their strength now, as I face whatever is to come.

It still could be nothing serious. But if it is the worst, I hope I have the same strength as Betty and her friends.

If nothing else, I have learned not to complain about having a bad cold.

Silver Stage Middle School’s music class has received a grant from the Charles L. Hughes & Alvin C. Jones Music Fund for Public Schools, a charitable fund of the Nevada Community Foundation.

The grant provides instruments for public schools, and in this case enabled the purchase of a double horn, flute, clarinet, and 13-note chromatic boom whacker set.

Ashlee Smith, 9, who has gained fame helping children who lose their toys in fires or other catastrophes, is getting some help from Chili’s Restaurants in Northern Nevada.

Chili’s are holding a toy drive for Ashlee’s Toy Closet, Inc., which collects the toys for those children who have suffered through such events.

The following locations in Reno, Sparks & Carson City have barrels at the entrance to accept donations: 135 Los Altos Pkwy, Sparks, (775) 354-0500; 10340 N. McCarran Blvd., Reno, (775) 829-7775; 5090 Smithridge Dr., Reno, (775) 829-7775; 3205 Retail Dr., Carson City, (775) 841-2553; 3784 Hwy 395 S., Carson City, (775) 264-0044.

Toys will be collected for local children and also the victims of the Southern California fires.

To contact Ashlee directly please call (775)527-2245 or e-mail ashleestoycloset@live.com.

The drive will run from Nov. 28 until Dec. 24.

– Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-7351.