This week-long intermission has been brought to you by influenza

The first photo I’ve taken in a week

A note to the manufacturers of OTC flu/cold/cough medications: maybe you should test your packaging on actual SICK people before rolling it out to the masses.

You see, when an individual has the flu, that person’s symptoms include headache, fever, chills, sneezing, runny nose, nasal inflammation, blocked nose, dry cough (VERY dry), sore throat (excruciatingly sore), sweating (ugh!), body aches, muscle aches, loss of appetite, exhaustion, fatigue, weakness and myalgia. Conveniently, I had every one on this list. Hooray for me.

Back to the lecture. So when a person with the flu needs to medicate herself — and her husband is at work and unable to assist — it should NOT be a time-consuming or painful task. The instructions on my packet of Thera*Flu said simply, “To open: Fold corner and tear at slit.” Ha! Try that when you’re shaking and your fingers are aching. I tried and couldn’t even do it now that I’m feeling better. The alternative is to use scissors. But why make a sick person root around for scissors? This in itself could be a dangerous venture. Nonetheless, it’s how I managed to free the magic crystals of flu medicine into my warm water.

And then there’s the Chlora*septic. In the middle of the night I awaken at 3:00 a.m. with my cough racking my body and a sore throat that’s making me miserable. I flail around, reaching for the box of lozenges Scott had nicely left next to the bed. I pull out a sixer with a foil back and struggle to push the ruby-red disc of relief out of the packet. Won’t budge. Grunt, curse, push. Finally I feel it give way, only to sail through the air and skitter across the wood floor.

Now I’m mad. I turn on the light on the nightstand, fumble for a pen and stab the packet open. A sick person should not have to go to such trouble. And that same sick person should not have to wake up two hours later to hear her cat Maggie batting the escaped lozenge across the floor, to and fro.