All Colds Are Not Equal

Despite being vigilant about my health, I catch a bug once in a while. Like this past week, a double whammy of pollen allergies and a cold, not to mention getting my period at the same time. It was short but vicious. I coughed and heaved all week unable to take time off work given a project deadline. I relied on my regular arsenal of Vitamin C, echinacea, lemons, ginger, honey and fluids and am finally on the mend as I write this (knock on wood).

Coincidentally, my friend Margot also caught a cold. She succumbed to the cold all three kids had earlier in the week. The messages came pouring in. “It sucks when it’s the mom who has the cold. Get well soon.” “Mom colds are the worst. I feel so bad for you. Feel better.” “Get some rest, you of all people, deserve it!” And so on.

I wasn’t asking for sympathy but maybe I got one “feel better” from the same group. And that was it. Living alone and getting sick has its own set of challenges. There’s no one to peel you an orange, bring you soup or run to the drug store to get lozenges or toilet paper you ran out of at the worst time possible. You have to do it all by yourself. There are no wide-eyed kids by your bed looking worried telling you to feel better. You stare at the ceiling and maybe tell yourself to feel better. You don’t even know you lost your voice until you get to work because that’s the first time you’ve conversed with someone that day. Kinda sad, right? Yeah, but it’s par for the course. It’s my choice to be single, therefore, I deal with the consequence.

So I wasn’t looking for sympathy but the difference of the reactions to Margot and me was too stark. I didn’t even know “mom-cold” was a word. I’m not saying my job is more important than being commander of chief of a suburban household, but work flow in two countries does come to a grinding halt when I take an unplanned leave from the office. Jussayin.

But no one cares, no one’s asking. Apparently if I want attention I need to catch a mom-cold.


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