The Oregon Trail did not prepare me for this.

March was a dawn of a new era for me. I left my job of six years for a better opportunity. I was on cloud nine until I was plagued with a series of disasters. Someone hit my car door and drove away. No note. Thank you kind sir/madam for that. I then melted my microwave door when a pan fresh out of the oven slid off the stove top and came to rest against the microwave. But to top it all off, I had my iPhone in my back pocket. Phones and toilets do not mix. I didn’t think that the second week in March could get any worse, but it did. I contracted tuberculosis. I’m sure the doctors will argue that it wasn’t what I had, but they weren’t living my nightmare.

I was coughing to the point of dry heaving and or peeing myself. It’s a pretty picture, isn’t it? I guess I can put it on my résumé as a specialized skill. Technically, it’s a type of multitasking. Bosses love that kind of thing. It should also be noted that wetting one’s pants while dry heaving is an excellent anti-kidnap device for your person. Keep that in mind.

I tried all matters of cough syrup but nothing would stop it. So, I did what any sane person would do and sucked on a cough drop. Not just one per hour but three. That quickly adds up. I was consuming between 20-25 cough drops a day. These magical pieces of throat candy, soothed that incessant tickle in my throat. I could now make it through a meeting without tears in my eyes from holding back the power of a bronchial spasm. It didn’t even have the decency to sound pretty, like the call of a humpback whale.

After following this strict regime of cough dropping for two weeks, my body started to protest in the most guttural way. It was like my intestines were being filled beyond capacity with air… essentially a poop balloon. I felt every slow excruciating expansion. No amount of shifting in my desk chair eased the pain.

Breaking wind became performance art. How much can I siphon off before anyone notices? Why must it have such an acrid stench. No air freshener could compete with the methane I was producing. A skunk was less potent.

This went on for two weeks. Two weeks of the worst cramps that I’ve ever experienced. I duck waddled to the bathroom to rid my guts of a poison so foul that a hazardous waste can was needed. I was so self conscious that I flushed repeatedly as the porcelain throne accepted my offering.

And you know what I was worried about? Calories. How many calories are in these 20 plus cough drops that I’ve been consuming. I grabbed the bag out of my desk drawer and scrolled through the medical jargon. My eyes landed on the warning label.

“Excessive consumption may have a laxative effect.” (Courtesy of Halls Drops)

Obviously, 20 is excessive. The sad thing about this entire ordeal is that I didn’t lose one pound, nor has my cough completely vanished.

*Note: There are 5 calories per poo drop.

7 thoughts on “The Oregon Trail did not prepare me for this.

  1. What you went through sounds horrible, but the way you wrote about it was hilarious! I’m so sorry you were sick though. Coincidentally, I’m sick with a terrible cough right now, so I can imagine your pain, though yours sounds like it gets the gold medal for worst. I hope you feel well again very soon!


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