26 January 2011

There's this gravestone in New Orleans...

My mom's husband Dale has a habit of telling the same stories over and over again. When he starts, Mom looks and me and we giggle. Sometimes, under our breath, we finish the story before he does. And we can do this because he has this habit of stopping at random points in a story and making you think the story is over. You may even start to reply. But as you do, he'll start talking again, and you'll realise he's finishing the story.

One of his stories is about a gravestone in New Orleans (and each story is told basically the same way each time). It says "I told you I was sick." The most recent time this story came up was when I was home this past Christmas, and we were talking about my ongoing lower GI issues (don't worry, no details here). I said that every doctor was convinced it wasn't in their speciality but that every doctor agreed SOMETHING was wrong. So I was just going to wait until I died and put "I TOLD YOU SO!" on my marker. Cue the story. "You know, there this gravestone in New Orleans..."

Since last Thursday, I've had a cold. It didn't start out too bad, and I was hoping that maybe I'd get to attend the two events I had planned for this past Tuesday (a friend's thesis defence and my favourite author was appearing at the local library), but alas, it was not meant to be. And the past 24 hours of this cold have been downright vicious. Last night, I didn't well because I was coughing so much. This morning I napped fitfully because of all the coughing. I tried to nap again in the afternoon, but again with the coughing. The coughing fits are so vicious that I end up gagging and dry heaving (sorry). My back, sides, and abdomen hurt from all the coughing. And I can't breathe, which seems problematic.

So I called Mom to ask her if anyone had ever died from a cold. She told me no. Go to bed, lay on my stomach, and I'd be better soon (this is a long-standing inside joke). We didn't talk long since she got tired of hearing me gagging (she's always been an empathetic one), but we were on the phone long enough for this:

Me: So, you're sure I'm not going die?
Mom: YES.
Me: Okay. But, you know...
Mom: What?
Me: There's this gravestone in New Orleans...
Mom: And it says "I told you I was sick?"
Me: You got it.
Mom (laughing): I love you, honey. Bye!
Me: Love you, too. G'night.

I then called my friend Med Student, who told me people CAN die from cold, but they're usually old and immunocompromised, neither of which I am. I relayed this to Mom later, and she said, "So I was right; colds don't kill people. The heart attack that the cold gives the people kills them. Or when they're coughing and they fall down the stairs, THAT kills them. But the cold itself didn't do it."

Moms. They always gotta be right.

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