This exerpt has been taken off the author’s blog page – altheakaushal.blogspot.ae
Have you ever noticed, that when someone reports sick.. for work or play and they do it over the phone, it does not really matter what they are the victims of.. cholera, malaria, diphtheria, a strange Alaskan bug… it always translates through the phone as a strange labored cough and a hoarseness in the vocal chords that defies definition.
An average conversation would go like this:
Hell..cough cough..hello?.. er.. I’m doing quite poorly… I don’t [long pause for some serious lung expanding coughing] think I’ll be able to come in today.
With an eyebrow that is firmly entrenched in my hairline [which, since it’s receding only serves to illustrate how far aforesaid eyebrow had to travel to meet fellow-strand in disbelief] I ask: What exactly is the problem?
I am immediately treated to a textbook audio sample of a terminal case of bronchitis through which, I have barely
managed to catch the word ‘Myalgia’ Myalgia, yeah right!
Using a strategically placed napkin to sop up the dripping sarcasm that is threatening to drench the side of my shirt, I inquire politely [side note: If I’m polite, you’re in the crapper] “What kind of Myalgia are we talking about?”
I manage to decipher the phrase ‘the indeterminate kind’ from what is now the sound effect of someone going through a particularly rabid death throe [thought I
had just made that word up, but for some reason the wriggly red underline for an incorrect spelling hasn’t turned up which, only goes to prove that someone thought that word up before me – Oh well!]
I let out a big sigh [which, my lungs do quite noiselessly unlike my phone friendses] and say the only thing I can; “When you do recover from what is looking like a fatal affliction and manage to get back to work, I’ll be happy to make that indeterminate Myalgia fairly localized to somewhere just below your coccyx” [of course, that was the subtext] What I said aloud was “Get well soon”.
PS: To those of you in the know, you know. To those of you who don’t, I’ll save you a quick trip to Google and tell you that Myalgia is medical jargon for pain; plain and simple.
Now, it will be apparent to even the most disinterested among you that I am somewhat of an expert on this subject.
Thus, when I report sick, I’m never fool enough to back it up with some trite cranked up phlegmatic sound effect. Not me! What I do is fairly simple really, though it does have its downside.
I merely call the powers that be and whisper gutturally into the phone [the guttural whisper is primarily due to
the fact that way too many ‘cheers’ have been clicked the previous night, or possibly that yours truly felt able
to compete with the live band in both volume and exuberance, or quite probably that the night was ‘spirited’ and myriad at the same time; which basically means that multiple drinks across multiple colors, that would rival the spectrum of your standard
garden variety rainbow, were consumed and consumed in quantities that would merit the word ‘copious’].
But, if I’m being honest, I quite simply have just made last night count…. in patialas. I have digressed clumsily across several social landmines, occasional tables, passing wait staff and the washroom door. Having tripped the light fantastic all the way to the closest taxi and proceeded to snore my way home, I am quite frankly, barely able to dial the office, much less form a coherent sentence.
So, here’s what I do. I whisper gutturally into the phone that my child is sick and a doctor is on his way. I
shamelessly then accept all the words of encouragement and sympathy that is de rigeur when one mentions a sick child, and take my aching head to bed and pray for a quick death.
Is there a downside to this fantastic operating procedure? Of course, there is! The downside is that I am now widely perceived as a crap maternal model, given that my offspring are unwell with such alarming regularity alongside such an immense disease spectrum. It’s not easy I can tell you. Not the fact that they perceive me as prime candidate for the ‘World’s worst mum’ award but all the studying of Grey’s Anatomy that I have had to clock in… because, let’s face it, there is always that one smartass who can spout medical jargon ad nauseum, and it’s no mean feat to be able to field those thinly veiled questions with any degree of accomplishment.
Ah well! I’d rather be economical with the truth than myalgic!