Back to Campus Again

Ever since Thanksgiving, I’ve been fighting a cold (upper respiratory something) that’s offered me a range of delights from stuffy nose to runny nose, sore throat, cough, sinus pressure, and pain.

It’s been a nuisance.

But I’ve learned something about myself. Something I guess I’ve known all along but never really admitted.

Especially to myself.

I’m not a spitter.

You remember that scene in “Titanic” when Rose insists that Jack teach her “to spit like a man”?

I never had a Jack Dawson to teach me that.

So I can’t just hock it back and open my mouth to release it.

The mucus, I mean.

It won’t come out.

The nasty stuff drains down the back of my throat in a marble-sized ball, then slithers away like some kind of raw oyster, never to be seen again.

It’s not that I haven’t tried.

Spitting. Expectorating.

But the agony of choking something up and trying to release it is more than my poor body can endure.

My eyes tear up. My nose stops up. And I fear I’m going to throw up.

Something that’s on par with spitting.

Ain’t gonna happen.

Not in my lifetime.

I don’t do vomit.


I can count on one hand the number of times in my life that I’ve thrown up. Most were after anesthesia. Or the flu.

Imagine my dismay when, the night before Domer and I were to leave to return him to campus after Christmas Break, he came down with a horrid stomach virus.

The poor kid was “blowing and going” from both ends for a solid four hours.

I was ready to haul him to the hospital. He wouldn’t consider it.

“Vomiting is a sensory experience,” he told me. “You see it coming up, you hear it, and you taste it. Again. Then, you smell it and you touch it when you clean it all up.”

Right, I thought, as my own stomach knotted up.

Nothing like too much imagery 😉

Needless to say, we postponed our trip a day.

And, while he wasn’t exactly “well” then, we had to travel if he was going to start the semester on time.

So why, when I was doing the right thing for the right reasons, did I feel like “The meanest mom in the world”?

I mean, look at the likes of Susan Smith, who sent her two young sons to their deaths while strapped in their carseats. Or Andrea Yates, who drowned five of her kids in their Houston bathtub.

Now that’s mean.

Not hauling a kid back to a college he loves!

16 thoughts on “Back to Campus Again

  1. I didn’t know how to get rid of mucus either, until I ended up with pneumonia in my right lung in high school. The doctor got a mirror and showed me the drainage in my throat. Nasty. Have you tried drinking warm liquid and leaning forward when you cough? Sometimes this helps me.

    Vomitting as a sensory experience, huh? There are so many other more pleasurable ways to stimulate the senses: sticking your hand in a campfire, swallowing thumbtacks, snorting hot sauce, well, you get the idea.

    • Ewww, you could actually SEE the mucus draining? Ugh, nasty! Yes, I’ve been downing hot tea and soups, sleeping with a hot steam vaporizer, and parking myself in a steaming shower for as long as I can get away with it! When everything fails, I call the doctor and end up on antibiotics (which have a whole new set of possible problems!). Eventually, I think the body just needs time to heal itself.

  2. Talk about telling it like it is, puke and all. he-he! Well, I really hope you feel better soon. My daughter started school Jan 3rd. But she too was a day late, because the airfare was $100 cheaper if she left on the 3rd and not the 2nd. Somehow, missing the first day didn’t affect her grades one bit.

    • You saved $100 just by flying her a day later?? Good job! From what I understand, the first day of classes is way over-rated! Thanks for sympathizing with my “crud.”

  3. Well what you can’t do you can certainly describe and it seems your boy takes after you when it comes to offering up some fine imagery.

    Hope you feel better and no I don’t think you will win the mean mom award..and plus who wants to hang out with a sick kid 🙂

    • You’ve got a point there, but I didn’t tell him that — why rub salt in the wounds? I had to laugh at your first paragraph; we’re nothing around here if not visual, ha! Still, his imagery and way of looking at that kind of bodily function are all boy — I’d have never thought of it that way!

  4. Debbie, you are certainly a master of visual imagery and sensory detail with a twist of humor,transporting me right into your experience! And Domer is following in your footsteps with his characterization of “vomiting being a sensory experience.”.Who can’t relate to any of this? Now that I can really feel your discomfort, I hope you will be better soon 🙂 And no,you are not a mean Mom!

    • Thanks, Kathy, glad to know I’m not “mean” in your book! When I wrote this, I rather thought it was a bit too graphic for my readers, but ALL parents should be able to relate, ha! I appreciate your well-wishes and am glad to report the antibiotics have kicked in and appear to be doing their job!

  5. Half of my office has the cold virus thing going on. I feel it coming on myself. Thankfully, I can spit. Without vomiting. I don’t do vomit either.

    Did you say you’ve had your cold since Thanksgiving? That seems way too long. Have you seen a doctor to see if it’s something more serious?

    • It’s been off-and-on since right after Thanksgiving (I blame my son for bringing it home from campus, ha!). Seriously, it lasted a couple of days, then went away only to resurface right after New Year’s Day (when it came back in full-blown form). I did see a doctor (thank you for being concerned and making the suggestion), and now I’m on antibiotics for a sinus infection. Take care of yourself and avoid those germs, Terri!

  6. Debbie, this post made me laugh! Not the fact that you’re sick, I’m so sorry about that, but the part about hocking up the mucus! I’m still chuckling! I’m the same way. I’ve yet to understand how men, sexist as this sounds, have the ability to hock up loogies like they’re blowing their nose. Women, on the other hand, try and try and for the most part, can’t bring anything up their throats. Hurling, I can do. Nasty but true! When something is making me nauseous, I have to get it out! hee hee! That Domer–sensory experience indeed! What a guy that son of yours! 🙂

    • Nice to know I’m not the only one incapable of hocking up mucus, Bella! I feel sure I’d get rid of this cold faster if only I could. I think you’re onto something about it being a man-woman thing though — more men than women I’ve known ARE able to spit with ease (probably something about girls being raised that spitting “isn’t nice,” haha!)

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