Mandan News

Dan Ulmer: Hard to run from the winter flu

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T’was one of them pass around flu weeks, so please pardon my ramblings from here on in. In my case, which was minor compared to the rest of the household, the flu turned out to be one of them knock-you-on-your-butt colds.

My case began on Tuesday last week with sniffles and my work partner saying, “You seem rather foggy today Dan.” Shortly thereafter my brain began absconding through my nose and all I could do was help it along with papers towels and an occasional Kleenex.

Of course, to exacerbate the situation, whilst shaving that morning I managed to nick myself just barely inside my right nostril. Thus every time I blew my nose there was not only (please excuse my crassness here) snot but blood. This aging thing ain’t all it’s cracked up to be you know.

I had a legislative hearing filled with all the poo-bah-tates in my job so I couldn’t miss work on Wednesday. Before exiting my truck that morning I stuffed what was left of a box of Kleenex in my suit pocket and took on the day.  It was a long day. I had to inform all the folks who I usually shake hands with that I was quite contagious whilst politely refusing to shake hands and then trying to place myself out of coughing and sneezing distance during the meetings. So if they shut down the legislature before this column is published next Friday, I may well be the culprit.

Like I was saying earlier, my case was nothing compared to what passed through our house the weekend before. As well, I should inform you that if you were bothered by the previous mention of snot and blood you may want to stop reading here.

Both my loyal readers know that my household consists of five adults and two children. Four-year-old Brock came home Friday with a bad case of the puke and poop flu. Of course, by Saturday afternoon he was fine and Kelci was smart enough to head back to her mom’s for the weekend. However, four of the five adults domesticating here went down Saturday night and I wasn’t one of them.

So there I was with a revived Brock and three bathrooms for four adults. Yes, there was an occasional line at the bathroom and many other life defying maladies that go along with the puke and poop flu. I somehow escaped this horrifying disorder. I’d like to think that it had something with those Clorox disinfectant wipes that I used as gloves and gas masks. They seem to work well, but after a while everything tastes like chlorine.

Sunday came and went and there moments that I wondered if I hadn’t caught the bug. Then a week passed; everyone got better and this other bug came along that just couldn’t resist me. So I was nominated to suffer through another round of the pass around flu that we prairie folks seem to put up with.

Our winters have a tendency to keep us indoors so I can’t help but compare most homes to airplanes where the passengers sit in a pressurized cabin breathing each other’s air. I’d be willing to wager that my hypothesis has some merit here, so hang with me.

When it’s cold outside we don’t go outside unless we need to, and as such we spend a lot of time breathing each other’s air, and these dang bugs seem to thrive in the air and the next thing you know when we’re forced out into the world of others we pass these bugs around and they infect other homes and OMG!!! Even the disinfectant wipes don’t work… and then fun goes out of breathing, coughing, sneezing and wheezing… which is still better than pukin’ and poopin’ right?

Here’s hoping you survive whatever’s being passed around and remember to always keep Kleenex handy because it’s a lot gentler on your nose than paper towels… ‘nuf said. I’m headed back to bed…