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The season for frenzy comes to an abrupt halt

I went to the health center at my college on a Fall day in my Senior year. The nurse checked me out, examined my congestion and sore throat, then flipped through my chart.

“Hmm,” she said. “It shows here that you came in on October 16 your Freshman year, October 17 your Sophomore year, and October 15 your Junior year.” She looked up at the calendar: it was October 18. “Seems to me you’re right about on time for your annual cold.”

Annual it is. There has barely been a Fall when the combination of leaf mold and wacky changes in temperatures hasn’t overcome my body’s ability to fight off the same progression: a strange, overwhelming exhaustion followed by sinus issues followed by sore throat followed by cough.

This year, I thought I might have escaped it, and luckily so. I spent much of the last half of October on the road, on trips to Pennsylvania and North Carolina, spending some of the time working and some of the time having lots of fun. The whole time, I felt like I was some sort of ticking time bomb, albeit a ticking time bomb that seemed to be appeased by irregular applications of Sudafed and Airborne.

But I probably should have known that the fun and games would come to an end. Much like this year’s delayed onset of real Fall, my real Fall bout of Ick was still to come, whether I liked it or not. And it arrived with a vengeance on Thursday, although did everything I could to ignore it Thursday night and went to work on Friday protesting that I was just fine, as long as I drank liquids constantly and mainlined Sudafed. But by the time I got home, it was clear: I had the full-on Fall Ick, and there was nothing to be done other than to go to bed.

Now, did I help matters by living in a state of frenzy from June through October? Probably not. But would I trade any of the fun I’ve had? Not for anything.

Still, I did have plans for the weekend. A good friend who moved away in December is in town, and I had to maintain quarantine so as not to potentially pass this on to her and her new baby. The Mint Killer and I had a dinner-and-movie girls’ night out planned to take advantage of a brief trip out of town by her husband and daughter, and I had to bail on her. And, most relevantly, I had solid plans to get out there in the garden and get some of the clean-up done, since word on the street is we’re in for a serious temperature plummet starting Monday.

I suppose it all makes good sense, though. There’s a season for the madness of harvest, and a season to just sit back and rest. I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight and get up tomorrow and try to work for a little bit in the garden, and when I feel like I’m ready to call it quits, I will. If it doesn’t all get cleaned up in one fell swoop, so be it.

11 Comments on “The season for frenzy comes to an abrupt halt”

  1. #1 NC Heather
    on Nov 3rd, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Sorry you’re sick Genie! Although, I’m glad it didn’t hit you last weekend. So, did you wear your magic earrings today? You must have, because the Pack pulled out another win. This one against Miami in OT!!!! That’s three in a row!

    Feel better soon friend.

  2. #2 inadvertentgardener
    on Nov 3rd, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    NC Heather, you know, I didn’t check a single football score today — that’s how under the weather I am! But now I’ve got to go read the Pack recap — that is extremely exciting stuff. I must have turned the earring at just the right time! Thanks for the good wishes and have a very happy birthday tomorrow!

  3. #3 Lydia
    on Nov 3rd, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    I love the symmetry of your autumn colds — now I wonder whether, if I bothered to keep track of these things, my own colds follow such a pattern. I seem to get one with each change of the seasons. Now I’ll start marking them on the calendar. Hope you feel better soon!

  4. #4 inadvertentgardener
    on Nov 3rd, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Lydia, there’s merit to the theory, I’m guessing…our bodies probably do some sort of physical “reset” when the seasons change, and that probably hits some people harder than others. At least, that’s a better way to look at it, I guess, than just whining about not feeling well!

  5. #5 carol
    on Nov 3rd, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Sorry to hear you’ve been sick, but your attitude just fine. “So be it” is a good way to go!

  6. #6 inadvertentgardener
    on Nov 3rd, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks, Carol — appreciate it!

  7. #7 katesmudge
    on Nov 4th, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Sorry to hear that you have been sick. It sounds as if your body is telling you to take a break! I hope you’ll be out and about soon! The garden cleanup can wait till spring.

  8. #8 inadvertentgardener
    on Nov 4th, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Katesmudge, I’ve definitely gotten that message loud and clear from my body!

  9. #9 Annie in Austin
    on Nov 8th, 2007 at 1:13 am

    Poor kid! Something similar used to happen to me in mid–October – it coincided with the first time we turned the heat on each fall so I blamed it on whatever heating system belonged to whatever house we lived in.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  10. #10 Katherine
    on Nov 9th, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    I’m a bit behind in the blog world, both reading and writing. I hope you are feeling better now. Unfortunately, now I’ve got “the mid-October unless you live in Florida and then it happens anytime between October and February” sniffles. Maybe it’s genetic!

    Back to my Kleenex.


  11. #11 inadvertentgardener
    on Nov 11th, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Annie, if it followed you from house to house, I wonder if it was actually the heating system? But if you seem to have outrun it at this point, congratulations! Or maybe it’s too warm in Austin for the Fall allergic cold?

    Katherine, sorry to hear you’re sick, too! I do suspect there’s a little genetics mixed in there…feel better soon!

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