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By Joy Williams, Buzzworthy Blogs

We all know this story: the missing keys, the eyeglasses you hunt for that are on top of your head, the long deep gazing into the cupboard with no idea why.

It has been two weeks now and I am still sick. Why can’t I shake this?

Oh right. I work for a public school with three to five-year-olds. “Can you please turn your head when you cough?” “Can you please not wipe your snots on me?”

Went to the doctor Sunday morning. “No strep throat, Ms. Williams, just a good old common cold.” Really? “And laryngitis. Here are some antibiotics. Get some rest!”

There is no taking off time from work. No rest. Way too busy. My mission: shake this cold by Thursday morning when I will catch a bus from Maryland to New York for a family event. I have been planning this trip for several months. Today is Monday.

Monday—I go to CVS. Okay, let’s see, I already have Vicks (hate that stuff, but whatever), so I purchase some Advil cold and medicine pills. I’m not big on pills but no way will you see me buy some nasty liquid cough medicine like Robitussin.

Monday night—I slather Vicks on my nose and throat, take a pill, and, just for kicks, make myself a hot toddy (old school mix of bourbon, lemon, and honey (link to honey).

Tuesday morning—I feel worse than I did on Monday.

Tuesday—Drank hot teas (link to organic teas) round the clock, made some Matzo ball soup for the broth, popped some cough drops for my throat. I lay off the Advil medicine because I am straight up loopy. The side effects are ridiculous and I need to function for the next 48 hours.

Tuesday night—Another round of Vicks. Okay, let’s just do another Advil pill. I can sleep it off.

Wednesday morning—not much change.

Wednesday—Hallelujah. It is a half day at the school and I have no students to see. Paperwork is so backlogged that I need this day to catch up. I am feeling loopy, loopy, loopy as I take vitamin C (link to vitamin C), drink hot tea, and eat some soup. Well, at least I can go home early and crash. My bus to NYC leaves Thursday morning at 7:15 a.m.

I leave work at 12:30 p.m, go home, walk the dog, speak to a few neighbors, and decide to take a nap at 3:30 p.m.

I am exhausted. And sick.

My doze is deep. And long.

My eyes open suddenly. I look over at the clock. I am not happy. It is 5:45. Nooooo! Why didn’t my alarm go off? So glad my internal alarm did! I have to get motivated.

I take a shower and pack my bag. Can’t pack too much since I am only staying until Sunday.

6:25—Good timing. Just need to walk the dog before my drive to the bus station.

I go outside. It’s still dark, not too cold. I see my neighbor. “Have a great weekend”. “Same to you. You going away?” “Yep, going to NYC to see the folks.” “You leaving now?” “Oh, I’m taking the bus.” “Great, enjoy.”

I walk Snowball across the street to the grass. “Hurry up, Snowball, do your business. Mommy has to leave soon.” I wave to my neighbor’s kids.

Boy, are they up early—where on earth would they be going at this hour?

Bring the dog back to the house. Water, food—you’re all set Snowball. Mommy loves you. See you on Sunday.

6:45—Good timing. I hop on I-95 for the 12-mile drive. No traffic, thank goodness. Turn on the radio—news. Reporter is talking about the decision to finally reopen a wing of the Smithsonian tomorrow, which is today, Thursday. I am glad they are replaying this slightly old news segment, even with the “tomorrow” reference. Very educational, good to know!

Arrive at the Metro station, drive to the self-parking lot. The gates are not up.

The DC Metro station can’t have free parking, ever? Even on holidays? Ridiculous!

Well, I drive back on Sunday so I won’t have to pay the parking fee anyway, but still!

Looka here, looka here—a great parking spot. This is my day.

Grab my bag, lock the car, walk to the bus stop.

7:05—Good timing. Bus leaves in 10 minutes. Nice two-minute walk in the crisp air.

Cough all you want, but this cold will not get the best of me.

7:07—Arrive at bus stop. No one here.

Good, maybe I will have the bus to myself.

Why would anyone travel on a Thursday anyway? People have to go to work on Friday.

I wait for the bus.

7:09—Why isn’t it here? I look at my iPhone 5S.

Does that say “Wednesday” on my phone?

OMG…did I not buy a ticket for the right day? NOOOOOOOO!!!!

Okay, think. Talk to the bus driver and try to buy a ticket on board. Wait, I think I can buy it online. But the bus should be here any second.

7:12—I look at my phone again.

Wait, why does my phone say “Wednesday”? What is up with this phone?

I am so sick of these smart phones.

Okay. Power off phone, wait two minutes, then reboot it.

Why is the sun not rising?

Phone reboots. Great.

Does that still say “Wednesday”?

Does that say 7:14 p.m.?

7:14 p.m.?


OMG is it Wednesday? Night?

I leave the bench and call my mom. “Oh, you’re sick baby, it happens. You are just like your father. Go home and rest. See you tomorrow.” I talk to my father. “Oh, don’t worry doll. That happens to me all the time.”

My father is 92.


I have to pay $5 to exit the parking lot. I turn on my lights in the complete darkness.

Hello Snowball, Mommy is home.

I eat. Did this really just happen? Cough, cough, cough. My cold is still there.

8:00 p.m.—Time for bed. Must wake up in nine hours to catch the 7:15 a.m. bus to NYC.

After lots of honey, tea, vitamin C, and a long snooze on the bus, my cough vanished and I could finally think clearly again.

Today is definitely Saturday.

Joy Williams, M.S., CCC-SLP is a speech and language pathologist with more than 15 years experience. She received her Bachelors of Art in Linguistics from Binghamton University and a Masters of Science in Speech and Language Pathology from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She has worked in a variety of settings such as health clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation, nursing homes, private and public schools. Joy has specialized in improving the communication skills of individuals with special needs and disabilities. She is particularly interested with the link between behavior, language development, and social communication in children with autism. Her expertise extends to providing consultation and trainings on using language for functional communication, life skills, and social skills for everyday living. Outside of working with children, Joy loves going to the theater, watching movies, reading a good novel, and doing Zumba on a regular basis.

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