So I wake up today around 10 am (and yes this is early for me) with a stuffy nose, and phlegm-y throat. Lying there, I just wanted to hurl every insult I knew at my older brother who has had a cold for a week.
He seems to lack all awareness of proper hygiene, and apparently remembering to cover his mouth while coughing or sneezing, or making sure to stick with his one drinking glass is too much for him. Forget about the repeatedly washing your hands bit. No matter how much I would yell at him, NOTHING would register with him.
So I guess no surprise that I finally caught a cold from that walking, talking, germ spreading creature. Well, it was a bit of a surprise, since I don't really catch colds. Thus explaining my further annoyance with my him.
But I was good and I held it in. Just grumbled to myself, and rolled my eyes at nobody.
So there I am, at the bathroom sink, coughing and spitting up phlegm, every 5 seconds. I couldn't even brush my teeth properly, having to stop and spit out my mucus friends.
I don't remember the last time, I've been at the sink that long, just coughing crap out.
But here's the thing, somewhere between lifting my head up and retching like I had a hair ball, the third time around, I realized I was actually happy.
And not like a happy dance, kinda happy (which Amillionmilesfromeverywhere will demonstrate for me), but it was a grateful happy.
I was...am grateful for being able to cough up and spit out that phlegm. Alhumdulillah.
What the heck is wrong with me?
Plenty of things. But none that have anything to with me being grateful.
I volunteer at a children's hospital. And I meet all kinds of kids and parents.
Once I had a met a kid whose body could not break down the phlegm. I was with him, when the nurse or some other health care professional had come to interrupt our fun. I didn't know what was going on, and I'm not allowed to ask either.
As I looked at that ten year old (i think he was ten...) to say goodbye, he decided to explain to me that it was a session to help him cough up his phlegm, because his body needed help draining the mucus in his lungs.
I responded to him with an okay, not sure what else to say. Told him that maybe I'll come back and said goodbye.
That conversation had circulated in my head for about two minutes that day. Two minutes, because that's the amount of time it takes me to leave and enter the next patient's room. And then it's a whole new set of problems.
Then there was the girl I met yesterday. I didn't realize she was the same girl I had seen last week, until she told me her name. The thing was, I couldn't recognize her at all because last week she looked like a normal, healthy, really shy child. Yesterday ...well, other then her familiar eyes, I had trouble finding the same girl from last week. And once again she didn't talk much, but this time it wasn't because she was shy.
Saliva or mucus was constantly accumulating in her mouth. Constantly and at a very fast pace.
And she had a yellow bucket next to her, in which she would spit into every two minutes or so. And the once in a while she would respond to me with words, I could both see and hear the effects of the saliva or mucus filling up in her mouth.
So here I am, with working lungs, a chest that can break down and cough up my mucus, and a mouth that can handle the amount of liquid that is secreted into it. While for those 10 minutes I may have been spitting out my phlegm, I knew it was gonna get better. And even if it stayed the entire day, I knew it would be better by tomorrow Insh'Allah (God willing)
Since the time I had met that boy, the first kid I talked about, today was the only other time I had thought about him. I meet so many kids, in conditions that are much worse, it would be impossible for me to remember each kid.
But the thing is, I didn't even have to think about those kids to be grateful. It was when I was wondering why I was grateful for something so disgusting, that I remembered both those kids.
So yeah there I was coughing up phlegm and happy for being able to do it.
Did all this talk of phlegm gross you out? Haha Poor you.
P.S. Would you all stop congratulating F.U. (post below)for entering my room? It's like not it's some kind of a festival or something.