Friday, November 8, 2013

Wintertime Flu Equals Wintertime Blues

So many times in my early years I was my own worst enemy.  I don't know if I didn't develop common sense early on or if I just didn't care about mundane things like dressing properly.  The year was 1969 and the winter had been a brutal one.  I was so excited when my mother told me I could go to a concert.  I probably should rephrase that because I know I would have found a way to go whether she had said yes or not.  Let's say that I was excited because my mother had given me the money to buy my ticket. 

During Christmas vacation the temperatures had dipped below zero and those were the days before a wind chill was factored into the temperature.  All I know is that when it gets that cold, it hurts to breathe and ice forms on your eyebrows, eyelashes and nose hairs if you remain outside for more than a few minutes.  The best rule of thumb is to remain inside when it's that cold, but I chose to go downtown to purchase my ticket for the James Taylor/Carole King concert while it was 25 below zero dressed in thin cotton pants and a jean jacket.  Walking to downtown wasn't too bad because I was walking with the wind.  I really didn't notice how strong it was until I left Viner's Music Store after purchasing my ticket.  The wind immediately went right through me and  chilled me to the bone.  I had to stop in every other store along Main Street to get warm. 

Between the last store and my house was about a ten minute walk if you're hoofing it right along and not lollygagging.  By the time I got home I was just about frozen, but I had tickets in hand for my first concert.  That's all that mattered until I open the kitchen door and went inside!   That first burst of heat that met my chilled skin caused me to have a headache so severe I had to go lay down.  I fell asleep for awhile and when I awoke I was running a fever.   I don't know what the incubation period is for getting the flu, but the Hong Kong Flu had run rampant the last two winters and that's what my family doctor said I had. As my flu symptoms worsened, I got sicker.  Strep throat and laryngitis to go along with the Hong Kong Flu was a miserable way to spend the remainder of my Christmas vacation and to launch into 1970.    Thank goodness the concert wasn't until February.  I had plenty of time to recuperate or so I thought.

4 comments:

  1. The only time I can remember having comparable temps was in Jan 1994 here, when Louisville was paralyzed by more than 2 ft of snow, and then the temp dropped to 20 below. Normally 30 is about as cold as we get, if that.

    Hong Kong Flu sounds terrifying.

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    1. Yeah, it was and I was pretty sick. There's more to that story I'll write next.

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  2. Fashion before function was the key phrase in our younger days, we would stand at the bus stop in a raging blizzard with our coats flying open...it looked cool.

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