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Upper respiratory logistics - Denese Rodgers

I got caught this year.

That nasty crud that snags a few folks every year, jumped on me with a vengeance.

Our busiest season commenced, and I started off with laryngitis. I've always thought that laryngitis was a form of punishment designed specifically for me, because there is not much worse for me than having to be quiet.

I began to remember how it felt to be benched in basketball, because I was banned from all the large-group activities. As a social creature, that was absolute torture.

Then, the nastiness progressed on into my chest, and then I had a full-fledged head cold. I couldn't breathe at night, and couldn't taste by day. Every phone conversation started off with: "Denese? Is that you? You sound awful."

Believe me, I sounded better than I felt.

Fortunately, the weather held off for a while, so at least I wasn't ill -- and wet. There ought to be a new adjective that encompasses those two qualities: something like "il-ew-eto" or "soakdnsad."

And I noticed that I suddenly had a complete inability to keep my cold "hidden." I don't like to appear like a weak, whiny female. It was an indignity to tote around copious amounts of cold remedies and tissues.

I felt like a lab rat from all the miracle drugs I was using to expedite the path of this ick.

When we were trying to film "Perspective" last week, I had an absolute overwhelming urge to cough, just often enough to interrupt the show and break everyone's train of thought.

I don't know how on earth my minister manages to keep her concentration. Have you ever listened to how many people cough during church on Sunday morning? Maybe, they teach the clergy how to ignore coughing and throat clearing.

Another frustration was from packaging. First of all, cold remedies are packed to withstand weapons of mass destruction.

After finding my bifocals, to read the instructions on how to use the medicine, I would then have to mount a ground assault to get inside the packaging.

Child-proof, my eye. Those packages were meant to sustain a half-life.

And then there's the lozenges. I just wanted to give my poor throat a little relief. I remembered that when I was younger, we had about two kinds of cough drops. One was the nifty one with the vapors, and the other tasted like old people's aftershave.

Now, there is a staggering variety that includes "citrus immersion," "winterfresh blast," and "soothing herb flavors." The one thing that they all have in common is that they all come in noisy wrappers. I haven't figured out why, but they all make a heckuva racket when you're trying to discreetly open one and get it into your mouth surreptitiously. Pffft! It's less work just to drink orange juice and get well.

Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social-services, networking, community organization in Henry County.