Croup

Croup: (n) any condition of the larynx characterized by a hoarse cough and difficult breathing.

One of the more annoying aspects of writing a column or posting a blog on the Internet is what seems to be the incessant need to talk about life beginning with how it relates to yourself.

I will be honest—I don’t think I am as interesting as other folks do.

I don’t know whether this is even possible, but I have often felt I was boring myself.

But when I saw the word “croup” today, I couldn’t resist relating a piece of personal identity concerning the condition.

Up until five years of age, I was sickly.

Chubby, round-faced and ill. (Very attractive for young parents.)

Every time I caught a cold, it went into my chest and I mustered a hacking cough which eventually made it difficult to breathe. So my mother often rushed me into the bathroom, turned on all the faucets with hot water, and sat there with me in the steam, hoping my croup would clear.

It was so bad one night that the town doctor was called to come to our little bungalow.

He  felt compelled to give me a shot of adrenalin in the heart to keep me among the living.

Yet somewhere along the line—about the age of six—I began to improve. It was a good thing, because on top of my croup, I was festered with an inability to master swallowing pills, and the only real treatment for my condition were these huge, white sulfa tablets, which greatly resembled horse pills.

So yes—because I could not swallow them, I had to chew them up—two at a time, every four hours.

When the reprieve came and “croup” decided to become a part of my past, I was jubilant. Later on we discovered that because my dad was a cigarette smoker, the air quality in our little home was not conducive to my fussy lungs.

So even though I shared this story with you in candor, and the years have certainly passed, and I have proven myself to be more balanced for the human environment…

I still feel like a Willy Wonka Wimp.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Challenge

Challenge: (n) something that puts us to a test

Things that challenge me often make others snicker.

Perhaps they try to be open-minded and kind, but they find my challenges to be silly. Not wanting to be left out of the game, I turn around and find their challenges equally as dopey.

When I was five years old, the biggest challenge in my life was swallowing pills. I could not do it. Everybody thought I was mentally
retarded. (That was back when you could use that term.)

Each person I knew tried to teach me how to swallow pills, and always started out with a grin of hope and ended with a grimace of despair. I think I was fifteen years old before I conquered pill-popping.

Now, when I was fifteen, my biggest challenge was to do a forward roll in high school. My body did not want to roll over the top of its head to end up flopping on its ass. (Imagine that.)

Once again, many people tried and many people failed.

I’ve always had the challenge of losing weight. So I take the precaution–when I get that sideways glance from people obviously expressing disapproval over my magnitude–to explain to them that I am in the middle of a diet.

It makes them feel good and sometimes I actually believe it myself.

 

 

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