love in the time of rhinovirus

Every day last week I woke up with a sore throat and a feeling of doom. The sore throat prodrome before a cold is one of my very least favorite sensations in life, as it foretells an even sorer throat and then the misery of the cold itself. However, each day I would go to work and come home feeling more or less fine. Then I’d wake up the next day with the same foreboding soreness.

Yesterday my body finally mounted a reasonable facsimile of an immune response, and I began with the coughing and the sneezing. It was quite mild and I took some cold medicine only to avoid sliming my clients at work. I went to bed and fell asleep without incident. When I woke up, I discovered that my nose had become congested to the point of being useless as an oxygen transmission device, so for the greater good, my mouth had assumed breathing duty all night. Since I sleep on my stomach, this means my open jaw was mashed into the pillow at a certain angle and had gotten stiff by the time I woke up. This is nothing unusual for me, and in fact my jaw occasionally gets locked in the mornings such that I have to massage it a bit to make it open all the way. This morning, however, it really got stuck and has remained so all day. I can talk, and I can eat most foods (sandwich yes, apple no!), but despite all my rubbing and wiggling I cannot get my damned jaw to open all the way.

This is one of those stupid health problems that causes minor discomfort and moderate annoyance, and yet offers no collateral benefits. I am not sick enough to demand that Jared make me dinner or to stay home from work. I’m also not well enough that I can eat a banana out of the peel like nature intended instead of breaking off a piece with my fingers and mashing it through the half-inch of space I can create between my upper and lower teeth. I’ll probably be right as rain by tomorrow if I leave my poor jaw alone and stick to soft foods that I can gum into a bolus instead of crunchy, chewy fare. There is some risk that tonight’s runny nose will lead to yet another pillow-eating situation that will only exacerbate my problem, but alas. This is by far the stupidest thing that has happened to me this week, which is no small feat to accomplish.

3 thoughts on “love in the time of rhinovirus

  1. Update: The next day, my jaw still won’t open. It did for a moment this morning, but then it locked up again. This is getting less and less cool.

  2. Still stuck. I have started myself on a regimen of ibuprofen (to reduce any swelling) and stretches but fear that this is going to be a pretty long-term thing.

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