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My couch, my companion

My week started with returning from a serene four-day respite on Lake Keowee in South Carolina, then continued with me running a temperature of 102.9 degrees.

I was dizzy with a persistent headache. Every joint in my body hurt. There was what felt like a cramp running from the front of my left shoulder all the way down my back.

I had to drink water like it was going out of style just to keep up with all the moisture I was losing in sweat.

I don’t get sick very often. I don’t really get the “common cold” or the flu or the grossness-du-jour that might be going around. But, when I do get sick, it’s as though my body releases some wicked pent up physiological chaos that’s been lying dormant, awaiting the moment to unleash its fury.

So, for the first time in my professional career I took a sick day. And then I retreated to my living room couch. It’s just you’re typical brown leather couch (technically, it’s a sofa), but it became my safe harbor.

I propped my pillow up against one armrest and stretched myself down the length of the couch. From there I could curl up and sleep, or sit up to take yet another dose of ibuprofen, or even sit up straight and eat an apple (which, I’m told, if eaten daily keeps doctors away).

The couch also spared my bedroom, and my wife by extension, by taking the brunt of whatever grubby little germs were in orbit around my racked body. It silently took the abuse of very-small scale chemical warfare.

And the couch offered auditorium seating for entertainment – anything to take my mind off the heat radiating from my body, the sweat coming from my pores, and the dull ache around my head. I watched Hatfields & McCoys – all of it – there upon my couch, and figured it far better that I have a fever today than in 1880. They just didn’t have 500-count bottles of ibuprofen and half-gallon cartons of pulp-free orange juice all that readily available back then, you see.

Twenty-four hours passed by and I was on the mend. I rose, alive to tackle another day. So, in the end, I guess this is an ode. An ode to my couch, my companion in time of need.

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