coughing hysteria.

3 Dec
I’ve had a cold for the past week.  This isn’t new.  I’ve lived with it.  I’ve chugged cold medicine and gone through boxes of kleenexes.  I thought I was beginning to feel better.
Then Sunday morning happened.  I was fine.  Just fine.  [Or as Monica would say when she is sick, I’m find.  Chandler responds, When you say fine with a D, you’re not FIND.]  My voice was a little nasal but that’s it.  I wasn’t really coughing.  I was good.
Until the reading of the gospel, which, luckily, was an all-together reading for this particular Sunday.  The congregation continued reading while I got the most giant coughing fit ever.  I couldn’t stop.  They keep reading Psalm 96 while I ran into the sacristry where I remembered seeing mint candies.  Something to suck on would help calm the coughing, I thought.  
I thought wrong.  The children’s sermon time was horrible.  I finally, into the microphone, had to ask that someone get me some water.  A bottle of water came up the aisle, along with a partially opened cough drop from the depths of some old lady’s purse.  I ate it.  There was no time for Halloween candy ethics [if it’s open, throw it away]; that cough drop helped me survive the rest of the church service.
I still coughed a lot.  And made the congregation answer a question to one another at the beginning of the sermon just so I could blow my nose.  It was terrible miserable and I’m so embarrassed by it all.  But what else was I to do?  I had no associate to take over, and just wasn’t sure what my next move should be besides hacking up a lung into my elbow cough pocket while serving communion.  [Just kidding.  By communion time, I was mostly okay.]
I went out with a group of eight older church ladies later that afternoon.  We went to see the production of White Christmas at the local college and then out to Culver’s.  We addressed my coughing fit and they told me I handled it very well.  You’re human, one woman told me.  True story.

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