Sky contagion


This won’t get posted until after I’m home, but as I write this, I’m flying home from our trip.  It was great.  Germany was fun, but hard on the liver & waistline.  Paris was – well – Paris.  Wonderful.  And the cafes, stores and streets were full of people.  Viva la Paris!

But now I’m hoping I don’t spend the holidays in the hospital.

I’m pretty sure this flight is actually one of those mercy flights.  France is sending it’s sickest people to the CDC in Atlanta to be tested and treated for multiple unknown viral conditions.  That has to be the explanation.

I’ve never heard more coughing and sneezing in my life.  Seriously.


And it’s just not coughing.  It’s COUGHING.  There’s some guy two rows up who has been “juicy” coughing/sneezing for the past three hours.  He’s the worst, but by far not the only one.  It’s a veritable cacophony of respiratory expectorant.

And from the sounds of it, they’re just letting it fly.  No hankies (do people use these anymore?) or tissues or even coughing/sneezing into their jacket.  Double yuck.

The juicy guy just started hacking again.  I expect a hairball any minute.

Small enclosed space.  Recycled air.  Dehydrated nasal passages.  There’s a book in Vegas as to when AGMA starts hitting the Nyquil.

On the positive side, I am blessed with the rarest of rare treats in modern aviation.  I have – hold on to your biscuits  – a row, an entire row, to myself.  All by my lonesome.  Just me.

No passive aggressive fights over the arm rest.  No balancing act to keep you food tray from upending when the guy in the window seat wants to use the toilet.  No derrière encroachment on my seat.  Three seats that are all mine.  My own little AGMA fiefdom.  All hail Queen AGMA!

This is not an random accident. “Airplane seat” musical chairs is a favorite activity before I fly.  I’ve been know to change my seat several times in the months and weeks leading up to a fight.  The ultimate goal is always a solo row.  It rarely happens.

I changed our seats on this flight right before online check-in and hit the jackpot. Bazinga!

My hub and I both like aisle seats on long flights so we always have our own turf.  But he’s one of those freaks of nature who can sleep most anywhere under any conditions.  Screaming children, juicy coughers, teeth rattling turbulence, people sitting on either side of him in Economy being passive aggressive with the arm rest.  ZZZzzzz…

I’d give him the stink eye, but he’s asleep.

But I stretched out over my row, MY three empty seats, and actually took a nap earlier.  And right now I’m sitting with my back against the window, propped up by three fluffy airplane pillows, a rolled up down jacket and a squishy neck pillow. My legs stretched out over three empty seats.  While this may be an oxymoron considering the state of comfort on airplanes for the average Joe, I’m extremely comfortable.  And happy.  Except for all the coughing.

Bonus – we’re flying Air France.  That means champagne is on the beverage cart.  And decent wine.  And brandy with your coffee.  And yummy rolls, a beautiful cold veggie salad, a huge hunk of Camembert and a very chocolaty fudgey brownie.  It’s probably the best food you’ll find on this side of budget economy.

And the flight attendants are really nice too.  They gave me a second brownie.

Ick. The juicy guy is at it again.  I hold my breath when he coughs.  Yeah, that’ll work…

I’ve already sneezed six times and have coughed a few times in my sleeve.

But my son, DIL and the most adorable grandson in the world are coming to visit this weekend.   We’re having an early Christmas dinner this Saturday for eight.  I need to get ready for that.  And I need to get the tree and house decorated.  And make sure the little critter has plenty of toys and books to keep him busy for the grand total of 48 hours he’ll be at our house.

So tomorrow, I’m going to stock up on vitamin C, Umcka cold care, elderberry syrup, and start neti-potting.  I have an AGMA Christmas to put on – there’s no getting sick allowed.  Das is verboten.

I’m holding out hope that all the alcohol still swirling around in my system will kill the germs.

Where’s that beverage cart?

Sneezy’s Little Secret


WARNING: Men, turn away.  Contains TMI.  Trust me on this…

In high school, I was in a short one-act play called “The Stoop”. Three old women sat on an apartment building stoop talking. Actually, only two talked; one just stared off in the distance.  I never quite figured that out.

I was one of the women who talked.  During the conversation, the other character I was speaking with would occasionally say something funny.  My character would laugh, then get a strange look on her face and say, “I think I peed a little.”  The audience always laughed after I said that line.  I was delighted.

Oh, life’s cruel irony!

If that rising sense of dread in you is screaming, “STOP READING!”, you guessed it…  This post is peeing when you don’t want to.

In women, one of the “side effects” of having the hormonal spigots turned off at menopause is the weakening of pelvic muscles. The result – a drip and a drab here and there.  Menopause isn’t the only thing that will cause this, but it’s the most common one for women of a certain age.  Delightful.

Y’all, I live in the South in the USA.  Here, there’s an abundance of beautiful flora along with drenching late spring/early summer rains. Then there’s the excessive heat and humidity of summer.  Oh – and more rain in the fall when the tree and bush leaves litter the ground. Between all of the different kinds of pollen along with the inevitable mold caused by a humid climate and dead organic matter, frequent sneezing is pretty much a given most of the year.

This is my nemesis.

Because I believe the Internet holds the key to the infinite mysteries of the universe, I typed “postmenopausal unrinary incontinence” in Yahoo. (Yeah – I use Yahoo. Call me a rebel… )  I needed to find out how to stop it.  Evidently estrogen replacement therapy can help.  I already do bioidentical hormone replacement.  I started to get worried.

Then I read about an old friend I hadn’t thought of for years… The Kegel!  As a pregnant woman years ago, The Kegel and I had a thing going.  Times have change don’t you know – you can now buy pelvic toning “devices” to help you do your Kegels properly.  I don’t think so…  I’d be worried whatever I got would get lost in there and I’d never find it again.  Like the tic tacs in my purse.

So now I’m doing The Kegel again.  When I remember.  Which is not very often.  I can tell this is going to take some work.  Things just aren’t as young as they used to be.  And then there’s gravity.

In the meantime, I needed a stop-gap solution.  It was time for a field trip.

It’s been many years since I strolled down the “Feminine Hygiene” aisle of my local drugstore.  I have to admit I was downright sad about some things I was leaving behind when I entered my new, postmenopausal season of life.  Shopping in the feminine hygiene products aisle was not one of them.  Bub-bye.

An aside…  I hate the term “Feminine Hygiene.”  It’s the word “hygiene” that gets in my craw.  Harkens back to the dark ages when a women was banished and sent to forage in the desert once a month because she was considered “unclean.”  I hear requiring women to do that again might get added to the Texas GOP party platform this year…

Anyway, on my field trip I found out that us Boomers have our own little section in Feminine Hygiene!  It’s not labeled “for ladies who leak a mite”, but you can tell…  Delightfully scented, attractively packaged, discrete products that will take away the concern of sneezing suddenly.  Perfect!

Of course I bought some.  Temporary solution until The Kegel works it’s magic, right?  I’ll keep telling myself that…

Aging gracefully my ass.