Friday, 19 June 2009

And a cough cough here...

So, coughing fits.


I'm sure everyone has been through this. The moment when you're happily in the middle of public, minding your own, then all of a sudden, it happens. The kind of coughing fit that your lungs seem to squirrel away and keep for the moment you're surrounded by people, on a bus, at a party, or in the middle of a school assembly *scowls*. I don't know what causes these, and I've asked myself countless times why these coughing fits have to be in the middle of public. Although that's because you're aware you're having a coughing fit, and everyone is staring at you whilst your face goes beetroot, and you're trying to cough into your handbag/sleeve/whatever you can get your hands on. I suppose I probably do have coughing fits in the privacy of my own home, but I don't really notice them, and to be honest, I usually call them physio.

They tend to be worse in public because you try and stop it. But seriously, it could be easier to stop a speeding train than stifle the almighty coughing fit. You feel it creeping up your throat, you try and hold your breath, you have a drink of water in the hope it'll somehow stop it. But no. You cough. And cough, and cough and cough. Until everyone in the vicinity is staring at you, and you're trying to vanish through the floor.

I do tend to have a coughing fit when running. I can't run and cough at the same time, so I'll usually sit on someone's low garden wall and try and recover whatever breath is actually possible. It's always embarrassing when someone looks out their window to find out who or what is causing enough noise to rival a category 4 hurricane, or if someone is taking their dog for a walk or are getting progressively toasted in their front garden. Stare all you want buddy, I ain't gonna elaborate. The most ironic time this happened was the other week, whilst I'm attempting to grab back some lung function via forcing myself to run every evening, some guy is standing outside his front door, puffing away on a cigarette. I refrained from going up to him and telling him that if he continued to smoke, he'd be the one having coughing fits to rival mine.

It's not just running or public situations that causes your lungs to have the sudden urge to deprive you of oxygen. It's also laughing. It's probably just as well that I can't hear too well, as if I understood everything my friends say, and I laughed as much as they do, I'd never stop coughing. When you start laughing, it's only a matter of time before you're coughing, and depending on who you're with, you're greeted with a deathly silence, or people amazed at the fact you've just totally nonchalant about turning purple through coughing. However, people's responses to the laughing coughing fit don't bother me, as it's usually around people I know. Unless I'm watching a really funny thing on TV. I can actually count watching a comedy show as physio, as it shifts so much crap from my lungs to be honest.

There is also The Coughing Fit That Scares The Shit Out Of Animals And Other Living Things. That's always fun. When all of a sudden, there's nothing you can do but let it rip and it's so sudden, loud, and almost violent sounding, that birds flock from a nearby tree, a cat runs out from underneath a car, and all the dogs in the vicinity have began to howl. It would be funny, but unfortunately this is also the type of coughing fit that causes everyone to once again look in your direction whilst you try and pretend nothing out of the ordinary has happened.

No, what does bother me is when the public coughing fit - the one that sneaks up before you get a chance to escape - causes people to say a bunch of unhelpful stuff. This can range from 'Ooh, that's a nasty cough you have there' (Really, I hadn't noticed...!) to 'You should cut down on the cigarettes'. That comment makes me want to hurt the person who said it. But there's also the third one. The old woman who insists on forcing some sort of sweet down your throat, because apparently, a black jack, or a bonbon holds the almighty mystery of a cure for knackered lungs. I am tempted to explain to people what it is. I figure, hell, I'm never going to see them again and it'll at least stop them thinking I'm a child chain smoker. But I don't. I just avoid eye contact and leave the person who commented without their explanation, and probably thinking I'm a bit rude.

Well, fuck it. When you cure knackered lungs, or at least CF, then you'll get your reply to your insanely rude, yet offhand comment.

1 comment: said...

I hear ya on the coughing fit after laughing. I'll laugh at something and then start dry heaving if I'm coughing too much. The great thing about that is the person actually doesn't know wether I liked their joke or hated it!


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