Sunday, September 24, 2006

Breathing Easily

Invisible Friends, you've all been there. It's amazing how you take things forgranted until they are no longer available. Take for instance, breathing. We all breathe, every day. Unless we're hooked up to an oxygen machine or crushed under a car, it's not really something we have to think about. Or for instance, being able to talk. Even babies and Siamese cats can talk. It's nothing really, just the vibrations of vocal cords.

Try telling the Playground Demons that.

The Playground Demons are nasty little critters. Malicious and elusive, they infect, destroy and bring down innocent bystander's health in a few days. Known as Pollen, Ragweed, and Dust, these three demons can make simple tasks such as breathing impossible. They float around, disguised by sunbeams and pretty falling leaves. As masters of disguise, they paint a harmless picture. To the untrained eye, this day is simply a pleasant late summer day. The sun is shining, the breeze is cool, the children are playing quietly. They have no idea the Playground Demons are about to strike.

Hiding as yellow dust on leaves, they hop on to the breeze. They ride the breeze until they reach the air around your head, where they invade your nose. Sneaking through your nose hairs like cheetahs through a field, they climb steathily until they reach your sinuses. T here- they strike. The Demons penetrate all barriers so their friends, Sinus Infections, Colds, and Viruses can follow.

As the Playground Demons set up camp in your sinuses, your white cells freak out. Your nose suddenly becomes engorged with snot, as to flush the Demons out. As the Demons make their voyage down your throat, into the Land of the Lungs, your throat fights back. It paints itself red for the battle, and hurts as it battles the descending Demons. The battle also creates a permanant itch which causes you to cough repetitively, for no apparent reason.

Your pleasant afternoon has now become a world of fear. You scramble inside quickly, but it's too late. The damage is done. For the next few days, you will be a mess of snot-oozing nose, scratchy and painful throat and random coughs that last fifteen minutes. All the drugs in the world can not cure you of your ailment. Instead, they keep you from driving to the doctor, as you are prone to fall into comas every few minutes.

After a few days, it seems all is lost. The battle is almost over. Until the saviors arrive- cough drops! Suddenly, you can talk. Y our voice regains a volume louder than a whisper. Your nose begins to drain snot at a rapid rate until you can finally breathe. And that first breath- that first joyous breath that reaches deep into your lungs is a sweet relief. The Playground Demons have been defeated.

But be warned- they will return. The Playground Demons lurk everywhere- the backyard, the parking lot, and the pumpkin patch. They may not be here today, or perhaps even tomorrow. Be wary, dear Invisible Friends- for no nose is safe from now on.