I’ve been fighting “the creeping crud” for a few days. I guess it’s a chest cold, but a lot of it seems to be in my head.  When I stand or sit, gravity is my friend. The crud creeps downward. But when I recline, as for a nap or to spend the night, things congeal in ways that lead to coughing, deep coughing.

Decongestants have helped, what my kids learned to call “orange medicine” in the daytime and “green medicine” at night. But a dose wears off after 4 hours. Last night I resorted to the couch, not as something to swallow, but as an alternative sleeping venue.  I’d drifted off at about 10:30 in bed, but awoke unable to breathe well soon after 2 AM. Standing got things moved around (gravity being my friend) and another dose of green stuff helped me breathe, but then the coughing started. By 3 I gave up, grabbed my pillow and an extra blanket and went down to the couch, where an hour later I managed to get to sleep again and stay that way until 7.

couch in Tainan

Sleeping on the couch was not uncommon for me in Taiwan, but the couch there, though a bit ratty after 20 years of use, was a bit longer and wider than what we currently enjoy. I’d been exiled to the “downstairs sleeping quarters” occasionally for reasons like deep snoring or redolent flatulence. But now in retirement, with a different couch upon which I’d not yet spent a night, I had a new experience. It’s more confining than the one in Taiwan, and December is colder here than in Tainan. The local version of the creeping crud is also harder to deal with. 

But, having slumbered on this one, though, I’m ready to try napping here eventually. But I’ll wait ‘til the weather gets warmer, and until the crud isn’t at me. 

David Alexander now resides in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan.

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