Unsuper

Dear Diary,

I am not getting sick. I am not getting sick. I am not getting sick.

Here’s the problem. Coming down with a cold would destroy the theory I’ve clung to for the past few years: that I am super-immune. Losing this belief would not only seriously damage my current worldview, but leave me with exactly zero superpowers. Because of that, I’m feeling a little vulnerable right now.

I used to get sick on a predictably regular basis. Colds or the flu every three or four months. This would have been tolerable, were it not for the inevitable ear infection. A cold which would have cleared up within a few days became a two-week ordeal involving a trip to the doctor and antibiotics.

This has been going on since I was little. Almost every family Christmas photo features the four of us kids bundled up in our coats, just having returned from the doctor. Somewhere amongst the piles of old report cards and art projects made with macaroni and glitter, my mom still has an index card with a set of my ear tubes taped to them. (Really, is there anything better than souvenirs that come from your own body?)

I remember very clearly the last time I got sick. It was four or five years ago. I had the usual cold, and the second I felt my ears starting to hurt, I called for a doctor’s appointment. I was sitting in the car at the intersection of Johnson and Broadway (in the neighborhood which Yuri swears is now called ‘NeHe’, a highly unfortunate parody of ‘SoHo’), when my right eardrum ruptured. It didn’t hurt so much as it just relieved a lot of pressure. But, still, having something pop in my head was a pretty memorable way to end my career with colds.

After that, I stopped getting sick. This was partially due to the magical steroid spray the doctor prescribed to keep my ears from filling with fluid when I caught a cold. But that’s not all. I stopped getting colds altogether. Even when Heather was at death’s door with the flu or strep, I was miraculously unaffected. That’s when I arrived at the conclusion that I had contracted super-immunity. And since I’m a big believer in the idea that if you say something over and over until people want to strangle you, it’ll be true. Done!

As I lay in bed this morning, whining about being let down by my superpower, I suspect maybe Heather felt a slight bit of satisfaction. Standing in the bedroom door right before leaving for work, she said, “Well, it’s not a very sound theory, is it?”

There’s no sympathy for a girl who never gets sick.

Jenni

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