Being a transplant patient and being sick is quiet the dramatic event. For 90% of the transplant population it becomes an exercise in pill popping, but for me it is more about continual perfection of my ability to become a drama queen. Sadly, I am at the age of my life that my mother no longer falls for the drama and all she does is tell me to “suck it up and rest”. So, I have to rely on my friends to satisfy my need for attention.
My mother, Susan, was one of those moms who believed in old wives tales that eating the crust on the sandwich makes your hair shiny and carrots improve your eye site. So, of course my mother was a believer in Mentholatum. My mother believed that Mentholatum cured any ailment unseen that lurked inside the human body. If there was a sniffle or a cough before you could cry out “mom, I am sick” she was smearing half of the can of Mentholatum on you. Oh, how my mother could smear it! Half of her hand would be covered with this combination of grease and smelly stuff when she would rub it on my chest, throat, shove it up my nose and then rub it all over my upper lip. I am still astounded that there was anything left in the can because at least half of it was in my hair by the time this exercise was done. She would follow that up with a glass of orange juice (with pulp) which tasted wonderfully (sarcasm) with the Mentholatum. The last thing that mixed with this culinary delight of flavors is Robitussin. Tussin is a cure for anything! Rub a little Tussin on your broken arm and it will instantly heal before your eyes. Pink eye? Tussin in your cure! So, of course, head congestion and a cough is nothing for Robitussin to handle! I am almost sure that if my mother would have had the chance to she would have just washed my old liver in Robitussin and been convinced that the tumors would have strunk before her eyes.
While I am not sure I believe that Tussin and Mentholatum is the cure all that Susan believed it was, I do know that to this day my grilled cheeses don’t taste as good as when mom made them for me. I miss sleeping in my parents bed when I was sick. I am pretty sure that it takes about 3 times longer for me to get well than it did in my childhood because I am no longer living with my mom. I will survive this illness, but being sick is just not what it use to be in my childhood. To mom, thanks for the bad combination of Mentholatum and OJ! I miss it!