On the first two nights of my recent 9-day New York sojourn, I stayed at the gracious home of Alice, an old high school friend in Westchester. For dinner Saturday night she made roast chicken and petits poids (possibly--eek!--canned).
As usual, I was talking while eating. Then suddenly I was choking because I'd inhaled a pea and it was stuck in my windpipe. After much coughing and gasping, I was able to breathe somewhat freely. I joked, "Watch, that pea'll come out my nose," which was much appreciated by the two teens at the table.
I didn't know till Alice picked me up at the train station on Friday that she was hoarse and congested with a wicked virus. So I kept my distance all weekend and washed my hands frequently. When I took my leave on Sunday afternoon, Alice got a wave and her husband a hug. I fervently hoped she was correct in assuring me that she was no longer contagious. The last thing I needed was to get sick (again!) while I was in the city, especially since I was going to stay with an elderly friend.
Monday morning, I woke up tired and a bit draggy and congested; Tuesday more so; Wednesday even more. When I breathed in, I could hear a little wheeze and feel a slight rattle in my chest. Noooo! I couldn't get sick--my birthday was the next day and I had social engagements planned from breakfast thru dinner.
I got into a blasting hot shower and took big breaths of steam. Then I was overcome with paroxysms of coughing. I was sure I'd bring up a lung, or maybe my guts. Nope, just a lot of mucus...and a very small pea, which went right down the drain.
I had a happy, healthy birthday, during which I took care to (a) chew thoroughly and (b) not inhale my food.