Whitney White Ashley

For the last month, I’ve battled a cold I am certain was spawned from the depths of somewhere dark and hateful. The doctor said he has seen a lot of what I have contracted and it has taken most of his patients about six weeks to kick the bug.

It’s a pesky little cough that is caused by inflammation in my lungs, except there is nothing productive about my coughing fits, if you know what I mean.

Since I make a living by talking to people, this little cough of mine has already proven to be quite a challenging partner as I try to make my way through interviews.

Already irritated by the notion that this will take six weeks to clear up, I awoke one morning and discovered that my shoulder hurt and it got worse every time I coughed. Again, the doctor said there wasn’t much he could do and to try to cope by taking Tylenol until the coughing finally subsided.

OK. I used to be in the Army, I gave birth to two children, I can handle a little pain, no big deal.

Then on Monday, as I’m driving to work, I heard a pop in my rib cage while I was coughing. Then, sharp pains anytime I moved, breathed, or coughed. Still driving down the road, I grabbed my phone and texted someone I know with experience in pain and injuries.

“How do u kno if u’ve cracked a rib?” I ask in text lingo.

“Sharp pain and difficult to breath. Y?” he responds.

“Can u do anything abt it?” I ask.

“Nope. How’d u crack a rib?” he asked.

While I know it is possible, I didn’t feel like I had coughed that hard and I wasn’t ready to surrender my “bring on the pain” mentality. But I had to admit that I was really hurting.

I finally get to the office and choked down an Aleve, completely convinced it would do nothing. And it didn’t. But knowing there wasn’t anything I could do, I set about my daily routine instead of retreating home to lick my wounds. After all, football players get these kinds of injuries all the time and you don’t see them complaining. Surely, I can handle a day in the office.

By the end of the day, I was so fed up with being sick and being in pain that I resolved to never get sick again. In fact, I made it my New Year’s resolution.

What the heck, resolutions are impossible for me to keep anyway so I might as well start out knowing I don’t have a chance.

I can’t do the usual resolution things: I don’t smoke, so I can’t resolve to quit; I don’t really need to lose weight, although I could stand to be in better shape.

So, my New Year’s resolution is to never admit I could have cracked a rib by coughing. If anyone asks, it happened during my family’s annual flag football tournament (which doesn’t exist). My second resolution is to never get sick again.

See you next year.