One of the strangest experiences I have ever had while sick was the time that I came down with the flu while over at my grandparents’ house. That morning, I woke up feeling absolutely horrible. I was shivering severely, my head was pounding, and my stomach was churning violently. To put it simply, I felt horrible. Letting out a desperate moan, I summoned my grandmother to my aid. Sighing slightly, she placed a hand on my forehand. Her hand was as cold as ice! Seeing that this only added to my shivers, she removed her hand. “Well, I’ll get your grandfather in here.” As she walked away, I tried to beckon her back, but to no avail. My grandfather believed himself to be a medical genius, despite the fact that his remedies were, well, unorthodox. Some of his ideas did work, but the majority of them failed miserably. His pride and joy, however, was his cure-all, a disgusting concoction of little bits and pieces of whatever he found in the fridge, masterfully blended into a thick paste the color of mud. He always used to say that it would “cure anything, from a cold to the plague.” I once summoned the courage to ask him if he ever drank his cure-all, to which he promptly replied, “I don’t need to! I’m healthy as a horse!” Secretly, I held the belief that he was fully aware that his concoctions did nothing.
I was snapped back into reality by the arrival of my grandfather, carrying a tall glass of the signature brown liquid. “Here you go! You’ll be feeling better in no time.” I smiled weakly in an attempt to hide my doubt. “Well, what are you waiting for?” He asked, shoving the glass into my hand. “Drink up!” Continuing with my uneasy smile, I slowly sipped at the drink. My taste buds screamed in pain at the vile taste of the thick liquid. My grandfather stood over me, grinning. “How are you feeling?” He asked. He always asked that right after the first drink, a subtle way to force me to swallow. I reluctantly complied, and then I gazed up at him.
“Well, I certainly know that I’m alive.” I said weakly. He nodded, clearly pleased with the results. “But, I think I could use a little more rest.”
“Nonsense! All you need is that glass!” He gestured for me to take another drink, giving me no alternative. Entertaining the theory that the quicker I drink it, the sooner it will be over, I took a huge mouthful. In retrospect, that was a big mistake. My brain was flooded with a myriad of sensations as my tongue went into sensory overload from the foreign material. Closing my eyes, I forced my body to obey me and swallow the foul fluid. I felt the drink slide slowly down my throat, and it soon entered my stomach, which instantly began to complain about the surprise intrusion. Leaping out of bed, I dashed to the bathroom and vomited into the toilet. As I bent over the toilet, my grandfather came into the room, chuckling.
“I told you it would get you out of bed!” He said, a twinkle in his eyes.