Monday, August 14, 2006

from the past 10 Cauac 12 Yaxkin
I keep thinking about something that happened to me a long time ago.
Most of my life, I've had a recurring cough from approximately October-May every year.
When I was in middle school, I had a really bad winter one year. My cough was outrageous. My mom would send me off to school with a bottle of OTC cough syrup. She stopped buying the expensive prescription ones with codeine--they would knock me out so I wouldn't wake up when I coughed but they didn't stop the coughing!
For whatever reason, the staff of the school decided one day that I could not have my cough medicine. They confiscated it. The end result was predictable--I had increasingly worse coughing fits throughout the day. I was allowed every 4 hours to have one small spoonful given by the nurse (the directions on the bottle) instead of a swig between classes (even today, that's what I do with my Nyquil and Dayquil--just swig it when I need it).
One particular day there was an assembly of some type. I don't remember what it was. I sat in the back coughing helplessly. I was hauled out into the hallway and reprimanded for being deliberately disruptive and made to stand in the hall with the other troublemakers (spitball throwers, etc. ) and miss whatever the program was. I continued to cough--and because I was in the hallway it echoed and was even louder.
I was dragged to the principal's office, where I sat there and coughed. They called my mother to come and get me--yes I was sent home, as punishment, for "deliberately disruptive coughing."
My mother came storming in. I'm sure she had to leave work for this BS which really would have pissed her off. "Where's her cough medicine? I gave her a whole bottle to bring to school."
They responded, "We confiscated it. It's not allowed."
Logically, my mother asked, "you called me here to get her why?"
"She won't stop coughing. She disrupted the whole auditorium and ruined the program for everyone. "
"Where is her cough medicine?"
"She's not allowed to have it."
My mother, like me, doesn't like to take shit. She said, "Let me see if I understand. My daughter is coughing. I know it. It's not contagious. It's chronic. I sent her to school with cough medicine, which helps her to cough less. You took that away. Now you are punishing her for coughing."
I don't remember if she called them idiots to their faces or waited until we got out to the car.
And I don't know why this event is lingering so much in my mind for the past few days.

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