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Sick of Being Sick (DSO) - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Sick of Being Sick (DSO)
I went to the DSO tonight, and it was a very nice concert. At least, the second two pieces were. The first one, the Copland, I missed most of due to a sudden coughing fit.

There is nothing worse than coughing during the middle of a classical music concert! It's the essence of impropriety. It can ruin all of your neighbors' enjoyment of the music. I came prepared though, with kleenex, 2 kinds of cough drops, plus a bottle of water. I'd taken a decongestant and 2 advil right before I left. I haven't been coughing a whole lot, mostly it's all been in my sinuses and ear, so I figured I'd be fine.

Alas, it was not to be. Shortly into the first piece, I felt a dreaded "throat tickle". I coughed once, trying to be rid of it. No luck, so one additional cough as I fumbled for my cough drops. I could feel the tickle taking over my throat. I frantically held the coughing in, as I fumbled with the cap on the bottle of water, trying to take a sip. Of course when you try to hold a cough in, try to keep it quiet, this just makes your need to cough ten times worse. At this point it was too late: my throat muscles had started making convulsive coughing motions, trying to struggle their way out of my mouth, and I couldn't even swallow.

I was covering my mouth, holding the coughs in, trying to be polite and stay quiet. But I was far past the Point of No Return, and it was clear that nothing but a loud prolonged hacking fit would make this go away. "I gotta go," I was barely able to whisper to my sister, who was with me. One hand covering my mouth, my face getting red, I gestured with my other hand to the girls seated to my right, trying to indicate my need to pass.

They eventually figured out what I needed and stood up. I stumbled down the stairs, holding my bag, heading for the nearest exit sign I could see. My throat was spasmming, trying to begin its very disruptive coughing fit. I somehow contained it: I had my hand over my mouth, and I could feel my face turning beet red while my eyes started watering. I was no longer capable of speech.

An Usher met me as I stumbled to the bottom of the stairs, looking for the exit. "Do you need help?", she softly asked me, grasping my elbow. I shook my head, gesturing to the exit. Another one silently pinwheeled her arms pointing me which direction to go. I started that direction, and more Ushers swarmed around, holding my elbows, waving coughdrops, and then they...well... I guess they ushered me out the door.

The door to the hall closed, and finally I could let loose the coughs that and been building and building in there! Ah, sweet relief. They pointed me to a water fountain, but I wasn't yet ready to drink or speak. I slumped on a window sill and hacked my lungs out, until that darn tickle was thoroughly gone. It took awhile, since I'd held it in so long. When I was through, my eyes were watering, my nose was running, my voice was raspy, and I still had to pause for several more coughs. A lovely sight to behold, I'm sure.

One of the nice ushers came by to make sure I was okay, and make conversation. Unfortunately since I'd just briefly destroyed my voice, keeping up my end was difficult. Also, all this chest and sinus excitement had fuzzed my brain, and I wasn't thinking very linearly.

He had given me a cough drop. I showed him how I had two different kinds here in my bag! "I tried to come prepared," I mourned. We discussed the advantages of the various cough drops. (His tasted like orange soda, I later discovered. Quite nice!) I told him that I hadn't been coughing that badly all day, and I don't know where the sudden fit came from.

He tried to tell me about something that had happened on the main floor last week, but I'm not sure if he finished the story or not. I got confused partway though. He asked me if I was sick, and I said I had a sinus infection. Then he said it was a good thing I wasn't feeling well, or he would make fun of me for... at the point I coughed, blew my nose, or just spaced out perhaps, because I don't know why he wanted to make fun of me. Like I said: my brain was all fuzzy. (I spent the rest of the concert occasionally wondering what he would have teased me about, had I not been ill.)

Then he told me that in the Hill Auditorium they have big bins of cough drops sitting out for people to take. This triggered a memory, and I said, "YOU used to have those, didn't you?" I looked around. "Not here, maybe on the main floor? Or by the bar?" He looked unconvinced, but he acknowledged that perhaps they'd done that awhile ago.

It wasn't until after the concert that I remembered: it was on my trip to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where I'd seen the bowls of cough drops. I wanted to go back and tell him, but he was surrounded by people, busily ushering them along.

It took me the rest of the Copland piece to truly recompose myself after that mess. I blew my nose several times, coughed several more times, Wiped the tears from my eyes. Finally drank a few times from the water fountain. Then I felt like my throat was still shaky, but nearly steady enough to try again. I told him, "I'm going in!" He sent me upstairs, so I could walk just a few steps down instead of a lot of steps up.

The elderly upstairs Usher was also very nice. "Are you feeling better?", he asked me, grasping my arm, and I could tell he really cared to know. I reassured him and thanked him, then he led me securely to my seat.

I made it through the next two pieces without further incident, although I made certain I always had a cough drop in my mouth and a water by my hand. Luckily the next two pieces were excellent, especially the guest cellist for the Brahms, which I enjoyed very much. At least I didn't miss the good stuff.

The last piece, the Rachmaninoff, was also good. I was pleased to noticed that the guest cellist had decided to join the orchestra for the one as well, just sitting in the back, turning pages for one of the usual DSO members. Kinda cool. I can just picture him saying excitedly, hands clasped together, "Oooh, you're doing Rachmaninoff? Can I play??"

All in all, a good concert, despite the initial excitement. I wore my schoolgirl boots and skirt, which everyone liked.
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Comments
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renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 20th, 2004 07:46 am (UTC) (Link)
heh, thanks....isn't that the worst feeling?

Oy, I hate it when people are inconsiderate, and just sit there hacking away, disrupting the whole concert.

When I saw "Take Me Out" on Broadway, the guy sitting right behind me answered his cell phone during the play! He'd set it to silent, but then I heard him say softly, "I'm busy right now. I'll call you back in an hour." I turned around to see him holding the phone. Isn't that what voice mail is for?? Worst yet, it was at a really poingnant moment of the play, when there was complete shocked silence in the theater. Really a shame.
netmouse From: netmouse Date: March 20th, 2004 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
sounds like we have the same cold. Yesterday I actually came home from work early because I couldn't control the coughing. As I told my boss, I felt fine, but I couldn't say three sentences without starting to cough. And like you say, the longer and harder you try to avoid it, the worse it can be. It was embarassing to have to break off wrapping something for a customer and duck into the office/bathroom for a coughing fit. I kept having sneezing fits, also.

After I came home I pretty successfully laid on the couch and slept, and had a fairly cough-free evening, but when I tried to go to bed, that awful throat tickle came back. I eventually took some robitussin and thenceforth whenever I woke up feeling like I wanted to cough, I sat right up and blew my nose. I feel fairly rested, but it certainly wasn't a solid night's sleep.

hope you feel better soon.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 20th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Yuck, that's a bummer. I hate that feeling! I hope we both get better quickly!
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: March 20th, 2004 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Tell that cold it has less than a week to go away!

What top did you wear with the skirt and boots?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 20th, 2004 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I know!!

Black with white cuffs.
drteeth26 From: drteeth26 Date: March 20th, 2004 08:02 am (UTC) (Link)
THANK YOU!

I'm glad you had common sense to leave when you felt that cough coming on. As far as cell phones at the theatre...well, of course, I always put mine on silent, but when I saw CATS in NY (the last time) I heard cell phones going off TWICE: once during the solo dance (with the infamous Leg Lift) in the first act, and a second time during "The Moments of Happiness" (the first song in the second act). I, of course, didn't do anything except get cheesed off about it.

I heard though, that one time, at "Les Miserables, someone NOT ONLY called their mother on a cell phone, but HELD IT UP so she could hear the music! Sheesh...
renniekins From: renniekins Date: March 22nd, 2004 08:05 am (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome! (: I hate when people don't turn off their cell phones. Sometimes it's hard to remember, but these days they usually announce a reminder before the show anyway. So there should be no excuse.
drteeth26 From: drteeth26 Date: March 22nd, 2004 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, the WORST was one night at CATS (the day before I saw the show on Bway for the last time). Some people (the word "rubes" would be too kind to them) decided to bring their 2-year-old to the show, and the little kid was making noise, prompting the childless couple behind them to confront them (causing a fight in the middle of the show). On the same night, people kept yelling "FREEBIRD!" during the solo dance and making derogatory remarks towards the female dancer.

It must've been "Bring a Hick To The Theatre Night"...either that or they had nothing better to do since the roller derby arena was condemned...
operatic From: operatic Date: March 23rd, 2004 11:50 am (UTC) (Link)

I heard though, that one time, at "Les Miserables, someone NOT ONLY called their mother on a cell phone, but HELD IT UP so she could hear the music! Sheesh...

*nod* My wife recounts tales of seeing people at Savannah [Ga.] Symphony concerts doing that: "Guess where I am? *holds phone up and out*"

GRR!
fachless From: fachless Date: March 27th, 2004 09:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Been there, done that

Since this post is DAYS and DAYS old, glad the upper part of you is feeling better...as I hope your knee will soon.

My 'rents were at that concert as well. They told me with such...pride, I guess, that the cellist had sat in the back of the section for the Rach.

I snorted and said that there was probably some other reason, other than he wanted to give it a whirl. I can just see his management slapping the DSO with a big bill for services rendered. Classical musicians are NOT known for their generosity. Not that I can blame them.

If I had a nickle for every time someone said "sing something" I could build myself a lovely vacation home somewhere exotic. I mean, really, do you meet some person who is a plummer and say "Really? Plum something for me." No. I guess medical doctors suffer from the same thing...perpetually on call. It makes one feel like a trick pony after a while.

Anyway, wouldn't be lovely to think that he just LOVED that piece and wanted the opportunity to play it with out any ulterior motive? I guess I can control my sinicism long enough to go along with that idea. I haven't seen anything on ASOL about it yet...just the violins in Germany that expect to get paid more than the rest of the musicians because they play more notes than anyone.

Honestly, it's things like that are going to make my eyes get stuck up in my head from rolling them so often.
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