How NOT to stop a sneeze

So this week has been fun. All sarcasm intended there. But I won’t get into all of its glory. Yes, this is me trying not to go all “Albertson” and make this story unnecessarily long. – Dad, I love you, but you have to know you have passed down your ability to make any story into something that could rival The Odyssey.


So it’s Monday. I have just battled may way through 5 dozen stop lights and managed to make it to work on time. Win! It’s the little victories, really. Silly me, there’s a lesson here: don’t let a good start fool you, we’re walking on quicksand people. Quicksand.

I get one cup of coffee down and my chest hurts. Not the “oh my God, I’m having a heart attack” hurt, but rather the “huh. this sucks, I never get heart burn” kind of hurt.

An hour later, it hasn’t gone away. I trade my coffee for water, shed a tear, chew a tums, and put on my big girl face.

Fast forward to 9PM. My chest still hurts. 14 hours and a pack of prescription antacid later, I have ruled out heartburn. I must have pinched or pulled something. I glance at Easton. How much does my little chunk weigh now?! No worries, I’m sure I’ll wake up and be good as new.

And then I got horizontal. So much for my big girl face. HOLY MOTHER OF BATMAN, I’M DYING!

I can’t begin to describe the intensity of this pain, except that it’s pulsing up my left side from below my breast to my collar bone. Oh, and I can hardly breathe. Must be dying. Christian, you’re in luck, I’ve already named you as my beneficiary. Tell Easton I love him. And with that, I close my eyes, convinced of imminent death.

Okay. Maybe I’m being a tad dramatic here, not that anyone ever accused me of being dramatic.

I admit, I don’t actually think I am dying, but I am in some serious pain. By 4am I have resigned to call my doctor and get in first thing.

By 5am I have decided to just show up at the doctor’s office at 8am.

By 6:30am I decide to be rational and call the doctor first. I’ve survived the night, I can last another couple hours.

1 X-Ray and 3 hours of waiting later, and I learn I have Pleurisy. Basically, the lining of my left lung was irritated with me and thought I should be reprimanded. Maybe my lung needs to take a lesson from fifty and his twitchy palm. Ha! Sorry, I get sidetracked. Anyways, every time I inhale, my angry lung rubs against my chest wall and results in the feeling of being stabbed.

Hey, I’m not dying (win!)

I do as I’m told (it IS possible) and take all the meds as soon as I get home. You can handle this Kelly, just don’t take a deep breath. Or yawn. Or cough. Or laugh. Or for the love of all things holy, sneeze.

Ah, wishful thinking. I’m a sneezer. I have inherited another trait from my dad (clearly I have failed at a concise story, sorry – I tried) and that is something he also got from his dad…sneezing fits. Anyone who was ever around Pappy, or has been around my dad knows exactly what I mean. While I have not quite reached their caliber of 30+ sneezes, I have been known to hit the 8-10 mark. Ask my poor co-workers.

The remainder of the week was spent focusing more time and brain cells on trying to stop a sneeze than any person should ever devote to this cause. Alas, I have no good answer because even if the sneeze doesn’t come then, it will still be lurking in there somewhere. So, take my personal experience and learn from it oh, young one.

How NOT to stop a sneeze

  • pinching your nose
  • blowing your nose
  • looking at a bright light
  • looking up….or any direction, really. none of them work.
  • drinking water. not only is this unsuccessful, it’s just messy.


After that last one (and yes, I actually did that) I decide that maybe if I didn’t try to stop it, just let it out in all of it’s glory, that would be it. I could hurt for a moment and be done with it. Silly me. You can’t trick a sneeze. Trix are for kids.


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