Thursday, March 26, 2009

Black Mermaid™ Round-Up 2

Apologies for our slackness in posting over the last week. Jozef's been struck down by whooping cough and I've been galavanting up on the Gold Coast in Queensland for five days doing Internet training and having a touch of R & R in the form of breakfast at the Sheraton and a window shopping spree (the only thing I bought was a Boost juice) at Pacific Fair which is located at – wait for it! – Mermaid Waters. Then had an unexpected day trip to Canberra (our fair nation's capital city) where I travelled down with my friend the brilliant and hilarious Sue Hudson, an Aboriginal archaeologist to research some Aboriginal artifacts at the National Museum of Australia. I have not FaceBooked or Twittered for over a week now.

But getting back to Jozef who deserves at least three paragraphs of this blog post to compensate for his suffering – the whooping cough has completely laid him out for over a fortnight and it sounds horrendous. He describes his illness as a deep  cough that continues until he runs out of air. When his lungs try to suck in some oxygen they feel like deflated paperbags. His chest, intercostal and abdominal muscles seize up in pain and when the hack and the whoop in the cough finish, then his throat constricts and he can't open the airway. He then starts to panic because his nose is also blocked and the only air he can manage to gulp into his body via his mouth goes straight into his stomach. Then slowly he relaxes and gets to breathe again but usually it's very wheezy. He then releases one or two huge burps of air from his bloated belly.

This sequence of events which happened multiple times per day, wiped him out completely. He kept to his bed and slept a lot to escape the onslaught but the cough just woke him up. The other thing he did was lay supine on the sofa watching DVDs for the entire day, and deliberately didn't move from one position to another in case he brought on another paroxysm of coughing. He ended up watching the entire six seasons of Six Feet Under, which perhaps would not have been my television series of choice. Being ill puts you in a suggestible state and your better option is feel-good comedy – laughing hastens the healing process. As it was, Six Feet Under caused him to become a little paranoid and extremely cautious about what he was doing. When he watched an opening sequence where a woman living by herself choked to death on a morsel of food only to have her puffy decomposing  body found two weeks later, he began to wonder whether life would imitate art. (Note to Jozef – it's not going to happen – your family, friends and I are in daily telephone contact with you so it would have taken us 24-48 hours at the most to find your dead body if you had keeled over.) Black comedy, folks, in case you took me as being an unsympathetic example of humanity there for a minute.

But in all seriousness he did have one close call when he was standing in the shower and had a coughing fit. He couldn't get a breath and grabbed hold of the bar in the bathtub because he started to see stars and felt like he was going to faint. It would have been quite easy to crack his skull on the edge of the bathtub. He ended up sitting down until his breathing returned to some semblence on normal.

The good news is that by tomorrow Jozef will no longer be medically deemed to be infectious, which works out well because he will be circulating around Supanova Melbourne in his capacity as ASA Comics/Graphic Novels Portfolio Holder.

For obvious reasons, all work on Elf~Fin has stopped for this time period but Jozef did produce some gorgeous banner ads for us and for some of our readers who have requested them for their websites in order to create backlinks to our website or blog. We'll upload them for you in another of today's blogposts.

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