>"How are you?" my dad asked me when I spoke to him on the phone earlier.
"Ugh, I'm sick again," I said, coughing and sputtering.
"Oh, do you have a cold?"
"Probably, but my lungs hurt when I cough, and my boss has bronchitis, so who knows?"
"What?" I pictured my dad anxiously running his hand through his thinning hair. "It hurts when you cough? You could have pneumonia! Go see a doctor right away for a chest x-ray!"
This is the type of response I'd expect from my mom (who, incidentally, also told me to see a doctor when I mentioned that I was sick and my boss had bronchitis), but not my dad. My mom is a hypochondriac. She worried that my sister was exposed to mercury a few months before she became pregnant (it's a boy, by the way!) when a long-lasting light bulb broke at my parents' house about a week before my not pregnant at the time sister came to visit them. Usually my dad is calmer about health issues.
"I don't have pneumonia," I told him. Although on Sunday night when I was freezing and wearing 8 layers of clothes and had two blankets and barely warmed up, I worried that I had pneumonia. (I'm a lot like my mom.)
"Remember when I had pneumonia?" I was maybe five or six at the time. "It hurt when I coughed, and I ignored it, and then I was on bed rest for a month. Go see a doctor."
I do remember when my dad had pneumonia. I remember him eating a bowl of ice cream while sitting in the living room, watching TV. I remember getting "pneumonia" and "spumoni" confused, although they don't really sound alike. Spumoni was my favorite ice cream when I was growing up (I still like it a lot), even though it was not often available at the grocery store. When I thought that my dad had spumoni, I was intrigued. How could I get me some of that? I wondered. However, it turns out that pneumonia is not nearly as good as spumoni.