Phlegm

Un-Phlegmatic Plasma

Thick, viscous and secreted, medieval medicine once believed it to be one of the four bodily humors. I don’t even want to know what the other three were, but today it is no laughing matter, what with it coating both my mucous membranes and respiratory passages with its thick gelatinous goo. Produced in excessive and abnormal quantities, it comes in colors bright and pleasant, like green and yellow iridescent, sometimes flecked with red. TMI? Just wait, there’s more.

Inspiration for this post occurred this morning, while I was blowing my nose. In addition to producing some of this not quite liquid, but neither entirely solid substance, I also produced a somewhat painful under pressure within my ears. This novel situation took some time to right itself, until when with a loud pop equilibrium was once again restored. It felt like I had blown my brains out, only they had gotten stuck halfway out and were trying to get back inside my head. I was more careful the next time and first cried out in warning, “thar she blows.”

Wiki has a confusing and somewhat convoluted differentiation between phlegm, mucus and sputum, but I love its description of the stuff as juicy secretions. It almost sounds positively scrumptious. It goes on to say that phlegm is composed of high-molecular weight glycoproteins, viruses, bacteria, other debris, flotsam and jetsam, sloughed-off inflammatory cells and impure thoughts. Tell me that it’s snot true. While proofing this post, Anne suggested that I shorten it to just a photo, because its title alone is enough, but I can’t agree with my muse, cause I feel the need to share it all, with everyone. Group hug?

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