I generally have a strong constitution. I donít get sick easily, with two notable exceptions: I am extremely prone to motion sickness, and I frequently have bouts of the "sick-ofs" which are, of course, pretty severe when they occur.

"I am so sick of coming home to this messy house!" a wife will say. Or a husband will note, "I am sick of you nagging at me about this house!" and so forth.

My infections of the sick-ofs tend to lean toward things like the weather. "I am sick of winter," I say, a sure symptomatic reaction to the disease. Worse-case scenarios, often requiring repeated rounds of medical treatment, include, "I am sick of everything!" These cases, while rare, often lead to the related malady, the "donít give a durns" when the "sick of everything" part just gets overwhelming.

Iím also extremely prone to motion sickness. Have been all my life, and medication helps a little but not much. I rarely ride with another person in a vehicle because thatís almost guaranteed to send my stomach into somersaults. About one percent of the time, even driving myself makes me ill, though I canít exactly determine what the factors are that do so.

But besides those two exceptions, I donít get your basic sick often. The typical bugs that go around donít usually get me, but when they do, man, they have to be Paul Bunyan bugs to do so. People believe that when I start whining about being sick Iím just being a bigÖwell, whiner, I guess. They donít realize that it takes a lumberjack-sized bacteria with a big blue ox sized attitude to get me, a contagion that would have brought a lesser man to his knees long before I even uttered the syllable, "Ugh." That is the best word for being sick: Ugh. It says so much about every nuance you are feeling, every achy muscle, every churning muscle, throbbing head, stuffy nose and wheezing exhalation of breath, can all be summed up in the word "Ugh." I use it with great care, but freely, when ill.

So Saturday, long about 1 a.m. in the morning, I woke from a dead sleep and immediately knew that the Godzilla of all infectious bugs had latched onto me. I spent the rest of the weekend fighting off this bug and though I will spare you the sordid details, letís just say I was a pitiful specimen during that time.

It was mostly in the tummy. Patches did her best to console me by nuzzling, certain that I was not feeling well, but when Patches starts to nuzzling she tends to escalate into tumbling, rolling all over me and purring loudly. She made several tumbles across my tummy and I had definitely had enough of that.

I also couldnít get warm. Iíd be sitting there on my sofa or in my chair, feeling miserable, when all of a sudden Iíd be wracked by these trembling, quaking shudders, freezing to death, and have to rush to the bathroom mirror to see if icicles had formed on my eye lashes.

At some point I managed to get to the store and bought a 20-pack of Nyquil and a two-liter bottle of Pepto-Bismol, which helped a little and I got some sleep, anyway. By Sunday I was feeling about 60 percent human again, which was pretty good, since even in the best of times I seldom reach 80, 85 percent anyway. I went to work Monday, and had to make a run to New Iberia that afternoon, from which I didnít return until right at dusk.

Just as I was leaving New Iberia, I started feeling hot. It was raining and the temperature outside was probably about 50 degrees, but I was burning up. It got so bad I was rushing through rain with the windows down, clawing at my shirt because I was suffocating. I also felt ill in the tummy, headache, dizzy and clammy. It was literally the longest trip home from New Iberia I have ever made in my life.

The night was miserable, and I called in sick Tuesday, spent the day recuperating and wondering absently if there was a new Indian policy in the making that we hadnít heard of. Rather than small pox blankets, I figured, they were sending me some other infectious plague in the envelopes that come from the IRS. Figures, not a medicine man in the neighborhood, either.

Iím finally feeling much better, thank you very much. Until the next King Kong virus comes along and slaps me down. Or they start sending contagions via the fly fishing supplies I order. Can you put microbes from the black plague in a fly line? The world may never know.