Is This You? A cold in threes
My theory of a cold is this: three days coming, three days here and three days going. I’ve been living this theory for as long as I can remember. Well, for as long as it has been since I made it up which is probably about 40 years. But it seems to be somewhat true. This is how it goes:
You wake up one morning, or in the middle of the night or even from a quick nap and your throat is kind of scratchy and dry. You swallow, feel pain, think it’s because your mouth is all dry and sticky even though you don’t snore or sleep with your mouth open! But you swallow and you can taste it. That taste of sick, that stale bread and bad popcorn taste and your ears might pop as you swallow. Yep, here comes a cold. Somewhere, somehow, someone breathed on you and your body opened up the gates to your nose and in came the cold virus. Swell.
There are maybe three ways to go here.
1.) You can try to shake it off, get up, take a hot shower, try to pretend you feel that as you walk your feet aren’t starting to sink into quicksand. Pretend when you look in the mirror your eyes don’t look like what my mother would call “two pee holes in the snow.” Yes, she colorfully got right to the point.
2.) You can let the cold overtake you and you fall into bed like a wet noodle and slither under the covers hoping the next time you wake up it was all a dream.
3.) You can do what most adults do — just live with it!
Just living with it needs to have a plan of action to take during the next three days which aren’t the worst three days and then the next three days which are going to be the worst three days and then the last three days that drag by like they’re three weeks long. So the first three days …
Gather supplies. When you’re sick, you get to be sick. That entails having the expensive orange juice, the one you usually only get during the holidays when your Great Aunt Sadie is visiting. You also get to buy the softest tissues, with aloe on them, even though they can’t be used to clean your glasses because they smear. During your sick time you get to drink really great tea from a box that doesn’t have 250 bags in it for $3.50. You also should get the remote. But there may be some blow back from that as you should be in bed, not in the living room spreading your germs from you to every surface you touch.
Supplies laid in, your cold develops into a full-blown cold (get it? Cold, nose, blown). The second three days you don’t care about the orange juice. You never want another cup of tea because you’re exhausted from getting up every 15 minutes to get rid of that stupid tea! And of course you have decided that even though you get, like, 578 channels, there’s nothing on television worth watching.
This sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? Well, your nose is now as red as a cherry tomato and your pajamas need to be changed — really, change your pajamas after a few days, please! You have just about decided you’re going to the doctor because you know a shot in the rear end and some “real” medicine, not the stuff from over the counter, is the only thing that will save you. But you know it’s true a cold won’t respond to antibiotics. Really, that’s true — no matter what your Great Aunt Sadie has told you in the past. But just as you feel you’ll call and see if you can get in to see a medical professional, something happens.
It’s day six and a half. You’re moving into the last three days and you feel a tiny bit better. You’re a tiny bit hungry. Not a double cheeseburger hungry, but maybe a tuna sandwich hungry, with a pickle. You take a bite and, low and behold, you can taste it! Ta-da!
Moving into the last three days of this cold you’re not out of the woods yet. You still have to go through the dry stuffiness stage. You can still feel “it” in your nose, but you can’t coax it out with any amount of blowing. Your sinuses are dry, you’re coughing and hacking and just can’t get that desired full breath of air. Then, as a last parting shot, a final “see ya ’round buddy.”
What do you do to get back in your groove? I dance around the house to ’60s music because it’s day 10!
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Really!