Sunday, February 17, 2008

Malicious software

Having a cold is almost a bonding experience. The snot bonds to the nostrils, the phlegm to the lungs. But also, the universality of the experience tends to garner pity and suggestions. Everyone's had a cold. No one is immune. Well that's not entirely true actually. As I understand it, there are a hundred or so distinct strains of the cold virus, and you can only "catch" each one once. Thereafter, one is immune to that particular strain. It's why young children seem to have perpetual colds and old people rarely get them. Perhaps one can influence the severity of the event with healthy habits and immune system building supplements. But one can not avoid catching it. The body, when faced with a new intruder, must learn how to vanquish it, and no vitamin can teach it that. I'll use an analogy of learning to ride a bike. You can't learn it from books or from tutoring, you've got to do it and fall down a few times before you learn. Then you never forget. That's how it is with the immune system and each variety of cold virus.

If I had to put this one on a scale, it's about a 7. Bad, but it's not going to finish with pneumonia. (my desk, being made of wood, has just been knocked) I camped out on the couch all day yesterday and read, dozed and watched movies. Drank at least 2 gallons of water. I could feel how the virus, more clever than my body, slipped into primordial sockets, trying to hide out and get an upper hand. Who gave this virus a key to my body? I felt my body discover the intruder and ferret it out from its hiding place. Then the virus, on the run, scurried up out of my lungs and throat and regrouped in my nasal cavity. About three o'clock I felt the shift, and the snot spigot turned on.

Spouse took care of me. He made soup. He tucked the blanket around me as I shivered on the sofa. He kept telling me to take cough medicine which I don't believe in. My experience with medicines targeted to colds is that they don't make you feel better, they just alter the kind of bad you feel. A distraction really. And they make my scalp tingle and my brain swirl, so I avoid them. Rest, liquids and hourly pep talks to oneself is really all one can do. So that's what I'm doing. I hope y'all are having a better weekend that I. Peace.


Anonymous said...

I think y'all are doing everything right concerning the cold. Nyquil wil help you sleep and get much needed rest at night but you're right it may make you feel groggy in the morning.
When Drysdale found out Granny Clampett had a cure for the common cold dollar signs flashed in his eyes only to have his hopes dashed as Jed said, "Yep, after taking her medcine, in two or three weeks you'll be good as new". I hope Serge doesn't catch it next. We've all been there and the slinging snot is not pretty. Eat more soup and bundle up real well when going outside to burn one. Ed

RJ March said...

Hmmm. cold makes you write real good.

Write more and feel better soon.

Lemuel said...

FWIW: The only cough medicines that I use are those that are "expectorants". They don't prevent you from coughing (that's the body's natural way of getting the crap out), but help to loosen the crap so that it comes out more easily.

Keep up with the fluids! Stay warm!

That'll be another $60. LOL!

CoffeeDog said...

I don't believe in all those remedies either, but I will take something if it'll relieve the congestion and allow me to breathe again. That, and I sorta like swirly brain, so that's always a plus :-)

Lacey said...

I am totally down with the swirly brain, also.

christopherc said...

Tawny Port is the only cold med that makes any sense... and it makes you feel better!!

RoxRocks said...

The only thing I ever take is the odd Neo Citran before bed. Just to help sleep.

If the spigot of snot is working, then it sounds like things are nice and loose. You'll be finer than frog hair soon!

I remember that episode of the Beverly Hillbillies too. Jed said the cure, Granny's Tonic, will work in seven to ten days. Where does Ed blog?! I'm a fan.

Suntard said...

If your nose is just running and hasn't completely clogged up yet, now would be the time to do a Nasal Irrigation. I did it with my last cold about a month ago and it worked wonders! I'm swearin' by it now.

Like you though, I completely don't believe in vitamins or cold remedies to solve the problem and am completeley incensed by people who actually run to the doctor for antibiotics which DON'T CURE A COLD and only serve to increase the mutation of superviruses that become immune to those antibiotics. Grrr....sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine.

Java said...

I like your example of how the body learns to defend itself against a new virus.

Last time I got sick I felt it progress very quickly. I was fine at 7am and by 11am I felt like death warmed over. (I like that phrase, too.)

Hope you feel better soon.

David said...

Swirly brain? Yeah, NyQuil gives me odd dreams, but it does get me through the night

Hope you feel better, Torn.

Polt said...

Im coming up on the end of the second week fighting this bug I have. The bright side is, the worst part was over in the 4, 5 days. Since then, it's been a head fulla snot, and lungs fulla phlegm. Lovely.

Cough meds make your scaly tingly? Geez, I don't even get that from using dandruff shampoos, lucky you. :)

Liquids, tylenol and plenty of rest sweetie, that's all you can do. Good luck.