I’ve heard tell that men are “big babies” when they are sick. I’ve heard it from several people close to me this weekend, so I’m starting to believe it must be true. Around about Wednesday afternoon of last week, that first tingle in the left nostril occurred and I sneezed. A rather healthy sneeze, but I didn’t think much of it because I was working on sanding a project at the time, my landlord was pruning the trees a few feet from me, and raking, and the wind was blowing in 40 mph gusts, causing the dirt in the yard to blow like sand in the Sahara. So I didn’t think much of it.
But later that evening, I broke out the “TheraFlu” nighttime to replace my evening coffee, and went to bed dreading what was going to happen. I was dreading it because I was to start my temporary assignment with a health supplier company as a financial analyst on Monday morning. With my calculations, I would be beyond miserable by the weekend, and pretty much unable to focus on a computer screen, sit in training class and make any kind of good impression on a future employer with my nose dripping onto the table and my eyes watering incessantly whilst I carried around a box of tissue. This was not good. The good news is that I got a call on Thursday afternoon from the temp agency saying the manager had delayed the start date until the following Monday, so that terror had been lifted from my shoulders. I might be a functioning human again by then.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but my head colds, over my lifetime, have the same exact modus operandi. They start in the left sinus, always. It must be the weaker of the two. Plug up the nose until breathing is impossible, and then spread to the left eye. The itching, dripping, and watering drive me insane. Then the chills, and the sweats, then it moves over to the right sinus the next day, same symptoms. Then both nostrils stuff up like a brick and by now the nose is red and peeling from the three boxes of Kleenex I’ve gone through. It’s Sunday morning now and I wake up half-conscious, literally whining in pain from the sinus headache, the backache and the stomach ache. My wife hears me and is now concerned. She brought it home from work after all. It was her fault.
The night before, while I was sleeping away one of the most beautiful Saturday’s we have had so far this year, is when I overheard the conversation between my wife and my daughter about how men are such babies when they are sick. In my wife’s defense, she went to work, and worked overtime all the week prior when she had similar symptoms without much of a whimper. She said it was allergies. The wind had been whipping up for a week and everything was blowing around just waiting to be inhaled. That’s what she said.
So, on Sunday morning, I woke up half conscious, whimpering like an infant. My wife rushed into the room and I finally got some much needed sympathy. I told her how I had planned to do all this stuff this weekend and now I couldn’t. Just rest, she said, telling me that she’d go to the store and get some vitamin waters and stuff to make chicken soup. Ah, chicken soup, I was going to live.
We all know that there is no cure for the common (or in my case, uncommon) cold. But warm soup, chicken or otherwise, has some symptom-relieving properties. The warm liquid, which is nutritious and easy to keep down, works on the sinuses to reduce the effects of a cold. Some studies say that chicken soup has an amino acid that is similar to a drug that aids respiratory infections. The amino acid called, cysteine, reduces mucus in the lungs. I had two bowls of my wife’s famous chicken soup and drank four bottles of vitamin water with an overdose of Vitamin C. Took four-hour doses of “TheraFlu, Severe Cold and Cough” daytime formula, and nighttime formula before bed.
I get these “uncommon” colds once or twice a year. They usually occur before an important date, like starting a job, going on vacation, a few days before Thanksgiving or Christmas, or just about any other major event. You think they might be, somehow, connected? (paraphrased from Marge Gunderson, in “Fargo,” so you have to read it in a Minnesotan accent.)
I am now, five days later, weakly able to sit in front of a computer, without a box of tissue, breathing semi-normally, and coughing every once in a while. By Monday, I’ll be in top form. Today, I’m going to work on my taxes and probably throw myself into a relapse.