the stages of a winter cold

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Somewhere on that knife-edge between the seasons, where they
overlap ever-so slightly and set you a little off-balance, lives a colony of
evil little germs. They lie in wait, poised and ready to leap on your hair and
burrow into your skin as you pass from one month to the next, and they crawl
into your blood stream and race around to your lungs and scale your esophagus
and take up residence in your face and your head and your entire life until you
are a mess, a mass, massacred by the worst cold ever in the history of colds,
because that is what happens when the seasons change. And that’s my theory why,
too.

Possibly it’s not scientific. Probably, in fact. But even
science, my friend and long-time object of my admiration, does not help me in
those early few hours and days of an oncoming cold, when I feel the illness
creeping through me slowly, unstoppably, inevitably and bringing with it an
unhappy ending. There’s a point at which you know that no matter how many
vitamins you take or half gallons of OJ you chug, no matter how much tea you
desperately quaff or how politely you appeal to a higher power, there is no
getting out of it.



Then the depression sets in, the sense of inevitable, futilely
fought fate, the gloomy despair, the sense that this, here, is the end. The
nadir, from which there is no return. The rubber band has snapped, and there is
no springing back. You will never be well and never be happy and never feel
sunshine on your face, not ever again, and really what is the point of living
when everything tastes vaguely like a potato and your entire head is stuffed
with cotton candy? There is no point! Just let me die quietly, here, alone in
the dark! Leave my NyQuil on the table and get out! Don’t look at me, I’m an
animal!

And then, you die. At least, that’s what I’m assuming
happens. At this point, I’m okay with that. I am still at the early stages, but
those later, snotty, sniffly, achy, miserable stages? They’re coming. And oh, I
will welcome the sweet embrace of death.

  5 comments for “the stages of a winter cold

  1. Rene
    November 7, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    I have been battling my cold for a little over 3 weeks. It refuses to go away. And it keeps morphing focusing on one particular symptom then another, then another. I hate it! I hear if you realize your on the brink of a cold that zicam helps- but only the nasal swabs. I’ve used them in the past and I felt that they really worked. However, this time I was in denial. Who me? Get sick? Nooooo…. and now here I am… 3 weeks later… BLEAH. I hope that your cold does not hang around as long! I hope that you feel immensely better as soon as possible!

  2. November 8, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I am right there with you. I woke up yesterday, something was amiss. And last night was my high school reunion, so I couldn’t just run home and die.

    And here I am, shrinking from my former self. I am zicam-ing and tea-ing and tylenol cold-ing and whatever. Still feel like ass. And with no idea how low I might sink.

    Sucks.

  3. November 8, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    For the past month or so I’ve been fighting off some horrible sickness. Faucet nose, cough, sore throat, etc. The last time I tried Zicam I ended up having Mono. I don’t blame the Zicam, but I have yet to try it again since then. A week ago I sucked it up and went to the doctor for actual anti-biotics. She said I had strep. I still have the cough, but it’s more like a hairball than anything in my lungs. I’m annoyed. I want this all to go away. I’m done with the sick.

  4. M.
    November 10, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Cold-Eeze. Herbal flavor. They give me a bit of gas and I have to go to the bathroom a lot, but for me 4 days of that outweighs being sick for 7+. Follow the directions on the box; one every 4 hours.

    Take one in a hot steamy shower and it works better… or maybe that’s just in my head.

    Oh, and they don’t work for everyone. Not sure why. But they’re the magic bullet for me.

  5. Gracie
    November 10, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    My sympathies to everyone with a cold . . .I’m on day two of snorting, sneezing and sudafeding myself in order to stay awake at (crazy busy) work. We’re heading into summer here in the southern hemisphere which makes is almost more depressing; I thought I’d finally escaped the cold/flu season but NOOOOO!

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