The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Vicki Sternfeld-Rossi
the Times 

The uncommon cold


February 27, 2020

Currently I live alone. That will change March 1, when Daniel moves here, but right now, I have no one to whine to, except my dog. Sorry, but I am using you (whoever reads this), as my "shoulder to whine on." I'm sick, it's just the common cold, but it's uncommon for me. I'm the one who takes care of everyone else and deflects any germs that venture into my space. I'm an active person who unfortunately is also a klutz, I get injured, not sick. Broken bones, sprains, strains, tennis balls to the eyeball, hit in the hip by a Chevy Tahoe during my morning run, cuts, scrapes, bad falls, and the list goes on. However, I don't get colds, flu (even without flu shots), bronchitis, or other common ailments, until now.

I was born long before the childhood disease vaccinations were around, so I did go through the series of mumps, chicken pox, measles, and even a bout with pneumonia. But, as an adult, I don't remember taking a sick day from work or school, for something I didn't fake (exam avoidance).

Last Sunday, waiting to board the 5 a.m. flight out of Walla WaIla Airport, I felt my throat getting a little scratchy, and I was craving a cup of tea. Signs of impending illness? By the time I landed in L.A., I was congested, coughing and couldn't hear a thing. But, I'm tough, within two hours I hit the tennis courts with friends, and never stopped. Client meetings, doctors, lunches, dinners. I finally relented and bought Dayquil and NyQuil, blew my nose and hoped my friends didn't evict me and send me to a hotel.

Now home with the cold settled in, I am trying (in vain), to keep sucking on cough drops for the hacking cough. I can't figure out how I can have a stuffed nose, yet it keeps running at the same time. That seems like an oxymoron to me. I know conventional wisdom says you should drink fluids and rest. Now, that creates another conflict. The more liquids I drink or eat, the more I run to the bathroom, so when do I get the rest?

I'm not in Los Angeles anymore, so I can't just call the local deli to deliver a container of chicken noodle soup. The only soup I have in my house right now is boxed Roasted Pepper Tomato soup. All it took was one spoonful, the acid from the tomatoes hit, it was like slurping Draino.

I am tough, I'm not a complainer. About eighteen months ago, I went through six months of chemo. I was lucky, it was a mild dose and I continued my work, running, tennis, kept my hair and lifestyle. The thing is, there were some drugs prescribed that would help deal with nausea if I needed them and steroids would help if I became exhausted, but I didn't need any. The common cold, no such luck!

How is it possible, we put men on moon, rovers on mars, motherboards are smaller than thumbtacks, yet, I'm still hacking, stuffed up and now have a bloody nose from so much blowing, and all from the common cold!

Intellectually, I know a cold is a virus, and will run its course. But, as I've mentioned before, patience is not one of my virtues, and now after four days of hacking, blowing and ear popping, I'm done! Truly, I'm grateful it's just a cold, I know there are worse possibilities. But I just needed one "feel sorry for myself" day, because when Daniel arrives toughness will be required, and no sick days allowed.

Conclusion: during cold season keep chicken soup handy. It's still the most soothing for the body and soul!


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