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November 20th, 2017

Insight

Sick of Being Sick

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published Dec. 9, 2016

 Sick of Being Sick

I've been suffering with a cold or flu or whatever the hell this thing is for just about a month now and I'm sick of it.

If you tell me that I have a lot to be thankful for and that I should count my blessings because there are so many in this world who are worse off than I am, I will tell you to mind your own business.

I know there are people who are much sicker than I am. Of course I'm thankful that I'm not debilitated with an incurable disease or a life-changing injury and my heart goes out to those who are. But that doesn't alter the fact that my nose is so stuffed up that I've forgotten what food taste like or that I get exhausted and short of breath just drinking a glass of water. Water of all things!

True, having a cold is not high on the human misery scale but that doesn't mean it isn't frustrating, especially when it goes on day after day, week after week. The simple fact that I'm devoting an entire article to having a bad cold should tell you just how irritating this whole ordeal has been. Oh, wait. I'll be right back. ....

Sorry about that, I had to go blow my nose (for all the good it did me. Remember the good old days when if you blew your nose it actually helped? Now I blow and blow and nothing happens. It doesn't do any good. The same with coughing.) Now, where was I? Oh yes, I remember, I was wallowing in self-pity.

According to the Mayo Clinic web site, there's no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics are of no use against cold viruses they say, and shouldn't be used unless there's a bacterial infection. Treatment is directed at relieving signs and symptoms. The old doctor's advice to "take two aspirin, drink plenty of fluids, and rest" is still about all anyone can do.

When I was a kid back in the Stone Age, a cold lasted for about two or three days, now I get a cold for a month. This is what you call progress. If science hasn't found a cure for the common cold in all this time, how can I take them seriously on Global Warming? Here's the thing, first work on keeping my sinus passages clear, then worry about the rising tides in Antarctica.

My wife has been doing her best to care for me in my testy, sick, disgusting condition. She makes me soup, hot tea with honey, and rubs my chest with Vicks VapoRub. She listens to my complaints and does what she can to make me comfortable. She sees to it that I eat correctly and that I am taking my medicines.

I've taken DayQuil, NyQuil, Mucinex, Advil, aspirin, and Tylenol. I've used Airborne and Cold Eeze. I've put Boroleum up my nose. I wear warm pajamas and slippers. I've gotten plenty of rest.

And I'm still sick.

I've read that the common cold is the oldest human disease, going back to at least ancient Egyptian times. Its symptoms and treatment are described in the Egyptian Ebers papyrus, the oldest existing medical text, written before the 16th century BCE. Who cares. All I know is I feel lousy and that's all.

I assume one of these days I will be all better. One of these days I'll wake up and my cold will be gone. I will be able to breathe through my nose again. I will be able to taste food again. I will have my energy back. No more useless nose blowing and hacking cough.

One of these days I will feel like a new man, which would make my wife deliriously happy. It'll happen one of these days. After all, no cold lasts forever. Does it?

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