Warning – I am reliably informed that some of my descriptions can be considered by some people to be less than tasteful, and by others to be utterly disgusting. I’m a microbiologist, have been for a long time, and have worked with so many revolting things that a mere noseblow is of no more than sticky interest. Sometimes I fail to see the problem.
Today I blew a lump out of my right sinuses that was, I think, worth suffering three days of total knackery just to get rid of. I have not breathed this easily for a long time. Cold weather plays havoc with my sinuses, my right side bungs up so often and so badly that I hear my voice echoing in my head. This is due to an accumulation of inhaled dust and particulates, and no, I do not believe smoking is involved at all. It forms a hard mass which is really difficult to dislodge until a heavy cold fills my face with fluid. This makes the hard mass into a gel and if you catch it just right, it shoots out like a plasticine bullet.
Every cloud has a silver lining it seems. Three days of feeling like absolute crap did at least clear that accumulated mass I knew was building in there but could not remove.
My head is clearing, my sleep patterns are random (came home from work at 6:30 and went straight to bed but I’m off tomorrow so can re-adjust) and the world is coming slowly back into focus. I have Lochlan tonight – I still have the Ben Bracken from when the cold started but I’ll stick to the cheaper stuff until I have all my taste buds back online. No sense wasting them.
One point of rage (coincidentally just before blowing out the lump) came when I had to buy a pack of ten cigarettes on the way to work. Oh, I have plenty of leaf but had no strength or drive to shred and stuff it. I thought, the hell with it, I’ll just get a pack of ten. Just this once.
Four pounds. Four! That’s eight shillings per fag, and those were the cheap ones! You could buy a car for that when I was a kid. Needless to say, I have forced myself to shred baccy tonight.
It’s probably not an exaggeration. My first car was a MkII Cortina in around 1978, I paid £75 and it wasn’t worth it. So in the sixties, a tatty banger for a fiver would not have been impossible. It is indeed very likely that you could have bought a fully fiunctional, if battered, vehicle in the sixties for less than the price of a pack of cigarettes now. In another twenty years I bet you could say the same about houses.
Anyway, the sand I’ve been thinking through is draining away, I no longer cough like a dog with croup and I am no longer losing all the water in my body through my nose. My chest still feels like every interstitial muscle has been explored by a rogue midnight surgeon trying out his new rib separators but that will fade.
It’s interesting to observe the effects of this three day cold now that it’s nearly over. Wednesday was a day of unusually harsh cough but I didn’t see what came next until Thursday when it hit with full force. Friday was less hellish than Thursday, and Saturday, although I felt drained all day, wasn’t really as bad as the days before. Now, at nearly 3 am Sunday, I am almost fully recovered. Some spontaneous sneezes but the croup-cough is pretty much gone and the nose is breathing just fine. Yet there were time in the last three days when I just wanted to lie down and sleep. Now it’s clearing I’m wondering what I was so bothered about.
Dealing with a cold, I think, involves 1) not letting it win. Keep doing stuff. You’ll do it slower and you can’t concentrate on details but keep moving. Once the cold gets you on the ground, you’re stuffed.
2) Stay hydrated. The amount of water coming out in the sweats and from your nose can be alarming. Keep putting more in. Unusually for me, I do not recommend whisky as a rehydration method. Beer is better.
3) Sleep a lot. With extra covers on the bed. The cold will give you chills in the early hours. Keep warm and add extra hours to your sleep times. Don’t follow the ridiculous orthodoxy of ‘I must go to bed at 10 pm’ or whatever. If you are shattered at 6pm, as I was this evening, go to bed.
4) Eat. You won’t feel like it. Eat anyway. I found those little 3-minute microwave pizzas very useful here. Not too much at one time but you can have them lots of times. It doesn’t matter what the food tastes like because you can’t taste it anyway. Just get something in there. Cheap crap will do just fine.
Okay. Nearly back to normal here, or as near as I’m ever likely to get.
Beware, whisky suppliers. I am back!