Accepting the Microbes I Cannot Change

After 27 years, you’d think I could recognize the symptoms of getting a cold. My throat feels like I swallowed razor blades. “Maybe my bedroom is too dry.” I can’t stop clearing my throat like an old man in Target. “I must not have had enough water today.” My nose and ears are more congested than an LA highway. “It must be allergies. Wait…do I even have allergies?” No, you fool. You have a cold. Again. And it’s the exact same symptoms as the million other colds you had before this one.

So why do I always immediately jump to denial even though I know full well it’s a cold? “Nope. I’m not sick…nope! I’ll be fine!” I won’t be fine. I’ll be drowning in an ocean of used tissues in about 6 hours.

Once you accept you have a cold, you accept the perilous journey that will also involve being an outcast. People will hate you for the next 7-14 days. You’re coughing up a lung and sniffling every 2 seconds. Tell someone it’s allergies and they feel bad for you. Tell someone you have a cold, and be prepared to get salty looks. “I didn’t ask for this! Just leave me alone. But wait…can you get me a Gatorade? Then leave me alone!”

You can scan Pinterest for hours in hopes of finding some organic Martha Stewart witchcraft but trust me, nothing will cure a cold. Just give it time, and allow yourself to rest. I mean it. Take a solid day or two to hibernate. No emails, no yoga, no LinkedIn, no laundry. Order some General Tso’s (extra spicy), find where you left off in Peaky Blinders on Netflix, and wallow in your sickly glory as a wave of NyQuil/Theraflu induced slumber falls over you.

My Department of Cold Defense:

  • 3 Mucusteers: Sudafed PE + Musinex DM + Hall’s Honey
  • Tissues. All the tissues. Buy them in bulk.
  • Popsicles of any flavor are worth their weight in diamonds.
  • Tea. I usually drink more tea than a British royal but when I have a cold, the Windsors can’t even compete.
  • Netty Pot. It may traumatize you but get over it. This is a lifesaver after blowing your nose a million times has left you with a raw nose redder than Rudolph’s.
  • Humidifier. If you have lived in an apartment you know the heat settings are either off or broil. When that happens, your body dries up like a treasure hunter in The Mummy. Not great. Keep the air moist (ew.) and it will help your sinuses drain better (yum).
  • Seltzer. It hurts so much to drink but feels way better after (kinda like a deep tissue massage for your plague ridden throat).

So when you have a cold, admit it, deal with it, and get over it. See you *sniff* in a week.

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