Monday, October 8, 2012


Cold #327

Carolyn J. Rose

When I woke up this morning, I had the weighted-down feeling that signals either it’s time to start a diet or I’m coming down with a cold. My head was clogged and my throat was sore, so I went with choice number two.

 By the time I got to the kitchen (estimated distance: 20 feet), the first sneeze rocked me back on my heels and I made a lunge for the box of tissues on top of the refrigerator. (You may think that’s an odd spot but, trust me, not a day passes that I don’t grab for that box after peeling onions, chopping jalapenos, grinding pepper, or running the duster across the blades of the ceiling fan. Okay, I admit, I haven’t done that last bit for months, but it has happened.)

A cup of scalding coffee made my throat feel marginally better and being upright took care of some of the head clog so, still sneezing, I headed for my office to do a little research.

When I was younger, someone told me there were several hundred cold viruses. For years I believed that if I continued to catch colds at an average rate of five a year, there might come a time when I would have caught them all.

Well, that bit of wisdom was WRONG.

At least according to the Internet.

One source cites more than 31,000 different cold viruses. Another contends that those viruses (virusi?) mutate constantly so the count is always changing, always rising.


Here I am, suffering with cold #327 (give or take a dozen or so), and knowing that somewhere out there virus #328 is lurking. It’s not a comforting thought.

But there’s nothing to do except prepare, make sure I have a stockpile of EVERYTHING I NEED TO SURVIVE THE COMMON COLD:

  • Tissues (definitely not the bargain brand—at least not for a cold that lasts more than two days, not if I don’t want a nose like that legendary reindeer)
  • Orange Juice (the high-pulp kind is almost a meal in itself)
  • Ginger Ale (that’s what I got when I was a kid and I’m sticking with it)
  • Cough Drops (preferably cherry flavored)
  • Chocolate (just because I always need chocolate)
  • Thermometer (even if the readout doesn’t go above 98.6, having a thermometer by the side of the bed says, “I’m sick. Honest. Why else would I be taking my temperature?”)
  • Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer (to hold in abeyance in case that readout creeps above 100 or I get the chills or my joints become more inflamed than this season’s political ads)
  • Books (preferably mysteries that hold my attention but don’t require too much concentration and/or deep thinking)
  • Movies (see books)
  • TV Remote (and husband to work the darn thing because our TV set-up is far from simple)
  • Dogs (to snuggle with prior to napping, after napping, or any time in between)
  • Pile of Pillows (a full range from soft to firm because when I’m sick, I get Goldilocks syndrome and it’s hard to find one that’s just right)
  • Soup (with plenty of noodles)
  • Mexican food (drowning in hot sauce)
  • Sympathetic friends (to send “poor baby” e-mails and offer to stop by with more chocolate)

How many colds have you had and what’s on your list of cold-survival must-haves or what do you think is missing from mine? Leave a comment and let me know.


  1. Poor baby. Seriously. I'm sorry you're feeling lousy, and I know what you can do with a jalapeno, so I hope you get to matters soon.

  2. Just made a soup with plenty of jalapenos and noodles. And I have Tim Hallinan's latest book. A few more "poor babies" and I'll be over this.

  3. Poor, poor, poor baby (infinity)! Hope you're better real soon! Nyquil, IMHO, is a wonder drug for practically all illnesses. I'm sure it's the high alcohol content that makes me sleep soooo good. Tell Mike to give you a footrub. :)

  4. Concerning Suedenym's comment, Segrams VO and aspirin are nice alternatives to Hyquil,IMHO. Last cold I got so tired of having slimy goop on my fingers that I grabbed a roll of those blue shop towels on a roll I bought at a hardware store. A hurricane couldn't blow through them and they're not too abrasive for a day or so.
    Feel better!

  5. Oh, I had that starting the last week in September...and I'm finally finishing with it now. I hope you're all done with yours! Sorry you had to have that!