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The Diary of my Common Cold

As you may have noticed I haven’t posted anything in a week. Well this is due to both my PC dying last Sunday and the fact that I’ve been laid low with the dreaded and deadly man-flu – which is also known as a bit of a weak common cold. I’m pretty bad when ill as I think the world is going to end. I won’t pretend I grin and bear it. I just moan and sulk and become the most cliché person ever however this time I persevered and acted a little bit better than usual. So lets look at how the week (and the cold) went.

Day One – Tuesday

I woke up Tuesday morning with more phlegm lining my throat than I thought existed in nature. However after a drink or two of squash and a coughing or two I felt fine. I had no inclination that I had a cold but clearly in retrospect I was going to suffer. My nose was stuffy but a blast of Olbas Oil and it cleared and I felt good to go. I had to go out on Tuesday night as I was covering a radio show and all was fine Tuesday afternoon and evening. I thought maybe I had just slept a bit funny – or with my mouth open – leading to a dry throat as by lunchtime I was genuinely feeling fine.

Day Two – Wednesday

I woke up with a sore throat but no other issues. No phlegm lining my throat. Just a rawness. However it wasn’t that bad and after more squash it was fine and again I was out on the Wednesday. In retrospect I’d have cancelled as I was doing Hospital Radio and ward liaison with patients. I was feeling ok until the show started and my throat got more and more raw as the show went on. I was starting to feel pain when I swallowed.

When I got in this pain was certainly getting more pronounced and I was coughing up phlegm at an unhealthy (literally) pace. I decided to eat something. Feed a cold and starve a fever so they say. I coughed up most of my food. Not good. I was clearly now coming down with something. I didn’t like this.

Day Three – Thursday

I woke up several times in the night as I was drenched in sweat. My internal thermostat was all over the shop. Another sign of being ill. I was woken up by the doorbell and I went to say thank you to the postman but no words came out. I had no voice. Disaster. I had a stint commentating on Southend United v Bradford City on Saturday. No voice and live radio commentary do not make a good match.

I went into full blown cliché mode. I was drinking soup, drinking a pint of squash every hour or so, eating Ice Cream and having two hot showers a day. All these things I believed either helped speed up the healing process or soothed the symptoms. I think you drink as much liquid as possible to flush your system. It is lucky I woke from home as I was blowing out snot and peeing at a vast rate of knots.

It was like my penis and my nose were having their own internal competition to see who could dispel the most stuff from my body. My throat was trying to play but just couldn’t keep up. Day three was the first day the nose had become involved and clear thin nasal fluids were free-flowing. At this point I was pretty sure I would not be sitting in the Radio Commentary Box at Roots Hall on the Saturday.

Day Four – Friday

My hopes of commentating on the match were now back on as I felt a lot better on Friday meaning because I couldn’t feel my throat. There was no rawness or pain coming from it. There was a voice there but I was still resting it. If I could talk then I had a shot of being well enough to go.

As a general rule I don’t do medicine as I think it weakens the long-term effectiveness of your immune system. So basically beyond the odd lemsip I won’t have anything. In this instance I stuck to that with lemsip being the only medicine that I ingested and still only two a day. Lemsip and Olbas Oil were my weapons that I had at hand in an attempt to control the symptoms as I awaited for my immune system to start winning the war on the rhinovirus that was living and trying to flourish inside of me.

My nose was now in full on liquid disposal mode. It didn’t seem to be clearing anything apart from it’s own fluid as it was crystal clear and showed no sign of clearing any bad stuff with it. This was disappointing as I knew the moment this fluid became thicker and yellow then I’d be well on the way to victory as that was a sign the virus had lost and the body needed to get rid of it.

Day Five – Saturday

Woke up way too early and decided to give myself an hour to decide if I had to phone in sick for the radio to give them time to get someone else in. I had no headache to speak of. I had nothing wrong with my throat which was important but my nose was still free flowing. Apart from the annoyance over my nose I actually felt ok.

Decision was made to not call in sick. I was just going to deal with it and go dosed up with Olbas Oil and tissues in my bag. I didn’t think about getting actual tissues and went with bog roll. This is not good for the nose. In future I need to ensure I get lotioned tissues. I was lucky I only used bog roll whilst I was out and bought a box of proper tissues when I got back.

Day five though had brought something new to the party. Sneezing. I was sneezing like I had never sneezed before in my life. Yet another stage of the common cold as clearly my body wanted to expel things and decided that sneezing was a good idea.

Decided that I’d got a hot curry and onion bahjis to help sweat out the final bits of the virus. Only ate a bit of it and left some for a second dose on Sunday. Also washed and changed all my bedding on day five as I always do when ill. I clean and wash when I know I’m on the upswing as otherwise I just drench the sheets and duvet cover with sweat.

Day Six – Sunday

Humanity. I feel human. No headache. No dicky throat. No sneezing fits. No cough (apart from a few coughs to clear the throat of gunk first thing) and the nose had changed. Instead of running faster than Usain Bolt on acid it was clear and I could breathe. As the day has gone on I have had to clear it a few times but I was clearing thick gunk and that is the final sign of victory. Also didn’t wake up once in the night and woke up at a normal time for me. That is a huge sign of victory.

There is no doubt that it’ll take two or three more days to get back to 100% but I know the worst is very much over. I never know what the worst part is as I hate having a cough, I hate a runny nose but I think the sore throat is my Achilles heel. As I work from home I can clear my nose all the time and it isn’t a big issue but that sore scratchy throat is a right pain.

So to summarise the first day I woke up feeling a bit grot but quickly got over it. Day two I had a sore throat that wouldn’t go away but was never too bad until late in the day. Day three was the worst day as I felt really quite under the weather. Day four I knew I had turned the corner and by day five I was on the upswing. Day six would be the first day I have felt like I could go out and wouldn’t worry about snot going everywhere and when you worry about snot you know you aren’t in a good place.

So from beginning to end it has been six days but only late on day two to the middle of day four would I say I was seriously unwell. I hope no-one who saw me in the past week goes down with a cold as if they do I’ll feel terrible. I hate being ill. I really do. It is amazing how much Googling I did to read about the common cold to see what I could do but from first sign to feeling human again in less than six days is a pretty average time period but only two days of being really down with it I’d take every time I get a cold.

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One Comment

  1. Stuart Stuart

    Great post, funny and accurate. I have a cold and am day 3 / 4 and the symptons are pretty much spot on. Also I do seem to be googling common cold a mighty lot of times !

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