My Common Cold Diary

Friday – March 5, 2010
The world gave me several signs that I should never have gotten out of bed. A dropped contact lens, a broken glass … One of a set I purchased at and have had to buy a replacement set. Love the way they look, but if you even tap them with disrespect, they shatter. I hate to give up on a relationship, but … Skipping ahead to my drive to work – four blocks from my destination, the radio went dead. I thought it was probably the radio station. NPR always has transformer problems and it seems like it’s time for a pledge drive. I hate that week. I always feel really guilty for listening without making a donation. But it wasn’t the radio station that was the problem. Only seconds after the radio stopped, so did my turn signals, my power windows, and my fuel gauge did a happy dance. I avoided my usual stop at McDonalds for coffee and headed straight into the office parking lot. So in summary, by noon my day was less than stellar. A highlight was my Dad who came and fixed my car (needed a new alternator). Thanks, Dad. During the afternoon I worked on a powerpoint presentation I was giving the following Wednesday. Little did I know that the secretary helping me, the secretary that everyone thought was recovering from a mild case of the sniffles, was really “Typhoid Mary” in disguise. Cue ominous music.

Saturday – March 6, 2010
The term “post nasal drip” didn’t really describe the drowning sensation I was experiencing. Raiding my medicine cabinet I brought out my supply of Mucinex, Sudafed (the good stuff they keep behind the pharmacy counter so the meth-heads can’t get at it. I understand the “protect the stupid” principle but it seems totally unfair to regular sinusitis sufferers), and Afrin nosedrops. I also had a new bottle of Robitussin. Early implementation of this anti-cold arsenal should have been enough to fend off the “common cold.” It wasn’t. By the time I’d made my weekly grocery store run and my regular 6-week root touchup at the salon, I knew I was in trouble.

Sunday – March 7, 2010
I woke up every two hours all night long – sneezing, coughing and filling up two trash cans with Kleenex. (Soon I’d used all the Kleenex and moved on to rolls of Charmin – even the “squeezable-ly soft” kind rubs your nose raw after a few hundred yards are swiped past it.) My throat was sore, my lungs were filling, and if I were anything but vertical, I risked instant death. I warned my co-author via a virus checked email that when someone came to search for my body, they should look under the pile of used tissues. She was more worried about where my notes were for the third Sullivan Investigation mystery.

Monday – March 8, 2010 I needed to go into the office to practice my powerpoint presentation. I was schedule to speak for an hour on Wednesday to representatives of two federal agencies and several of my staff – you never want to embarrass yourself in front of your own staff. But besides the fact that my voice was now gone, I just didn’t care that much anymore about my career. I just wanted to make it until Tuesday – a scheduled appointment with a new G.P. I hoped to talk him into an antibiotic for the sinus infection, tonsillitis, or ear infection that I knew was headed my way like an out-of-control Prius.

Tuesday – March 9, 2010
My new doctor doesn’t have a great office. (My HMO suggested him – he was close to my house and accepting new patients). The waiting room needed a good vacuuming and I might have been his only non-Medicare patient, but the doctor was unexpectedly nice. He took my medical history himself. He listened to what I was saying without any hint that I was taking up too much of his time. He prescribed a “Z pack” and advised me to stop chasing the Sudafed with Robitussin. I went home, took my first dose of “Z” and tried to rest. My co-author warned me that I probably shouldn’t be considering leaving my house on Wednesday.

Wednesday – March 10, 2010
I got no sleep. There wasn’t enough makeup in the world to disguise my Rudolph red nose or dark circles, but my hair did look nice. As one of my last acts, the trip to the salon was well worth it. Baptists have open caskets and good hair is important. But back to my powerpoint presentation – I did it. The audience was attentive even if everyone kept their distance. I managed not to sneeze too much. I had a big roll of Charmin in my purse and I used most of it in the first four hours. But later in the afternoon, I could tell I’d started running a temperature and I was doing a lot of mouth-breathing. At about 3:30 pm, I called it a day and made the 45 minute drive home from Tulsa and crawled into bed, ignoring the phone calls from people wanting to know how sick I was. I was plenty sick – and no, there was nothing anyone could do for me. It was just the common cold, after all.

Thursday – March 11, 2010
The meeting I was attending was a two day event. But not for me. I had moved into the “coughing up my toes” stage of my “common cold.” I stayed home and proceeded to do just that – in private and to my heart’s content.

Friday – March 12, 2010
I’m still on sick leave from work, but I can breathe again through my nose. Okay, I’m holding a heating pad to my chest when I cough now (can people really break ribs from coughing?) but I feel so much better. No fever. No headache. The one thing that really worries me is that tomorrow, Saturday, is my last day for “Z.” My antibiotic pack will be emptied. Sunday could be the first healthy day of the rest of my life or the day the sun went black. Either way I’m uploading this blog on Saturday for a Monday posting date.

Leave me a comment and I’ll let you know how I’m doing Monday – if I can.

The Southern “overly dramatic” half of Evelyn David

p.s. – I know this blog entry is way too long. But, hey, be grateful I cut out most of the really gross descriptions of my illness. There is nothing pretty about the “common cold.”

p.p.s – Just when are scientists going to spend some time developing a cure for the common cold? I’m just saying … Maybe that’s a health care change we could all believe in.

8 replies
  1. Susan McBride
    Susan McBride says:

    Sorry you're feeling so awful, Rhonda! Here's my cure for the common cold: L-Lysine. You can buy it at the drugstore or grocery store. I take 500 mg a day and have since I had a terrible cold last April (that resulted in my having laryngitis at the Texas Library Association Convention–not fun!). Knock on wood, but I haven't caught a cold since. Ed had a cold recently, and I made him take the Lysine twice a day (breakfast and before bed). He was good-to-go in two days. I read up on L-Lysine re. cancer studies and talked to my doc about it. My immune system seemed kind of wimpy post-radiation treatment so I was looking for help! Plus, I'd been giving L-Lysine to our cats–the vet has it in tubes–at the merest sign of a sneeze after I'd looked up Lysine treating feline respiratory disease, which Blue had brought home to the other cats from the APA, despite all kinds of precautions! I noticed Lysine is being added to high quality cat foods now! I think they should add it to people-food, too! 😉 Anyway, my two cents! Hope you're better soon, you poor thing!!!

  2. Dea, Kia, Jake
    Dea, Kia, Jake says:

    Feel better, Rhonda! Sounds crazy but try some chicken soup. They say that there really are restorative properties in it. I wish we lived closer so I could drop off a batch. Maggie

  3. The Stiletto Gang
    The Stiletto Gang says:

    L-Lysine and Chicken Soup – I'm making a list. This is my final day at home – have to go back to work tomorrow. I'm improving – just light cold symptoms now. I don't go anywhere without Kleenex handy and I know immediately when cold meds wear off – but I can breathe and sleep now. While life isn't quite good yet – it's worth living again.


  4. Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith
    Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith says:

    Get well, Rhonda.

    Homemade chicken soup is one of my remedies too–also eat oranges.


  5. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    Hey Rhonda I had the same thing I'm viscious I shared I work in a convenience store aka gas station. After catching what the customers had I gave up went to the military clinic 165 miles away. I told the dr there I fidn this bug around every 6 months can we get something besides a z-pack to knock it out? She gave me amoxicillin. It took me forever to finish it off I have never ahd a hard time remembering meds until these past two weeks. Today when I opened my prescription bottle of zyrtec to take it I found one of my antibiotics had fallen inside there. Anyway it runs it course with the help of the anitbiotics hoep you are better soon. I was better in about a week ;-).

  6. Terri P aka WindDancer
    Terri P aka WindDancer says:

    I love that people care enough to want to know how I am when I am sick but I DON'T want to talk to anyone when I am sick. AND I tell my mother that and she still calls. Sigh.

    But I really hope you are feeling better now Rhonda!

  7. Terri P aka WindDancer
    Terri P aka WindDancer says:

    I love that people care enough to want to know how I am when I am sick but I DON'T want to talk to anyone when I am sick. AND I tell my mother that and she still calls. Sigh.

    But I really hope you are feeling better now Rhonda!

  8. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I also support taking L-Lysine for humans with colds, herpes and/or cold sores and cats with colds. I have seen it work when I take 1000 mg at the onset of a cold and herpes breakout. It is a wonderful supplement. I suggest everybody get it during the flu and cold season or otherwise suffer with the symptoms. My five cats have gotten colds and I crush the lysine up in their food. Gets them going in about two days without vet bills. Take care and treat yourself. Debra

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