Cold Is A Four Letter Word

Hey, you know what nobody wants to hear about? Your cold. In fact, on the Yeah, Don't Tell Me About That scale, your cold falls somewhere just below that crazy dream you had last night and a mere smidge above a detailed description of whatever you just ate. And by "you" and "your," we are obviously talking about "me" and "my." Nope, I am under no illusion whatsoever that you give any sort of fig (jellied? preserved? fresh from the salad bar at Whole Foods?) about my cold. Since it is pretty much the only thing going on in my life right now, however, I am going to tell you about it anyway. 

It is horrible. I hate it! I can breathe only through my left nostril! My entire head is filled with not-quite-set cement! I have the constant impression that I am submerged under water, and I am pretty sure I have exceeded, at least four times over, the maximum daily dose of Ricola herbal throat drops. Nobody ever died from that, right? Please tell me nobody ever died from that. I mean, I don't recall ever having seen an E! True Hollywood Story about a tragic overdose of Ricola herbal throat drops at the Chateau Marmont, but there's a first time for everything, am I right?

This morning, after dropping Sean off at the shuttle at 7:45am—he is currently commuting down to Silicon Valley for a work project, okay this is so boring you just fell asleep—I swung by Walgreens to buy the good drugs. You know the good drugs? The kind you have to pick up a little cardboard slip for because they don't trust that you're not just going to grab ten boxes off the shelf and bust out of there to drive home erratically to your makeshift meth lab? Well, I needed some of those, apparently, because the Dayquil wasn't doing it for me—wasn't doing anything for me, honestly; I seem to have built up a tolerance since I've TAKEN SO MUCH OF IT THIS YEAR—and so I went to Walgreens to get some.

Walgreens wouldn't sell them to me because the pharmacy didn't open til 9am, and so I was forced to get in my car and drive—erratically, by the way, thus surely giving the impression that I was headed to my makeshift meth lab—to Target, where I knew they would pony it up. Upon arrival in the cold meds aisle—curiously busy for 8am on a week day, I guess it's going around—I placed two little cardboard slips on the counter, looked the pharmacist directly in the eye, and said "which is better?" 

"I can only sell you either/or, ma'am," he said, casting an eye suspiciously over my clearly unwashed hair, my red and peeling nose, my frantic insistence that I BE GIVEN SOME PSEUDOEPHEDRINE RIGHT NOW I HAVE DRIVEN ALL THE WAY TO TARGET FOR IT COME ON COME ON. 

"Oh, I know!" I said. "Trust me, I am not going to make any meth. Do I look like a person with the mental capacity to make meth right now? I couldn't even follow a recipe for, say, mushroom risotto at this point, and that's a no-brainer because you just stir, stir, stir. I just need to know which of these is better. Like, which will make me feel human again?" 

(I am pretty sure he gave me the weaker one just to mess with me. Regardless, I do feel about 0.03% better. Which is an improvement over yesterday, when I felt—with each increasing hour—about 53.0% worse. I worked entirely from my bed yesterday, which felt very indulgent, or it would have done if it wasn't surrounded by a moat of snotty tissues and mugs of tea. Glamour—it's alive and well!) (As opposed to me, who is just about alive, but not particularly well.)

The timing of this cold is not the best, because I am off to New Orleans tomorrow for a scant 24 hours, which I am fairly excited about, even though it is for a conference and not to drink Hurricanes from a seedy bar on Bourbon Street—though who says I can't do both? Wait, HR, probably!—and also because my flight leaves at 5:30 in the morning. Have you ever taken a 5:30am flight? I sat down to try and do the math this morning, so I could figure out what time I would have to wake up tomorrow, and I lost myself somewhere around "need to be at the airport at 4:30am." Need to be at the airport at 4:30am? What kind of torturous cruelty is that? Why, that means I'd need to leave my house at 4am, which means.....oh god, no, I will be setting my alarm for the time Courtney Love goes to bed when she decides she needs an early night. 

(I cannot bring myself to say the word "three," or even "three-thirty," OR EVEN "three forty-five," which, let's face it, is when I will probably end up getting up, and then apologizing to my former United passengers for having eschewed a shower. My brain gets to the "thr..." part and then just kind of gives up in denial. I don't even think my alarm clock has that time on it. I wouldn't be surprised if it triggered some sort of reaction when I set it, wherein a big red box flashed up on the screen and it just said in all caps WAIT, ARE YOU SURE?) 

Anyway, I've been talking a lot. I think it's the pseudoephedrine. Did you know that Sudafed is basically speed? I didn't, until I realized that I had been typing, non-stop, for about six hours straight today, without pausing for anything other than frantic swigs from a water bottle and a left-handed nose blow. For a minute, I felt like Jared Leto's mother's character from Requiem For A Dream, and it FREAKED ME OUT. I was two seconds away from calling 911, like that police officer who ate a pot brownie and thought he had died. If this is how hopped up and frightened I feel on drugstore cold medicine, I would be the world's most terrible drug addict, I swear. Although now I do at least understand why they keep it behind the counter. 

1
RubySongbird
Nov 08, 2011

You almost make having a cold sound good! Not quite though. I hope you feel better soon!

2
Shauna
Nov 09, 2011

You know who feels like hearing about someone's cold? Other people who have colds! I have this annoying, lingering cold that will just NOT go away! Every night I go to bed excited because tomorrow is another day! I will feel a little better in the morning! I mean how long can a cold really last, right?! But for the past four days or so, I've been stuck in this kind of getting better but still feel like crap stage. Then I feel bad for complaining because it is JUST a cold! It's like the lowest on the totem pole of sicknesses! Now I've gone on about my cold, when we've already established that colds are one of the most boring topics, whoops!

3
Camels & Chocolate
Nov 09, 2011

I feel you, sista. I've had more colds since being on the ship than the rest of my life COMBINED. It's like an incubator here, we keep passing things back and forth to each other, and each time I'm slammed with it, it takes two weeks to get over at which point it's passed back to me again. I've consumed a lifetime's worth of Dayquil, but the nice thing as you well know is that the pharmacies in Asia are VERY liberal. =)

4
Blanche
Nov 09, 2011

Oh good, since I've now read about your cold I can share that you featured prominently in a recent dream (well, not you you, but dream you who is a construct of my imagination as to how you might be). And of course, you kicked ass at whatever it was we were doing (I think chasing bad guys...want to explain that?).

Hope the fun drugs do their job and you feel better so you aren't all stuffy for your flight(s)!

5
laura
Nov 09, 2011

you're just so stinkin' funny it's unfair. i found myself giggling uncontrollably while I was reading this. so much so, that my husband was like "WHAT?! What is SO funny?!" and so i read to him and he laughed too. we hope you feel better though, of course.

6
Nolita
Nov 09, 2011

Awww, I hope you feel better soon. I would stock up on Airborne and Emergen-C and some of that wonderful Theraflu, the lemon flavored hot drink stuff. Pound down the herbs and vites all day, then pound down some Theraflu at night and sleep this baby away.

I keep Pau D'Arco on hand for everything. Suspected strep, sinus infection, stomach bug -- it's a nice herb that helps with intestinal flora and is an anti-everything. Lastly, nasal sprays with xylitol are a Godsend. http://www.drugstore.com/himalayan-institute-neti-mist-sinus-spray/qxp31... Helps to loosen up that cement and keep an infection from forming.

To your health!

7
JennyA
Nov 09, 2011

And when you don't have a cold, you forget how bad having a cold is, so you think things like "come on, it's just a cold" instead of recognizing that your friend or co-worker is actually experiencing the Mongolian Death Flu.

Sudafed = must do all the things! Every time I get to the point where I can't take the Mongolian Death Flu anymore and take some Sudafed, I'm all THIS IS GREAT I HAVE GOT TO START DOING DRUGS.

Feel better soon!

8
Shelley
Nov 09, 2011

I also have a terrible cold. I've never taken any cold medicine, but now I'm seriously considering it. I could use some speed! : )

9
Mymsie
Nov 09, 2011

I cannot say enough good things about Mucinex. Last week I had a sinus infection that caused a tooth ache - crazy! I know people swear by neti pots but I just can't get behind shoving a tea pot in my schnoz. ;)

10
The One True Sue
Nov 09, 2011

YES. I love discovering a new clever blogger. (That would be you.) HOORAY FOR ME.

I see your cold and raise you a cough. People not only don't like hearing ABOUT it, they don't like hearing it at all. They look at you as though you are doing it deliberately, JUST TO ANNOY THEM. YES, MY COUGH IS ALL ABOUT YOU.

11
Jet Harrington
Nov 09, 2011

Yes, I read it all. Been there, done that.
And the best part of your story is the "moat of snotty tissues."
Feel bettah soon!

12
Allie
Nov 09, 2011

Ah HA! I can blame my cold on YOU, Ms. Burns! Somehow the power of the internets transferred it, I just know it...

I highly recommend a whiskey toddy - hot water, lemon, honey, and scotch. It's, ah, soothing. Also, you care less about being sick once you've consumed it.

13
Katie
Nov 09, 2011

Girl. Two words: NETI POT.

It will change your life.

14
rainbowmummy
Nov 09, 2011

Ugh, feel for you. I have a cold too. Since I am agoraphobic I blame my family for bringing in germs from the [dun dun duuuuuun] outside. Assholes.

I also have an infection. That stings. So yeah, not good times.

PS I actually like finding out what people ate......

15
ScottsdaleGirl
Nov 09, 2011

Duuuuuuuuuuude, this cold? Is the nastiest one I have had EVER EVER EVER IN MY ENTIRE LIFE OF 44 YEARS EVER.

it ate the Dayquil, laughed and spit out more mucus. (sorry, ew)

I got me some AlkaSeltzer Plus (SEVERE SINUS congestion & Cough) and could actually breath out not one but two (!!!) nostrils last night. And today I feel SO MUCH BETTEr after you know, SLEEPING and also I CAN BREATHE and Jesus H Christo I will never ever take involuntary body functions for granted again.

Whew.

16
ScottsdaleGirl
Nov 09, 2011

ANNNNNNNNND the Alka Seltzer doesn't make me see unicorns or scary clowns. Like Sudafed and Nyquil have done in the past.

Also I think the Alka might have some crack in it.

Explaining my erratic and capslock filled comment above

17
Margot
Nov 09, 2011

Can I just have the whiskey toddy even though I don't have a cold right now?

18
Starla
Nov 10, 2011

Can I be annoying and say that despite living in London, and being cold for at least 4 months of the year, I haven't had a full blown cold in about 5 years. HOW I don't know. Hope you feel better soon. In time for your holiday.

Oh and Happy Hols, Holls. Sorry for the over familiarity, but I just REALLY wanted to say that!

19
Hemborgwife
Nov 10, 2011

I have managed to add two extra days to our England vacation next year since otherwise we would have to wake up at that time you could not type or think about and it scared my husband just to much!

In other news you should come to Sweden because people here love talking about being sick, I have even heard full conversations in July about how bad the winter cold will be the coming year. I find it quite funny but when I laugh my husband threatens to come home with this alleged winter cold that apparently makes you sick (as in run to the bathroom) instantly, I am however not believing it till I am running!

20
jenny
Nov 10, 2011

New Orleans!!! If you can manage it, eat at Irene's in the quarter. Best Italian food ever, it'll perk you right up.

21
Drug Kingpin
Nov 10, 2011

Hey, don't you owe me money? YOU DO! I KNOW YOU DO!!!

22
Misty
Nov 10, 2011

Holly, you crack me up!!! I'm sorry you r under the weather. I have a weird question for you, "is it a congestion issue or a swelling issue"? I saw that in a commercial once and thought "what???", but like a month later I had a cold and was very stuffed up, but yet my nose was still running. I had an epiphany at that moment and discovered what they meant. I had to use a prescription nasal spray, but felt a lot better and could actually breathe. The nasal spray has some steroids in it. Sorry to get all "nurse Misty" on you, hope you get to feeling better. One more tidbit...I had my tonsils removed at the age of 30(very, very painful), but my life has never been the same.

23
Wendy
Nov 11, 2011

Your blog couldn't come at a better time. I was just thinking about writing one about my own FREAKING STUPID cold. I stood in the Walgreen aisle for about 10 min yesterday Googling "best over the counter cold medicine" because I didn't want to make a second trip or waste a trip on the pussy stuff. Thankfully pharamcist didn't seem to judge me. Maybe it was the fact I was dripping snot on the counter and put D's at the end of all of my words. Yes. Sickd.

24
Emily
Nov 11, 2011

Nasty cold and short stay aside, I truly hope you enjoy New Orleans! Welcome!

25
debi
Nov 11, 2011

Well at least you can still get Sudafed. Here in Oregon it is illegal! wth? I refuse to drive to Washington just to get relief from my stupid cold! Dumb meth-heads ruined it for everyone.

26
Amy
Nov 11, 2011

Speed. It took me a while to figure out that's why cold medicine makes me feel WORSE. I love that to you, Ellen Burstyn in "Requiem for a Dream" is "Jared Leto's mother's character." Hehe.

27
Carroll
Nov 12, 2011

Ugh. Good luck traveling with those stuffed up sinuses, Holly. Want me to meet-up with Sean down here someplace and send him back with some homemade chicken soup for you? (Serious offer! I make a really mean pot of chicken soup :-)

28
jasmine
Nov 13, 2011

this is, by far, the best thoughts on having a cold i have ever read. nonetheless, I hope that you are feeling better and that your trip to New Orleans is filled with fun :)

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
Just to make sure you have a pulse
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters (without spaces) shown in the image.