Not for awhile, if experience speaks. I’ve now enjoyed 2017’s Cold from Hell for two full weeks. The worst of the infection symptoms have pretty well passed: the fever is gone, the nasal congestion is gone, the headache is gone, the overall sense of wet-noodle weakness is pretty well gone. But — as usual — the frantic coughing hangs on.
Speaking launches a frenzy of chest-deep coughing and hacking. I can’t even utter the words “good dog!” without flying into another cough-fest.
I’ve found, in the past, that a cough like this can hang on as long as six weeks. I hope it will fade enough for me to go back to choir in another week or two, but…the specific reason I so dread catching a cold is that it typically takes me three times as long to get over it as most people require.
At one point my great old (now retired) doctor ran an elaborate series of blood tests on me and came up with the finding (theory?) that I’m missing a small part in my immune system. That, he thought, explains my susceptibility to viruses and probably explains why it takes such a godAWFUL long time for me to get over what ought to be mild respiratory infections.
It’s also why I’m swimming in pneumonia and flu vaccines. And why I do not take communion: you couldn’t pay me to drink out of or dip a cracker into a communal cup of wine.
I think this is neither pneumonia nor flu; I think it’s a chest cold that quickly morphed into bronchitis. Accordingly, it will take a long time to get over it.
Yesterday I wanted to go to a friend’s wedding. So I spent the day swallowing Robotussin every four hours. Usually, Robotussin does exactly nothing for me. But this time around it has a mild but perceptible effect. Two of them: 1) it upsets my stomach and 2) it takes the edge off the cough, as long as I keep my mouth shut. That beneficence lasts about two hours.
I’ve held off taking the leftover codeine, partly because the cough is still productive and I think when you’re coughing up crud, your body is trying to tell you something. And partly because…yes…it upsets my stomach, to say nothing of knocking me into the middle of next week. But today the thing has reached the point where nothing much is coming up and I’m just hacking reflexively, a state that I imagine results from two or three weeks of pharyngeal irritation. Whenever I think it’s safe to do so and I don’t mind sleeping half the day, I probably will dose myself with that stuff.
Still in the middle of the current editorial project, I really can’t afford to knock myself out for a day or two.
Otherwise, the weather has warmed up nicely — we’ve had several days in the mid-nineties, a phenomenon that has, in the past, helped to clear up colds, flu, and bronchitis. The pool is warming fast. Yesterday in passing I thought it was almost warm enough for a swim. But then thought better of that! 😀 Nevertheless, a grandparent or two at the wedding (the newlyweds are themselves grandparents) remarked that the little kids had been in the drink.
Ah, the grandparents. My son’s friends came into town, the bride being his buddy’s mother. The mother-in-law came along.
I wish you could meet these two women. What a kick they are! Each in her own way. The bride and groom are latter-day hippies who never moved into the brave new urbanized techno-world we enjoy today. They raise organic food and organic chickens, and he has an elaborate aquaculture operation set up in the backyard of their north Phoenix tract house. Back-to-the-earthers who have to make a living…but who I can imagine retired with great joy in Yarnell, a perfect venue for the back-to-the-earth life. The bride’s mother appears to be a normal Midwestern small-town gal on the surface…but be not deceived. She has the most wonderful, hilarious personality. I think she’s just more fun than life. She got on the dance floor and…can that lady DANCE. Fan-freakingtastic!
I probably embarrassed my poor son again (because I also can dance in a bawdy 1960s manner, though I did try to keep a lid on it last night…sort of). When I get going, I’m embarrassing. When she gets going, she’s a lot of fun. Too bad I never learned how to do that.
Image: DepositPhotos, © julos