It may be true that you don’t need a pill for every ill, like the old advert used to tell us, but I’m about to launch into my own pity party because so far this year I have had a head cold three times and as the man says, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it any more!”
I’m blaming public transport for my latest dose, for I am commuting by bus to and from work on account of a son who recently passed his driving test. I now have to practically book an appointment to go out in my own car.
Translink buses may not be as crowded as tube trains, where people are packed in like sardines during the rush hours, but we do get rather uncomfortably close to complete strangers who may, like me at the moment, be harbouring all sorts of germs and potentially coughing and sneezing our way throughout the journey of the 4a to Dundonald.
But that’s unfair, because apparently we’re more likely to pick up the common cold virus from shop counters, door handles, towels or from even handling money.
Anyway, last night, I managed to keep the whole house awake with my incessant coughing. It was pretty much under control until I went to bed.
The moment I lay down the tickle in the throat began. Well, I was in and out of that bed like a fiddler’s elbow – firstly to the kitchen to get a glass of water, which didn’t work. Ten minutes later, I traipsed to the medicine cupboard for a couple of spoonsful of some sort of linctus, which didn’t work either.
I remembered an old remedy I’d heard about – mix some cider vinegar with honey and take a spoonful as necessary. So it was off to the kitchen. Out came the cider vinegar (remarkably we had some) but did we have honey? No. I gargled with the cider vinegar anyway. It didn’t work.
Nothing else for it but to consult the font of all human knowledge – Google.
“I can’t stop coughing when I lie down” I typed in.
The result came back that sounded like someone was having a laugh. “Rub the soles of your feet with Vicks Vaporub and the coughing will stop.”
You’d try anything when you’re desperate. It worked to an extent, but not for long. I discovered the only solution was to sleep propped upright which doesn’t make for a comfortable night’s sleep and today I’m like an extra from Zombie Apocalypse. Not to mention my tired husband, who didn’t complain once about being kept awake. The man’s a saint.
According to the Cardiff Common Cold Centre (yes, there is such a thing) adults suffer two to five colds per year. Oh joy – just another two to go then.
What about this unseasonally cold May weather? Has that had anything to do with these lingering sniffles?
The experts say noses are colder in winter than summer and so that lowers our nose’s resistance to infection. We wrap up in winter clothes but our neb is still exposed to the air and when we breathe in, the nasal lining is cooled and weakens our defence against infection. They say If this theory is correct then covering our nose with a scarf in cold weather could help prevent colds.
Perhaps Michael Jackson, who famously wore a mask over his mouth and nose, had it right all along then? I don’t know, but the sooner they find a cure for the common cold, the better.