HOW TO BEAT THE COMMON COLD

Last week I started a cold. At least, I hoped it was a cold.

It was the first time in my life I had been happy to have a cold because we all know it could have been something so much worse.

My first symptom was that my eyes were pricking. This was rapidly followed by a very bad sore throat which lasted two whole days.

There followed a number of WhatsApp messages from my daughter urging me to get myself tested for Covid-19.

So I took my temperature. No temperature. Phew.

Then the sneezing began. Is it really possible to sneeze six or more times in succession?  I got through two boxes of tissues in less than an hour.  Finally, came the runny runny runny nose which I couldn’t resist blowing rather than wiping which meant more used up boxes of tissues and an extremely sore, red nose.

But here I am five days later and my cold has virtually dried up.

I am someone who has always seemed to suffer from more colds than anyone else I know so I do have some ways of minimising the symptoms which I am happy to share with you.

Self isolate. Stay home. Stay indoors. Preferably, stay in bed. Keep away from those you love.  If you can, sleep alone.

At the very least try and keep to the same environment. A change of room temperature can play havoc with those sneezes!

Do not, under any circumstances, be tempted to go out.

As a teenager I always disregarded colds and parental advice. I went out thinking “it’s only a cold” and would find that after exposure to the night air that my “only a cold” had become the cold from hell. As a college lecturer I couldn’t face not facing my students so would take my cold to work which really must have endeared me to my students and colleagues.

But (and there’s always a but) on the night OH (other half) and I first met he had started a cold. His mother had urged him to stay home but he disregarded her advice. Had he listened to his mother we would not have become an item and he would never have featured in this blog.  So, I reckon if you’re reading this and under the age of forty I would encourage you to go out if you’re still hoping to meet your soul mate – though fat chance of that happening in this Covid year!

As for medicines, you can make your own very effective Night Nurse with a few drops of a squeezed lemon, a tablespoon of honey and some boiling water. This will do the trick to soothe your sore throat. I also recommend a small teaspoon of syrup from time to time during the day. It works magic when it slides down your throat. Paracetamol at bedtime can be useful too if you need it. And I have to confess to sending OH (other half) out to the pharmacy for some glycerin, lemon and honey medicine as our cupboards were bare. With his new fabric black mask on he looked as if he was going out to rob a bank.

Copious amounts of Vaseline strategically places around the nostrils will stop you from looking like Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer. It certainly works for me and I wouldn’t be without it.

Lip salve or chap stick for the lips is also an essential.

Garlic helps to ward off colds. Too late once you have already succumbed to a cold but useful for a healthy diet.

Have a nice steamy shower and put your face under it.

Bathe your mouth and nose with hot water as many times a day as you can. I find alternate hot and cold water helps to clear the cold up quickly.

Encourage your life partner to learn to cook well before you get a cold so you can rest in bed knowing you will be well fed and looked after.

If it is a sunny day, sit outside for a short while so your face gets some sun and precious vitamin D. Alternatively, invest in some vitamin D pills and take them as a preventative measure throughout the year.

Make or buy some chicken soup. I will follow up this blog another day with a chicken soup recipe   Chicken soup is famously and rightly known as Jewish penicillin. It seems to have magic healing properties for colds and flu. Hot and tasty it slides down the throat so it feels less sore and helps you feel more like a human being. OH had a go at making some for me and it worked a treat.

Be glad you have your sense of taste and smell so you can enjoy your chicken soup and relax in the knowledge that you don’t have Covid.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

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