I’m on day eight of this cold. All the research I’ve done online assures me that I’m in the home stretch here but honestly, I still feel like a snotty bag of gross that has been decomposing on my couch for the last seven days. Hot showers, steam, essential oils, vitamins, water, “severe” cold medicine…yes, I have tried it.
I think this cold demonstrates beautifully my “throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” philosophy toward life. I have this nagging sensation that if I chose a path and stuck with it then I’d see better results but the truth is that I am impatient. But really?
Ten days. The common cold lasts about ten days.
From the start, the fatigue, the heavy head, the tickle in the back of the throat, the common cold lasts about ten days. When I feel I’m getting a cold, I always go online and search “timeline of the cold” or “phases of the cold.” I want to know, biologically what exactly is up with this here body. Why is my nose runny? Why am I now congested? Why am I coughing? Why, on day eight, do I STILL feel like I need to lay down on the floor in the kitchen and hope aliens land to end my suffering.
That red spot under my nose aches. Red and chafed from nose blowing and running and blowing and running. The ugly cycle of illness. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Yes, but…then again…
It’s the recovery that is difficult here. The virus is probably mostly gone from my body. The runny nose, the stuffy head, the unrelenting desire to lay on the couch and not much else, these are not symptoms of the virus but of the body’s reaction to the virus, or at least that is what WebMD tells me. I’m fighting the virus, and it’s not pretty. The body doesn’t apologize for this ugly, snotty, result. The body is doing the hard work of making me well again.
I’m still impatient. Ten days in the life of a working, busy person is an eternity. I’ve lost time and energy and forward motion. I’ve lost track of the number of tissues, the doses of Nyquil, the emails not returned, the pages not edited. This too will pass, I’m sure of it. Being patient is the struggle. No surprise there, huh?
Sickness is like this, whether it’s physical, emotional or spiritual or a mix of the three. The virus hits, we respond. The recovery is messy and circuitous, more like a roller coaster than a straight shot from commuter train stop A to B. I know this is the common cold, though at times I tell people it might be the bubonic plague. I know better, I know it will end in about ten days all tolled. Today I’ll drink more water and use maybe a little fewer tissues; I’ll get around a bit more. I’ll make soup and answer some emails and write a blog post perhaps. This too shall pass. Recovery is underway. Being patient is the struggle.