Tuesday, December 15, 2009

If You Treat A Cold, It Will Last About...

...seven days.  If you don't treat a cold it will last --- about seven days.

My seven days are up, and except for a few residual coughs and a slightly stuffy nose, my cold is over.  I will admit to "treating" it, although I didn't seek professional medical attention. In addition to my throat and chest, I did rub the bottoms of my feet with Vick's (a remedy suggested by two blog commenters and my son), took a couple of antihistamine tablets during the worst days of my streaming eyes and nose, and followed up with about three doses of dextromethorphan and guaifenesen (also a suggestion by a commenter.)  Along with those tried and true remedies, I drank many, many cups of hot tea, most of it of the spiced variety such as Chai and my favorite "Constant Comment."

For the most part, I just took it easy. Between frequent visits to a steadily diminishing box of tissues and sipping my tea, I managed to read four books: an Aaron Elkins' "skeleton detective" mystery Tiny Little Teeth, and two forensic mysteries and one very informative non-fiction book (Death's Acre)-- by the same authors, Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson.  If you're a fan of gory forensic stuff, I recommend the Bass/Jefferson books; I found them fascinating.  If you are squeamish, those are not for you.

I'm also about one-third through Three Cups of Tea - One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations... One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.  It's a fascinating true story about one man's determination to build schools for desperately poor mountain children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  I understand that Mortenson has been getting some TV exposure lately (which I missed), although I first read about his book in a monthly book review magazine at my local library. I'm sure you could find a wealth of information about the book and Mr. Mortensen on the Internet, should you be interested in doing so.

Gardening Daughter's husband helped to supplement my food requirements during my self-imposed confinement, bringing me a huge container of chicken and dumplings from my favorite "chicken place," cornbread muffins, and a slab of pizza -- not all at the same time, of course.  He also made a run to the pharmacy to pick up the cough syrup after I discovered that the bottle I had tucked away in the cupboard had an expiration date of 06/2007.  It seems I need to perform a cupboard-wide check on the expiration dates of  OTC medicines. I don't know if expired medications get stronger or weaker, but I'd hate to either overdose myself or waste my time taking something that is completely ineffective.

Now that my semi-annual cold seems to be on the wane, and my energy is slowing rising,  there is much I need to accomplish: more Christmas cards to make, address and mail; gifts to wrap and ship; last minute gifts to purchase, etc., etc.

More later.


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Glad you are feeling better, Pat. It's no fun to get an old cold... I have been lucky the past several years. I only have had one cold (Fall of '08)--but it was a doozy.

Sounds like your daughter and son-in-law are taking good care of you.

I do feel that the 1000 mg of Vit. C (tablets) that I take every single day helps. I used to get more colds than I do now.. That is the biggest difference I think. SO---if you aren't taking that dosage, try it this year. You can buy it at Sam's or Walmart..


Countrygirl said...

Glad you are feeling better. Take it easy and don't overdue - trying to get the last 7 days worth of stuff done!

Peter said...

So glad that you are much better. It is when you have a heavy cold that what scientists say about the body being about 90% water has some credibility! Moving right along.... Interesting about the man who is trying to help the poor people in Pakistan and Afghanistan, I must do a web search about it (bed time now though!).
Must away now, but terrific that you are getting back to strength... you sure will need it for the Christmas shopping!

Arkansas Patti said...

I am soooo glad you are peaking thru the other side of the cold. Hope total recovery is just a blink away.
One good thing about being a reader, colds give us permission to just indulge.
The one about the man helping the poor in Pakistan and Afghanistan interested me. Will check it out when I get back.
Stay warm and continue to feel better.

rhymeswithplague said...

Well, I must have done something wrong then, because mine lasted four weeks. FOUR WEEKS! Maybe I had the Alabama Creeping Crud instead of a common cold.

Glad you are on the mend.

NitWit1 said...

From retired pharmacist: Liquids tend to become more concentrated (sgtronger) because the vehicle (liquid) evaporates; hence more active ingredient per measure.

However, everything else usually has weakened doses.

Having said that, most manufacturers tell me everything is good for at least 3-6 months past exp. date but because storage conditions are not always ideal or controllable, they shorten the date.

Oh yeah, not everything should be stored in the refrigerator either!!! Some persons think stuffing everything in fridge makes it "last longer" including drugs.

Message for the day: HAH HAH.

Glad you are over the misery.

jinksy said...

So sorry you've been hit by a floobadooba cold bug, but glad it's now on the wain, and that your taste buds will be working again in time to savour your Christmas dinner to the full!.

Suldog said...

So very glad to hear you're about over it. I usually get one just before Christmas, but so far - Thank God - nothing, and I'm using Purell and every other available resource to try and stay away from one.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Hope you are still feeling on the mend.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I'm so glad you are feeling better...and it sounds like you had some much needed downtime as you suffered through the cold...Please do take care of yourself and don't push too hard as you are recovering!!! Sending you love, Janine XO

StitchinByTheLake said...

Hi Pat in Arkansas - I'm Marlene, also in Arkansas. So sorry you've had a nasty cold. My husband has had a terrible cough for a couple of weeks but no other symptoms, thank goodness. Hope you get completely well and very soon! blessings, marlene

Snap said...

Glad to hear you are on the mend. I'm a chicken and dumpling girl myself -- soul food! Hugs--

Anonymous said...

Glad you are on the mend, Pat. I'm madly touching wood when I boast that I have not had a cold in many years-when I do it is good chicken broth, lots of water and bed-to hell with the rest of the world.

Feel better soon.

Marvin said...

I think you recommendations for dealing with a common cold are right on, Dr. Pat: Stay home, take it easy, drink plenty of liquids and in about a week you should start feeling better.

Glad to hear you are now on the "feeling better" side of the equation.

Anonymous said...

Can you catch a cold over the internet? If so, I caught yours, 'cause this ones a double-barreled doozy! Looks like it's going to keep me from singing in the Christmas Concert at church!

Glad you're feeling better. I'm gonna try some of those remedies (especially the chai tea).


Teacher's Pet said...

Pat...I am glad that your cold seems to be 'history'...at least in the waning stages. Yea!
I am going to buy the books by Bass and Jefferson for myself. Thank you for the recommendation.
I hope that you have been having a good week, and that your Christmas 'to do' list is almost complete. Many warm hugs to you, Pat.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Merry Christmas, Pat!! Sending you love and best wishes for the coming week of celebration!!! Janine XO

Peter said...

Happy Christmas Pat,

Hope you have a lovely time with friends and family, and that you are back to health again.

Peace, Health, Happiness, and lots of fun too!

Love from Peter, Laura, and Ginger the Cat

Snowbrush said...

I'm so glad you're better, Pat.