Hacking And Blowing: Dealing With A Cold

coldThis describes me today.  I am coughing and constantly blowing my nose.

Yep, I have a cold.

I think I’m over the sick feeling from it and now dealing with the annoyance of the coughing and runny nose.

Having a cold is annoying and pretty contagious.  I’m doing my best to keep it to myself and not infect anyone else.

I knew it was coming.  It begins with that feeling in your throat.  If I catch that feeling soon enough I can usually head it off with extreme doses of Vitamin C but this time it was past that point before I could do it.

Tis the season for colds.  I really don’t have time to be sick this time the year.  It’s Christmas!!!

Yet, here I sit coughing and sneezing.  I hate it.

More than 200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold.  Rhinovirus is the most common version for adults.

Though the common cold usually occurs in the winter months, the cold weather itself does not cause the common cold. Rather, it is thought that during cold-weather months, people spend more time indoors near each other, thus facilitating the spread of the virus. For this same reason, children in day care and school are particularly prone to acquiring the common cold. The low humidity during these colder months is also felt to contribute to the increased prevalence of the common cold, as many of the implicated viruses seem to survive better in low-humidity conditions.

So how long can one expect to deal with a cold?

Most colds will resolve after seven to 10 days, though some individuals experience a shorter course and others a more prolonged illness, again depending on the particular virus involved, as well as the infected person’s underlying health issues.

So, if this is true, I should be done with it by Christmas Eve.  Dang, that’s cutting it close.

There is no cure for the common cold. The common cold is a self-limiting illness that will resolve spontaneously with time and expectant management. Home remedies and medical treatments are directed at alleviating the symptoms associated with the common cold while the body fights off the infection.

In other words, there is absolutely nothing I can do to make it go away.  I can threat the symptoms but the cold will go away when it has run its course.  The only usual suggestion is to get rest and drink plenty of fluids.  Rest?  Yeah, tell my work that one!

So what’s the difference between the cold and the flu?  That’s a good question and it is very important to identify it early.  For the most part, colds come on gradually while a flu his abruptly.  A fever rarely comes from a cold so if you are running a fever, it’s probably time to go to the clinic to be tested.  Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu.

Should you go to work when you have the cold?  That’s a good question.  Most suggest staying home for at least one day to rest and drink fluids but if when you do return to work, make sure you cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands often so you don’t spread it to others.

Here are some other facts about the common cold:

  • A cold may last for about one week, but some colds last longer, especially in children, the elderly and those in poor health.
  • In the United States, colds account for more visits to the doctor than any other condition.
  • Adults get an average of two to four colds per year, mostly between September and May.
  • Young children suffer from an average of six to eight colds per year.
    Colds are highly contagious. They most often spread when droplets of fluid that contain a cold virus are transferred by touch. These droplets may also be inhaled.

One thing I wonder is just how much can a person blow their nose and it still be runny?  I am just amazed that I can blow my nose constantly and it is still runny.  Not trying to be gross but it’s just very annoying.  The reason your nose is runny when you have a cold is that the nose acts as a filter for the body.  The nose is lined with mucus (gross I know but this is good stuff to remember) which traps disease-causing bacteria and viruses.  A layer of something called cilia which is a hair-like structure that covers the interior of the nose and moves that mucus from the front of our nasal passages towards the back and down our throats.

Well, that’s more than I wanted to know but I guess that’s a good explanation for it.

Once you have a cold, the best thing to do is to ride it out.  In the meantime, try to keep from spreading it.  We can do this by covering our mouth when coughing or sneezing, skin-to-skin contact through handshakes or hugs, by saliva from kissing or sharing drinks and touching a contaminated surface such as a blanket or doorknob.

Okay, enough typing.  It’s time for my cilia to do it’s thing.


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