How to Have a Head Cold

Diphenhydramine, take me away!
Diphenhydramine, take me away!

My first thoughts as I write this are that no one is interested in the fact that I am sick. Come on, be honest, and comment as such. When you hear that someone is sick, you’re really just glad it isn’t you. I know that’s how I feel.

It reminds me of a moment from my freshman year in college. My roommate, Jeff, came down with a violent case of gastroenteritis. I took him to the Goddard Health Center, where they gave him an injection. I assume it was promethazine. They told him not to drive, and even insisted that he put is hand on my shoulder in case he felt unsteady.  We both thought it was ridiculous at the time, but in hindsight, it made sense.

It also reminds me of a bad head cold I had in January 1980. It’s interesting that anything, even the annoying misery of a rhinovirus, can trigger distant memories. I wrote about it in my journal in eleventh grade, and I wrote a short story set in that time frame, which I think is one of my best.

So here’s how to have a head cold…

  • If you are lying on your right side and the left side sinuses are full, roll over. You left side will clear up and stay that way.
  • If you have a dry cough, remember that coughing really hard will dislodge that last remaining mucus.
  • Herba tea practically cures your cold.
  • Piles of used tissues by your bedside: instant chick magnet.
  • Over-the-counter cold remedies are very effective and have no side effects.
  • If your head is full of mucus and you can’t hear, just sneeze. Instant, permanent relief.

In the middle of writing this, I was surprised to hear the door open. My wife Abby was home early from work and told me scratchily, “My throat feels like raw hamburger.”

There are two positive aspects to Abby and me being home sick like this…

  • This presents like a frank head cold, not a more severe infection, so though we are miserable, we will be okay.
  • While I was home yesterday, some dude came by the house with some extra asphalt from a job he’d finished, and wanted to know if we wanted to buy it and have him make a short driveway outside the garage.
This is the new asphalt driveway patch in front of the garage. I'm glad I was around to take this guy's offer. This spot was previously subject to getting kinda messy when it rains or snows.
This is the new asphalt driveway patch in front of the garage. I’m glad I was around to take this guy’s offer. This spot was previously subject to getting kinda messy when it rains or snows.


  1. A phalt free deal.

    Sorry you’re sick man. Some say I’m wrong but power up on vitamin C everyday when I can. Get the Florida smile man.

    I know you’ve already got vitamins and it’s gotta run it’s course.

  2. I’m with Robert. Every time I’ve gotten sick in the past four years has been on days I forgot to take my Vitamin C. :-)

    (Despite knowing how unscientific it is to say the above, I’m confident in the placebo effect.)

    When someone tells me in person that they’re sick, I’ll admit I have a desire to move slowly further away from them. I also wonder why they felt the need to verbalize it when it’s clear from their sneezing and coughing (or other visible symptoms). I wonder if they’re looking for sympathy.

    When someone tells me online or on the phone that they’re sick, it’s a different story. Usually, it just reminds me of the time I had [whatever illness].

    When someone tells me they have an incurable illness, I am at a loss. Fortunately, this has rarely happened to me.

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