Sneezing and Sniffling--What Do YOU Do?

UPDATED Monday morning: How GREAT was it to see Olivia Colman win for best actress? (See below for my Broadchurch "discovery." WOW. (Though I feel bad for the amazing Glenn Close.)
And can we talk about that SONG?? What do you think?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: It's almost over. ALMOST over.  It's almost gone now, but  it started one day last week. At first, I was completely fine. And then, wham. A sniffle. A tiny sniffle. I ignored it. Of course.  I don't have time to be sick! 


This is not me. 
And then, ker-CHOO. Then: ker-CHOO ker-CHOO ker-CHOO. My head hurt, I was sniffing and sneezing and snorking and generally being disgusting. I tried to convince myself that it was an allergy, so I took every allergy medication known to humankind, but they did not work. 

Then I had to admit--it's a cold. Oh. NO. What do I usually do for a cold? I could NOT remember.  It was as if I'd never had one before, I was baffled and confused. Because, of course I had a cold,  SO frustrating, and that makes it impossible to think. 

 I rattled around through the medicine cabinet and pawed though the bathroom drawers and scouted the linen closet to see what there was, and found this array of half-used over the counter stuff. SOMETHING had to work, right? SOMETHING?  You can't just have a thing that you can't cure. 

I didn't really have a cough or a sore throat, so all the cough stuff I rejected. And no fever.  So I took a little of one, then four hours later, a little of the other. It was probably expired, but I don't believe they really expire.  I looked up on Google: can you take Allegra and Tylenol at the same time? (Apparently you can.)

Just sniffles and sneezes, SO annoying, I couldn't even finish a whole sentence without sneezing

(And I read somewhere that if you think you're going to sneeze, you can stop it by quickly saying "pickle." You can imagine how intelligent I sounded during the time I was trying that.)


Plus, I was walking around carrying whole boxes of tissues and leaving little shards in my wake. I took a hot shower. Sinus rinse. Water water water, and sleep. 

I pretended I was fine, to see if that would work, but it usually didn't.  Praise the writing gods I had no book or personal events. (Because nothing worse than having a sick person go out in public, right?)  Soup, and oscillococcinum and nose spray.

Ka-CHOO!


(The only good thing was that I found Broadchurch, which I watched, endlessly, blanketed on a big chair with glazed eyes and cups of tea. But how did I miss that? It's fabulous.)



I counted the hours until I could take Nyquil . But after about day three, I felt like my whole body was full of medicine, and I was spacy and goofy and hyper-medicated so I stopped taking everything.

Ahhh. What cold-eradicating hints do you have I can use next time? Have you had this scourge this season?

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Oh, God, I had the cold that would not end earlier this winter.I was hacking and horking for THREE WEEKS. It was the worst. 

Honestly, my number-one treatment is the one hardest for adults to do: go to bed! I'm convinced resting your poor, beleaguered  body is the most effective way to shorten your cold. Look at children: when they're sick, they fall like stunned sheep. They sleep, and sleep, and sleep. Every parent knows you can tell your child is getting well when he or she actually starts to move around again. 
 But it's so difficult for grown-ups. We're all convinced the world will end if we don't get to work. (Leaving aside the unfortunate workers who MUST show up, sick or well, or face docking their pay or losing their jobs because we don't have a sane sick policy in this country.) 

So we slog into the office and spread our illnesses around to our grateful coworkers, and the cold lasts a week longer
than it might have.

LUCY BURDETTE: John is now going through this exact sequence – thinking he must have an allergy! Hoping hoping fingers crossed that it isn’t a dreaded cold. I think Julia is right, the smartest thing is going to bed or sitting in front of the TV as Hank did. Otherwise everyone else in the world gets the darned germs. 

Not so sure there’s anything that can be done to avoid this completely, but I am hooked on something my naturopath suggested. It’s a combination of mushrooms called Immune Renew that boosts the immune system. You take them when you’re either around sick people, or when you feel the earliest signs of a cold. I swear I’ve beaten a few back this winter…


DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, poor Hank. I had it at Christmas (the worst!) and it lasted for three weeks, then again the first of this month. My not-terribly-effective remedies are to start taking cough syrup right away, the kind that has Mucinex in it, and to use saline nasal spray to flush out the congestion. 

Colds are just miserable, and the fuzzy-headedness makes accomplishing anything almost impossible. I really think the best thing to do is to rest as much as possible, stay home (don't spread it!), drink lots of liquids and watch TV.

 Rick had it too--he swears hot and sour soup got him over the hump. I'll go with that, and try Lucy's remedy, too! And crossing fingers that twice is enough for one winter!

HALLIE EPHRON: I had that cold for two weeks - started and I thought it was an allergy! Then it hung around and hung around, sneezing and clogging my head so I couldn't breathe. Coughing and hacking. I am finally over it now. I'm limited in what over-the-counter drugs I can take because of meds that I take regularly, so I try to make due with plenty of liquids and sleep. Oh, and I try to sleep slightly sitting up -- it helps with breathing.

I was lucky this came at a time when I didn't have any commitments to speak because I sounded like a frog and would have infected the audience. Yes, Debs, ONCE is plenty for one winter. And spring.

RHYS BOWEN: I hardly dare to write this because it will probably jinx things but so far the dreaded cold has escaped us. This must be because moving house has required such physical labor and stress that no self respecting cold would want to hang around. First we carried across box after box of stuff before the move. Then We assembled new furniture, hung pictures on high walls, dug out plants, put up hooks etc etc. And these are things that the parade of contractors, electricians, landscapers etc didn't do!

But my go-to recipe for a cold is to make soup of a whole chicken with lots of onions and garlic. Also drink hot lemon and honey with some rum. The more rum the better you'll feel! And Cold Ease works if you take it soon enough. Also when you tell yourself firmly you have no time to be sick. That works too!

JENN McKINLAY: So far so good here. Of course, Hooligan 1 was felled with a fever this morning and stayed home from school and work. I refuse to go near him unless I am masked and gloved - kidding! - bit I did do a copious amount of hand washing every time I brought him medicine or soup or whatever. I'm pretty sturdy and rarely get sick. *knocks wood* 

When I do, I put myself on a strict schedule of Dayquil/Nyquil until the ick passes. When I was in college I was convinced that shots of whiskey cured the common cold. Not sure it cured it so much as made it bearable.
Riiiight.

HANK: Ker-Choo! And how about this photo--supposedly a "woman with a cold." I have NEVER looked anywhere near that good with a cold. I would call this: model with a tissue. 
How about you, Reds and readers? have you been felled by the cold bug this season? What are your tricks for fighting back? 

Sneezing and Sniffling--What Do YOU Do?