Thursday, February 17, 2011

Does Anything Cure a Cold?

     Last Friday I got home from my mid-winter break in Florida. By Monday, I'd come down with a cold.

     B subscribes to the germ theory of disease. She thinks I picked up a virus at a hotel or restaurant or somewhere else in a crowd of vacationers. I believe in the "chilly draft" theory of disease. I think I got the cold because of the sudden drop in temperature that assaulted me when I came back to New York. At least, that's what I told B. Then I thought a moment and wondered, "Is that an old wives' tale?"

     "Yes it is," replied B.

     "I don't care. I still think it's true."

     "My grandmother would agree with you," she deadpanned.

     Regardless, I am now coughing and sniffling and sneezing, and my head feels like it's as big as a beach ball. And so I'd appreciate any tips on how to make this cold go away. Does anyone have their own secret cold remedy they'd like to share?

     I used to believe in vitamin C. I think the research has shown that it has a minimal effect, if any at all. ("When it comes to the common cold, vitamin C may not be a cure," says health website WebMD. "But some studies show that it may help prevent more serious complications ... such as pneumonia and lung infections.")

     Anyway, I've got to hold onto something, so I've been downing 500 mgs. of vitamin C about twice a day, just in case. And I've been drinking my orange juice, something in normal times I usually forget to do. I keep trying to remember to force fluids. Orange juice. Water. Coffee and tea. I'm tempted to try beer; but at this point I doubt it would help.

     I've also been sucking on zinc gluconate homeopathic throat lozenges. I read something about these a couple of years ago. Three or four a day. They make my tongue sore, so they must be working ... right?

     Then, of course, I've been taking aspirin for aches and pains. I tried a DayQuil. It seemed to help a little. Last night I took a teaspoon of Nyquil. Dunno if it helps cure the common cold, but it sure made me sleep. Woke up kind of groggy though.

     I have not tried any Coricidin. I remember when I was growing up, my mother would feed us kids those little red pills when we got a cold. And ginger ale. You don't hear much about Coricidin anymore. I guess it's old news, so people have gone on to other things. And I can't stomach ginger ale anymore.

     Speaking of old ... one remedy I have not tried is chicken soup. Think that really works? Well, chicken pot pie is on the menu for dinner tonight. So maybe that'll help.

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