ALONG WITH SNOW, sleet, black ice, freezing rain and power outages, winter brings with it many charms, not the least of which is the common cold. Despite its bad reputation, and depending on the severity of symptoms, catching a cold can be as good as a Florida vacation. Better, in fact, since you’re guaranteed to lose a few pounds instead of gaining five, there are absolutely no bugs and you won’t have to apply sunscreen. Best of all, you can have a bad time and say so without disappointing anyone, including yourself. My current cold started three days ago with a subtle sore throat. It was annoying but nothing I couldn’t handle, allowing me to still perform all my regular chores and not only show up for meals but cook them. By the next morning things had gone downhill –or uphill — and I was beginning to sneeze occasionally. As my husband prepared to leave for a short business trip, I assured him that I was fine. I went to the bank, the grocery store and the post office, engaging in meaningless small talk at all stops. My cats still received their usual first-class treatment, with me opening and closing all doors when summoned, scooping litter and conducting numerous treat sessions.
That night I felt bad enough to take some Ny-Quil which rendered me dead to the world until it wore off at 3:30 in the morning. Fortunately I was unable to get back to sleep and so was able to watch back-to-back infomercials for Suzanne Somer’s age-reversing potions and the Total Gym exercise system guaranteed to get me into “the best shape of my life.” (I am excited to start looking younger as soon as I can stand up again.)
Yesterday I finally hit pay dirt: I was way too sick to keep my pre-op appointment for next week’s scheduled cataract surgery! In fact, the nurse I spoke with said we’d have to cancel the surgery too since “the cold going around these days lasts three or four weeks.” I promised to reschedule when I’m feeling better or when Hell freezes over, whichever comes first.
With my calendar cleared I was free to cough and sneeze — a great way to tone your abs when done correctly — and watch movies all day. I opted for a Tom Hanks festival, starting with Cast Away which made me feel a lot better — at least I wasn’t stranded on a desert island or Helen Hunt wondering where her career went. Then I watched Philadelphia, blubbering through most of it from a combination of my worsening symptoms and the horror of AIDS.
This morning I’m still sick but two pounds lighter. It’s 7 degrees outside and I don’t have to go anywhere. My husband returned last night which is nice, especially since he stopped on his way home to pick up some ice cream for me. That was so thoughtful. Still, this morning I suggested he make dinner plans for himself this evening since there’s no food in the house and I won’t be cooking, although I might make some popcorn for my afternoon movie.