Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Tricks for the Common Cold

We'll count that as the first cold of the season. I caught it from one of the contractors we share an office space with who came in Friday sneezing and coughing. (The contractors do not have sick time, they have one block of PTO (personal time off) they can use for vacation or sick time - consequently, in order to preserve their vacation, they will routinely come in sick. PTO is a classic example of a short-sighted policy.) By the time I went home on Friday I knew I was coming down with the cold. I went into denial for a while, hoping it was allergies, then slipped into the grips of the cold on Saturday and Sunday.

Now, here are the tricks I use to fight a cold. (Though, in all truth, they say a cold will run from three to seven days, and I don't know if any of the things I do make any difference - but, they do make me feel better, so I do them.)

First, stock up on Kleenex and blow your nose, gently, one nostril at a time. Repeat as necessary, which will be often. The nasal membranes create mucus to encapsulate the cold virus and expel it from the body, so let the mucus do it's work. This part is gross, and everyone will deny it (just as everyone actually does it) - do NOT sniff and swallow the mucus. All that does is spread the virus.

Second, gargle with full strength Listerine (or any other alcohol based mouthwash). Gargle frequently. This will help kill the virus. I have no idea if it actually does or not, but it seems to work for me.

Third, drink a lot of water to keep fully hydrated. Skip the juice, skip the soda, skip the tea, just water, lots of water.

Fourth, take a good nasal decongestant.

Finally, at night, I am personal a big fan of Nyquil.

Finally, sleep, sleep, and sleep some more.

Those are the tricks I use to battle a cold - they will not magically cure you of the cold, but they will ensure that it stays at a manageable level. At least it seems to work for me, and maybe it will work for you - one or all of the tricks.

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