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It’s probably happened to you or someone you know. Maybe it happens every year. Your body is besieged by a virus, possibly a super-virus, possibly one crafted specifically by evil forces to cause you the worst imaginable misery. It’s a man-cold, as differentiated from a regular cold by the derision we men suffer on top of the torturous ordeal we experience while in its grip. When it happens to me, I’m a cranky, impatient, whiny grumpy-face. There are a few things that help me get through it, and I want to share them with you, my friends.

Let me start out saying that I am not a doctor. I am not a doctor. I wrote that twice on purpose. The following things have been learned through years of experience in the struggle against these yearly viruses. There has been trial and error. Occasionally I’ve lucked upon something helpful. Other times I’ve failed to reproduce my successes from one year to the next. The man-cold is a wily foe, and we must show no mercy in besting it.

I can’t emphasize enough the need for proper rest. One of the tactics the man-cold employs is to deprive us of our natural ability to heal ourselves. Whether it’s coughing fits, congestion or sinus headaches, loss of sleep gives the man-cold the upper hand. My first and only knockout victory against the man-cold happened while in college. A steady course of tequila shots stopped my man-cold in its tracks. Results may vary, but the combination of alcohol and the sound sleep it provided seemed to work a miracle against my nemesis. While I can’t say whether this will work for you, it’s a lot more fun doing tequila shots than drinking herbal tea and chicken soup, unless you dread a hangover like I do these days in my 40s. I am not a doctor.

I tend to choose a night-time cold remedy for an evening of sweet, man-cold defying oblivion. This has been something that consistently puts me back in the game after a couple of days. The sleep is important, so I don’t recommend taking the blue gelcaps if you can’t stay in bed for at least eight hours. Even then, you’ll probably need to take the orange day-time equivalent to get through work the next day or pay attention to decent TV programming. It’s a roller coaster that can last a while, and in my case a psychological factor comes into play. Do I dare skip it at night and give the man-cold the exhaustion it needs to win? Do I dare abstain from the orange goodies that have kept me from killing my co-workers for the past few days? Only you will know when the time is right to stop. Maybe it’s best to try on the weekend. I should add that you might see some weight loss during this regimen of medications. I lost several pounds subsisting on nothing more than tea, cough drops and the medicines for a couple of days.

Rollercoaster

A good combination of TV and a comfy couch is found to be helpful by 4 out 5 doctors when suffering from a man-cold. (I totally made that up, but don’t tell your boss, family or conscience.) Netflix has been a godsend when I’ve battled the man-cold over the last few years. There’s an endless variety of material for whatever state of brain-power you happen to command during the day. If your mind feels like a twice-baked potato, try some reality TV. If you’re starting to feel better, try Lost. Then let me know if you figured it out, because I couldn’t even when I was healthy. My point is that letting your mind race and obsess over things like work, hygiene and whether or not you should’ve eaten the entire box of Cap’n Crunch is counterproductive to the healing process. Try to veg out and let your body heal without your mind getting in the way. TV is the best thing to keep you from thinking about much of anything.

Oh yeah, you should probably stay away from sugar, drink lots of water and up your vitamin C intake. Those may not be as important as the earlier stuff, but they can’t hurt. Remember, I’m not a doctor, but I am your friend. Don’t feel like you need to suffer through the man-cold alone. Leave me a comment with your favorite remedies and therapeutic activities. And don’t let anyone make you feel like less than a man during your trying period of convalescence. Everyone’s recovery process is different and should be respected.

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