The 10 stages of the common cold

For the first time in over a year, I was felled by the cold virus this past week. (What??! It’s almost summer!) Has that ever happened to you? All things considered, it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve fared worse in previous cases, but still… It’s never a great ride. If you’ve been blessed with the gift of never having ever caught a cold, congratulations! You have everyone’s envy upon you (including mine). But allow me to guide you through the stages to give you a feeler for it.

Stage 1: the denial.

Uh oh, do I feel a cold coming on? *thinks a second.* Nah, must be allergies! Look at all the pollen flying around! (But I’ll take vitamin c just in case.)

Stage 2: the sore throat.

It starts off as a harmless tickle. But then, as your day progresses, it gets less tickly and more… Prickly. Now you know it must be a cold. (Dammit). When you finally decide to turn in, you can only lay in bed awake because your throat is bothering the hell out of you. You want to keep swallowing, but it hurts, and if you don’t swallow, it still hurts. Good thing this stage is at the beginning and lasts only a short time, because it is the worst.

Stage 3: the hallucinogenic dreams.

When you finally start to get into that stage between asleep and awake, you start having dreams of things that didn’t even make a dent in your subconscious… At least, until tonight. It could be a name you heard, something totally average that happened during the day… Then they start repeating over and over and over as you wake up over and over and over. (For me, all I could repeatedly dream of was the ending of Agents of Shield, and think about what was going to happen to Simmons.)

Stage 4: the gradual onset of the runny nose.

Congrats! You’ve made it past the sore throat stage. Now your nose is starting to run slightly… You think, “oh, this isn’t so bad! Maybe it will just be a three day thing.” Hahahahahah SO WRONG.

Stage 5: The all out nose-blowing and sneezes. And icky coughs, if you’re so very unfortunate.

Someone pass me a tissue! Or 5000 of them, if you would be so kind.

Stage 6: Complete lack of willpower to do anything.

It’s time to call in sick: break out the sweat pants and flop yourself in front of the tv for the rest eternity. (And rack up the sympathies of others.)

Stage 7: Your family members taking the precautionary measures to avoid catching your plague.

Nuff’ said.

Stage 8: A breakthrough. YOU SLEPT THE NIGHT!

This happens after days of relentless cold symptoms. You can finally breath through your nose, and can go almost a day without having to grab a tissue before spontaneously combusting into sneezes.

Stage 9: You sound normal again.

No, I’m sorry, Kermit the frog doesn’t live here any more.

Stage 10: You can officially consider yourself “clean”. 

After the first week, you’re not contagious. Huzzah!

Time to celebrate!!

Repeat after me: I will take my vitamins everyday. And I will not go into work/school if I’m feeling like crap.

Stay healthy, amigos!

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