Every woman knows what it’s like when your husband or partner has a man-cold. They require all the care and attention of a newborn. My friend Gail dusts off her black mourning dress and prepares for the worst. While it’s tempting and seemingly easier to just divorce the old boy, I have some startling news. Women get man-colds too. In fact, I’m just recovering from one and thought I’d share my coping strategy.
I have to preface this piece by saying that I’m not a wimp. I have a high pain tolerance (with a double hip-replacement to vouch for my stamina) but when it comes to the common cold, as soon as I get one I’m totally incapacitated. When I feel that familiar thickening in the back of my throat that signals an oncoming cold I turn vicious. That’s because I know I’m going to be totally immobilized; can’t function; can’t move; can’t do anything but get myself into a horizontal position and stay there for three days. Even my brain ceases to function.
Recalling the old days when I was working for the telephone company in the sixties and I didn’t get paid for the first three days of an illness, I would drag my ass into the office in a state of near-death, passing my germs to everyone near and far and prolonging my recovery by several days. I couldn’t afford to miss sixty percent of my weekly paycheque. A friend once told me when she was raising young children, she dreamed of being able to check into a hotel when she was sick. Illness doesn’t excuse mothers from still having to feed the family and doing all the chores being a mother entails. Booking into the local Hyatt for a couple of days of isolation and recuperation in a quiet, calm hotel room, with room service would be the perfect solution. The good news is now that we’re retired, we can opt out of life and feed our recovery.
I should also mention here that when I’m sick, my husband is the perfect nurse. He ignores me; lets me rot in isolation and generally plays a lot more golf. Just kidding. He’s kind when I’m sick. When he’s sick, I’m not kind. I curse him for getting sick and go to extreme measures to avoid any kind of contact, generally eliminating him from my life until he’s better. Florence Nightingale I’m not.
Here’s the secret
My experience has proven that the best way of dealing with a cold is two or three days in bed with lots of soup and liquids. Retirement allows us that luxury. When you feel a cold coming on, do not try to fight it as you’ll lose. Your body needs every ounce of strength to get rid of the demon and that can only be accomplished by going to bed and channeling all your energies toward recovery. It works for me and puts me back on my feet and living the retirement dream after only three days of bed rest. If I try to push through and keep up my normal routine, the cold only hangs on and keeps me miserable for at least a week. Trust me. My remedy works. And on the fourth day, I did riseth from the near-dead and resumed my life.
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