Think I am just thinking.

Words are but thoughts made visible.

People still ask, “How long does a Cold last?”

   Seems that one question people keep asking is “How long does a Cold last?” 

So I’ve done some more research and the answer remains the same.  Still looks like now mater what you do, you can look forward to seven to ten days of misery, or at least un-comfort, before things will get better.  To complicate matters, cold viruses, like the flu bugs, change as they hop from host to host.  Thus, guaranteeing they will find future hosts who lack the immune system to fight them off, before they get a chance to invade and multiply.

    Things to watch for though are symptoms that go beyond that of those of the cold which started the whole mess.  The side effects of having that sore throat, fever, blocked nasal passages among others, is the increased risk of infections caused by other bacteria which takes advantage of the situation.   Other factors that can affect outcomes is the level of stress you are experiencing at the time.  Increased stress has been shown to weaken the immune system.

   So, if after 10 days, you are feeling worse than when it started, you may have something else your body is fighting, other than the cold which started things.  Secondary bacterial infections can be very serious, leading to worse things such as bronchitis, pneumonia, meningitis, sinusitis and even middle ear infections.  If you keep running a fever (higher than 38.5°C/101°F), this is a good sign that a bacterial infection has taken hold.  If you are experiencing any of these including the fever, after 10 days, the recommendations are to get yourself in to see your physician and get checked out.  An antibiotic is likely going to be recommended and prescribed to fight of the infection.

   I have read that Zinc supplements can help shorten, or at least lessen the effects of the cold, if started right away.  I have tried this myself and did not see any positive effect and as such cannot recommend it myself.  But, I have some Zinc sitting on hand just incase.  Maybe next time, if I don’t wait a couple days to start?  I do take one tablet of vitamin ‘C’ each day, and though scientific research has not yet proven it to be helpful, I’ve been cold free for over a year, which is a first.

   So, it’s too late, you already have the cold and are wondering what you can do?  Well you might be surprised that Chicken Soup, does help, at least in that it gets fluids into your body along with some healthy nutrients.  Your favorite pain reliever and decongestants will also help to at least, reduce the misery.

   I wish you luck in either fighting your cold, and or, hopefully keeping your possible future cold at bay.

Just in case you are wondering.  This is the enemy each of us must fend off.

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November 11, 2009 Posted by | Cold, Healthcare | , , | Leave a comment

There are more than Cold’s hiding out there.

   Though cold season is not yet over, there is more than just head-cold’s hanging around.  Though this years cold was about a three week event, the main cold lasted about a week with a couple really bad head pressure and light fever days.  Though I ended up taking one day off and heading into the doc’s by the end of the first week, due to a minor lung infection, it still beat out getting the flue bug.

   This years Flue bug can really be a bad one.  I did get the flue shot and it’s been reported that this years shot which matches really close to the strain going around.  So, so far so good on the flue front.  One of my co-workers was not as fortunate.  He was good on Monday, and by Tuesday morning, shortly after midnight, the bug hit with full force.  He did not show back up to work until the next Monday.  From the reports coming in, you not only empty out all stomach contents, but end up shall we say, “flushed out at both ends!”  The biggest danger with this virulent strain of flue is that you can end up totally dehydrated, which could mean you end up in the local emergency room with an I.V. fluid bag flowing into your arm to get your fluid back up. 

   So if you end up catching this nasty little bug, I would recommend getting to your doctor sooner than later.  At least your physician can perhaps get you something to calm down your stomach and keep your fluid level up.  Though if your interested in dropping off a quick 5 to 15 pounds, just stick around the house.  But, don’t go far from the bathroom, as you may not make it in time.

   So, in the meantime, keep washing your hands and maybe even keep a small bottle of hand degermer close by.  Good luck and stay healthy!

February 18, 2009 Posted by | Cold, Flue, sick | , , , | Leave a comment

Yup, Mr. Cold is still here.

  Well either the antibiotics and or time is starting to make a difference.  No fevers and full nose breathing ability is once again the norm.   Back of the throat is still sore, but not as bad.  In talking with a few other people who managed to contact what sounds like a similar virus strain, this years seasonal treat has been lasting anywhere from three to as much as six weeks, before all symptoms are gone. 

   Hard to believe I am hopeing for a 3-week cold!

December 13, 2008 Posted by | Cold, cough, Flue, sick | , , , | Leave a comment

Still sick!

Here it is, heading toward week two and the darn cold will not go away.  At the end of last week, I thought I was getting a bit better and along came Saturday and new symptoms started to kick in.  Broke out in a fever peaking toward 103, and knew it was time to head into the Doctor.  Apparently the congestion sprouted some bronchial or lung infection, so it was time to hit the antibiotics. 

   Up to this point, it had just been one of those darn colds the starts up high and works it’s way down low.  So now after five days on pills, and other cold medicine, my lungs are feeling clearer, but boy is the back of the roof of my mouth sore.  All this sinus congestion has resulted in breathing through my mouth during the night, which in turn has resulting in some log sawing of Redwood sized proportions. 

   I guess that little dangly thing at the back of your mouth and throat area (epiglottis for those that care) had taken one too many nightly poundings and is sore at me.  Ok, perhaps just sore.  It’s like having a really bad throat at the very top of your throat. 

   There is no guessing about it.  I still really hate colds and just being sick in general.

December 10, 2008 Posted by | Cold, cough, Flue, sick | , , , | Leave a comment

Talk about being sick and you might get sick!

   Well, I guess I should have known better.  I stated making comments about getting sick and Wham!  I get hit by one hum-dinger of it’s starts as a “Sinus cold” turns into your typical “sore throat” cold, only to be followed by the “deep chest” cold complete with all the phlem and hacking one could ever not wish for. 

   Six days ago, it started with a nagging sinus pressure that bordered on almost being a full blown headache, but not quite.  So this was day one of my new found friend, my lost cold of last year, except is was only January, so it’s back early!

   On day two, the sinus pressure started to make room for the runny noise stage of my new cold.  It’s amazing how a cold always chooses to plug first one side, then then the other nostral.  And of course in the meantime the one nostril had the nasty ability to drain out coupious amounts of fluid.  Fluid which wanted to keep finding it’s way into my pillow at night.  The only way to stop the flood was to put a small plug of tissue into the end of the offending nostril to at as the little dutch boys finger into the dike.  This of course leads to the total inability to breath out of either nostril, which results in breathing through one’s mouth during the sleepless night.  Finally fatigue hits and you get ten or twenty minutes of unconscious state during which the insides of you mouth turn into tacky gluey sandpaper which upon jolting back awake makes you fully appreciate being able to breath through your noise while you sleep.  It had reached the time to hit the “Cold” medicines.

  Day three awoke to the full fledged “I have a nasty cold” feeling.  It was time to dig out the heavy medicine.  Fortunately we had build up quite a collection of different over the counter remedies over this year.  First I tried the ever popular “Plop Plop Fiss Fiss” Cold edition medicine, which helped to slow down the run-away-noise syndrome.  But does tend to leave one with that “medicated” feeling.  By that evening I was ready for the “Nite Time” remedy in a liquid night-time formula which did help me get more than fifteen minutes sleep at a time, for the middle two of the four hour duration it is rated for.  then it was time to get up and take another dose and hope for the best.

Day four began the I’m getting nagging cough symptoms.  So now in addition to the four drug cocktails I had been taking, I was now popping in couch drops to quell the scratchy throat and throat tickles which result in that ever present “hack hack, cough cough” aren’t you glad your in a meeting with me stage.  This night seemed to be a repeat of the night before.

Day five, and I finally had a night were I was getting up to a full hour of sleep at a time.  But, by morning, I was feeling so fatigued that there was really no point in heading into work today.  So, called in sick, and spent the day in bed, actually getting up to almost two hours of sleep at a time.

Day six, for the first time in as many days, I have been able to breath through both nostrils at the same time.  Almost forgot what that was like.  Woke up feeling a bit more rested.  At least I had more energy then the past few days.  I could really feel a more heaviness down deep in my chest and did have a few good coughing spells to start out the day.  But, after blowing all the gunk out of my nose, and coughing out some really disgusting lunch based phlem, it was time to head back into work.  The polite thing to do at work is always worn everyone, set on the far side of the room, and advise against shaking your hand.  In other words, you are a work leper for the day.

So this lead me to the end of Day six.  I sit hear this evening after having taken another batch of the four drug over the counter cocktail, feeling about the best I have felt all week.  I almost feel normal again.  Hopefully the night will be short one, having slept through the whole night, without waking up every thirty or sixty minutes like most of the rest of the week.  I would have been tempting to head into the doctors’ office and request more powerful drugs and or antibiotics, but if you haven’t heard, this is not really such a great idea.  First antibiotics do nothing for a virus based illness.  And they can actually cause you body to grow fewer antibodies, which are needed to fight off the more serious bugs that can enter your lives.  But if you start getting lower back and chest pains, and you are coughing up lots of the green stuff, your cold may have triggered and infection.  As infections are bacteria based, antibiotics are probably needed in this case.  Should I get to this point, I too will be heading into see the Doc as I really would prefer not to end up with pneumonia.      The other symtom which I did not get was a high temperature during the last week.  I had time or two where my body temperature did climb a degree, but not much more than a very low grade fever.  Combine this week with a high-grade fever and it would have been something much more serious and something that I needed to get outside help on.

The only good thing about this week is my flu shot worked.  I didn’t get the flue!

December 6, 2008 Posted by | Cold, cough, Flue, sick | , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you have a Cold, or is it something else?

Tis the season to be Jolly, and also to catch an illness!  Yes, it’s that time of year again when Colds and Flu bugs run rampant.  Catch a cold and you end up with three or four days of sore throat, stuffy nose, watery eyes and perhaps “Head Bangers” pounding away to keep you feeling otherwise just plain “Blaaaa”.

But if you find you start getting that heavy feeling in your chest.  Taking a deep breath actually can cause a bit of discomfort or even pain.  You may be a victim of RSV.  RSV, otherwise known in the medical system as Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which in a healthy person can last a good week or two before starting to clear away.  RSV also causes a condition known as bronchiolitis, which is inflammation or swelling of the small airways deep inside your lungs.  This can also lead to pneumonia (fluid in the lungs) in small children or older adults. 

So, what to do?   First and formost, “WASH YOUR HANDS”.  Yes the simple act of washing your hands frequently has been proven to be one of the best protections from getting sick.  If you get the germs off your hands by washing, then they will not be there the next time you rub your nose, or pick at that piece of fuit stick between your teeth, or just rub your eyes after a long time staring at that desk computer. 

But I did that and still got sick you say.  Well, if it’s a cold, your standard over the counter cold medicine will help make you feel more comfortable and try to get plenty of rest.  That means heading to bed for at least a good eight hours of sleep and not staying up to see what’s on after the news.  I know you do this.  I do.

But, if you start getting any of those breathing issues, or start running high fevers, you better get yourself in to see your doctor.  Though there is not much they can do about a virus, they can really help you fight off an infection that could result as a side effect of everything else.

So, I wish you well over this winter season.  And don’t forget to “Wash Your Hands”!

November 20, 2008 Posted by | Cold, cough, Flue | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment