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Some slack, please


No, that’s not a charming crocheted tree ornament, it’s a 3D representation of a human rhinovirus and I got one for Christmas!

That wouldn’t be so bad, except it’s my third in a row. One after the other. I’ve never seen anything like it. I didn’t even know it was possible.

Some time in mid September, I got a sort of a sleepy flu thing — chesty cough and extreme fatigue. Lots of people around got it at the same time. After which I got a cold. After which I got a cold. After which I got a cold. I have been continuously hacking and snotting for almost four months.

How can this be? I’m amazed there are that many different rhinoviruses floating around town. Clearly, my immune system is shot to hell.

One of my neighbors turned up (briefly!) at coffee this morning with a case of the calamitous shits and if I catch that one for the holidays I swear I’m done.

I’ve tried every remedy suggested to me. My favorite so far is whisky. Or whiskey. I’m not picky.

Any other suggestions?


Comment from Gromulin
Time: December 21, 2016, 9:55 pm

I’m right there with you, but I have the added curse of teenagers importing every virus in a 20 mile radius to the house. Sleeping flu? Check. Hacking cold? Check. Woke up today with the “rats chewing at the back of my sinuses” version of whatever this crap is going around. I’m going with frozen Jagermeister. I swear it works just as good as Nyquil, and cheaper.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: December 21, 2016, 10:12 pm

I work from home, do all my shopping online and avoid all human contact. Hope you’re feeling better soon…I don’t have any good remedies, unfortunately.

You should get a pneumonia shot in case, being so sick for so long.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: December 21, 2016, 10:40 pm

I caught norovirus a few years ago at work. At first I was afraid I was going to die. Two days later, I was praying for for death. Spent 2 days lying on the bathroom floor at the base of the toilet. Broke a rib from all the dry heaving and puking. My ass was so raw from the diarrhea, it was just a bloody mess. Wouldn’t wish that on anybody- not even my mother-in-law. But so far this year, I’m good. And I need to stay that way for a bit longer as the annual month long winter avoidance to FL starts in just 2 weeks.

Comment from BJM
Time: December 21, 2016, 11:12 pm

The rhinovirus going around in our neck of the woods is a tenacious bugger…I’m going on my second week stoned on antihistamines.

-I’m going with frozen Jagermeister.

Gran’s favorite medicinal go-to here; two fingers of 151 proof Rum, a dollop of honey in a mug of hot lemon water.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: December 21, 2016, 11:13 pm

Poor Armybrat!…I had something like that once…my digestion has never been the same either.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: December 21, 2016, 11:58 pm

I have a 2yo. Whatever she catches, she generously gives to me. Then she goes out and plays with the neighborhood children, to secretly resupply with viruses.

Children are the human race’s petri dish.

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: December 22, 2016, 12:36 am

If you have anything like “TheraFlu” in Merrye Olde, get it. Use it. It will knock you out. It’s worth all the deep sleep and symptom-free hours you will get.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: December 22, 2016, 12:47 am

I heartily agree with ExpressoBold re: anything that’ll put you to sleep. Sleep is good in general, but it is also the best way to get through the travails of colds and flu.

For reducing the chance of future maladies, I have become a true believer in hand washing. If that’s inconvenient, and it sometimes is, it’s helpful to carry a little pocket-sized squeeze bottle of hand sanitizer. My understanding is that the most common way to infect yourself is to touch nasty stuff (and it doesn’t have to look nasty to be nasty) and then touch your lips or eyes. DON’T DO THAT!

I’ll make the standard warning about using medicines containing acetaminophen (paracetamol to you) and also drinking whisky (or whiskey). You really, really don’t want to subject your liver to the mixture. Be careful about the total acetaminophen intake, and cut the recommended maximum daily dose in half if you’re drinking nice, tasty alcoholic beverages. My own preference is to eschew the pain meds in favor of booze, but YYMV.

May the Health Fairy tap you on the nose with her magic wand! Feel better soon, please.

Edit add: The best med I’ve found for this situation is here in the US generally called “night-time cough” syrup. It contains ONLY dextromethorphan (cough supressant) and doxylamine succinate (VERY sleep-inducing antihistamine). Knocks me right out for hours, and contains no acetaminophen/paracetamol.

Comment from OldFert
Time: December 22, 2016, 1:24 am

How can you be sick? I mean, the UK has free healthcare! You shouldn’t EVER be sick. It should be UNPOSSIBLE! Maybe you can get Obamacare over there once we’ve gotten rid of it. /s

Hope you get better soon. Not good having a sick Stoaty around here. How’s Uncle B holding up?

I like the Jägermeister idea. Haven’t had any of that since REFORGER ’86 at Hohenfels.

But get better and Merry Christmas.

Hillary will never be president.

Comment from Backshelf
Time: December 22, 2016, 3:07 am

Darn it, I thought this was going to be about the third 3D virus model Christmas tree ornament you got, and I was looking for the link to buy one myself when I realized, no, you were sick for the third time this season.

Wishing you a healthy and blessed Christmas!

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: December 22, 2016, 3:45 am

I just got over bronchitis. First two weeks I thought it was a nasty cold. I made the mistake of eating some grapefruit while guzzling Mucinex and had a horrible reaction…Swollen face and itchy hives. Don’t do that.

Calamitous Shits is gonna be my folk/ska/metal band name.

Comment from Bob B
Time: December 22, 2016, 3:52 am

I recommend locating some cough syrup that’s loaded with DXM and swigging it until you have visions of God. I hear it’s really special.
(I have never done that, my friend told me about it.)

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: December 22, 2016, 6:15 am

Vodka might prove helpful – Absolut or Grey Goose, p’raps – ‘specially if a) flavored (in a favorite or highly-favored flavor, of course) and/or b) ingested whilst icy-cold (and carefully-well-bundled bodily, natch…) –

Keeps one – simultaneously, more-or-less – well-ventilated, desensitized (internally, mostly) and generally-disinfected, while at least moderately-warmed (externally, mostly)…

Meanwhile – remain both only-semi-reclining but resting while well-padded, and in rather close proximity to bathroom facilities (in case of sudden need[s]).

Oh, and a certain supply of absorbent tissues should be in close attendance.

Enough of that, and you may not actually feel much better for the nonce – but you should also become generally-numb-enough not to much give a rip.

Try to favor us with the occasional update, and The Best Of The Season to you. You have my personal sympathy, having Been There, Done That – though, quite thankfully, not (now) for a-many a year gone by…

Oh, and: HilLIARy will NEVAH bee PresiDUNCE!! – nor will Slick Willie (quite likely) ever get back into the Big House On Penn Ave except on a guided tour (and maybe even not then, Willie being…Willie) – so. be of Good Cheer, overall!

Comment from catnip
Time: December 22, 2016, 10:01 am

It’s unfair and uncanny that you’ve been given yet another cold, and I regret being unable to recommend any effective cold remedies other than those already mentioned. If the frequency of susceptibility keeps up, you might want a check-up to see if any of it is related to allergy. In any case, please rest up and feel better soon.

I’m not qualified by any means to give medical advice, but I do know of a means of helping to fend off a cold entirely, or lessen its symptoms and duration. It was recommended repeatedly on the radio years ago by Paul Harvey and has been quite popular among family and friends. I last used it successfully a week ago. This method involves zinc and it has to be initiated as soon as the very first unmistakable signs of a cold coming on are noticed. It acts as as brute force suppression of the cold virus before it’s had time to invade much of your internal territory. Not entirely pleasant, but often effective for folks who hate being sick.

The inhibitor is a 25 mg. zinc tablet, placed inside the cheek at the back of the mouth on the side closest to slight scratchiness of the throat, or a suddenly drippy or sneeze-y feeling nostril. Allow the tablet to dissolve on its own–don’t suck on it–it will take a while to disintegrate. Repeat this process after two hours, three times more–total dosage, 100 mg. It’s best not to drink anything until half an hour or so after the zinc tab has dissolved in your mouth. Following the 4 doses, you should notice that the cold symptoms have either diminished appreciably, or completely disappeared. Do not overdose. Sometimes 3 tabs will do the trick.

The zinc tastes icky, makes the corner of your mouth feel icky, and may bother your stomach slightly, in which case saltines or other snacks between doses can help. If your sense of taste or smell is absent at the end of the 2-hour interval between the first and second doses, the process should be discontinued, because a few people have reported that this treatment has led to permanent inhibition of taste or smell. There may also be contraindications for those who are sensitive to zinc or routinely take other medications, but for others, the Paul Harvey cold-squelching method may be helpful.

Comment from F X Muldoon
Time: December 22, 2016, 1:33 pm

You have chickens, the answer is chicken soup, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and neutophil chemotactic inhibitory properties.

Also bourbon, honey, and lemon, or enough bourbon and you won’t care you have a cold.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: December 22, 2016, 2:20 pm

Well Dang Stoaty. I wonder if you have a deviated septum or nasal polyps. Have you been allergy tested? Feathers, maybe?
Speaking of feathers—how are the girls holding up in their confinement? (How are you holding up in their confinement?)

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: December 22, 2016, 5:06 pm

What Muldoon said, if the bourbon whiskey is hard to come by, that Irish stuff will work too.

Whiskey and honey.

Your proportions may vary – but heavy on both.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: December 22, 2016, 6:44 pm

Barenjager Honey Liqueur


For extra medicinal purposes you can warm it up.
Looking up the brand name, I found recipes for home made honey liquors which appear to be easy to make.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: December 22, 2016, 6:46 pm

They sell honey liquor and a honey and bourbon drink. Sounds good. 🙂


Comment from LesterIII
Time: December 22, 2016, 6:50 pm

I may have posted this before. Regardless, I stand by it. Should be easy for you Stoaty; don’t you have a whiz-bang super blendy contraption?

The Concoction
Derived from a late 1800s apothecary guidebook/manual

– 2 or 3 Oranges (peeled) or the juice thereof
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne or other)
– 2-3 cloves minced garlic
– 1 Tablespoon honey
– 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Blend very, very well. Do not chug. Relieves congestion, sore throat, and is a MIRACLE for bodyache. I believe it has assisted in my recovery from colds. Fringe benefit, allegedly very good for your liver.

I liken this to a spicy-citrus version of a V8, kind of a wacky Orange Julius for those familiar.

Comment from LesterIII
Time: December 22, 2016, 6:56 pm

Also, Bärenjäger is wonderfully versatile:

– Sipped like whisky, neat or rocks
– Mixed WITH whisky so as not to unnecessarily lower the alcohol content of your symptom-squashing mixology
– Fantastic poured over ice cream

Comment from RealMc
Time: December 22, 2016, 8:40 pm

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and didn’t sleep at a holiday inn last night.

Water. Good old plain shit in by the fish that swim in it water. (not fish tank water, faucet water, if yours is drinkable, bottled if it ain’t).

Being sick that long could be something else worth seeing a real doctor about but my experience tells me get back to eating like you normally eat when you aren’t sick so you get the nutrients your body needs and hydrate. I am talking about drinking a litre of water every 2 hours while you are awake and then when you can’t sleep because you need to visit the w.c. drink some more.

oh, and as for the whiskey well, I drink it to catch a buzz and don’t have to be sick for an excuse to have some.

Hope you feel better soon!!

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: December 22, 2016, 9:52 pm

Scotch whiskey + honey = Drambuie!

Comment from Uncle Bill
Time: December 22, 2016, 10:35 pm

You might have a sinus infection. This is a bacterial infection, that can develop from a viral cold (don’t ask me how that works). It seems like you are getting better, then it hits you once again. The good news is that a course of the right antibiotic will clear it up pretty quickly. My ENT prescribes Augmentin, and that works for me. See an ENT right away – sinus infections are nothing to fool around with.

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