You are not well? they ask. It’s only a cold, you reply. Nothing to write home about.
But how all-encompassing a cold can be, shutting down one’s ability to function. First that ominous shivery feeling, a general malaithe sore throat, the blocked nose, the headache. All coming out of nowhere, in a matter of hours.
And the nights. One night after another, when all the symptoms rush in, competing to stop you sleeping. Worst of all, when the cold moves to the chest, hours of coughing and coughing., unable to quell that deep tickle. Sitting up does not help. Nor does wandering round the house. Raiding the fridge has lost its appeal. Reading is too much like hard work. Even music is irritating.
Then the days are long, tired out after the sleepless nights. Quite well in the morning, thank you. But come evening the coughing takes a hold, and you approach night with no pleasure.
Well, my little cold only lasted a week. But what a long week. Then at last yesterday I turned the corner. My head cleared. Lots of coughing and nose-blowing to clear the system out, and now I am back to normal.
This seems to a particular strain which is doing the rounds locally. My friend, Margaret, had a shorter version last week, and today I witnessed Dessa (who came to lunch today) becoming overwhelmed.
But it was only a cold. And now mine is on its way out. So tomorrow: back to normal life.