I am pretty sure that I have become incapable of catching and experiencing a normal common cold.
This is the fourth or fifth time this year that I've started with a head cold that's ended up incapacitating me for the better part of a week. They've all followed the same modus operandi. My nose stuffs up, then I start to feel better, then SLAM! Vicious headache, congestion drops into my chest, bronchial issues that require digging out my inhaler and usually codeine cough syrup after a few nights without sleep, and a sapping of energy that takes weeks to rebuild. (Except that one time this year when I had no cold symptoms, but somehow contracted walking pneumonia. Seriously.)
I am frustrated, grumpy, missed three days of work, have so much I've fallen behind on, and an upcoming week that is busy enough to test what little endurance I have in storage.
The only genuine relief is to stand in the shower as hot as I can stand it and inhale the steam as deeply as I can. The relief lasts an hour or so, but then I'm back to feeling that heaviness in the chest and wanting to return to a state of hibernation on the couch.
I think about becoming an isolationist. No contact with the outside world means no contact with germs, right?
So I think about becoming an isolationist.
And then I realize that continuing along that path is going to turn me into a crazy person.
I'm just tired of getting stupid colds and being taken down by them. It makes me feel pathetic and weak and old. Yes, right now I'm pathetic for sure, but, Lord, I hate feeling weak and old. Physically weak and old.
I remember my Nana, in one of those rare moments in which she let down her guard, telling me about how much she hated getting old. Although it isn't the word she used, it enraged her. She told me how devastating it was to look in the mirror and not be able to see herself through all the wrinkles. She broke my heart a little that day.
I've always been pretty philosophical about aging, because, after all, it happens to all of us, right? There's no stopping it.
Easy acceptance. Grace. That's how I was going.
I think it's time to formulate Plan B.