The Common Cold

Journey Of The Common Cold (masculine)

Stage 1:

Slightly congested, a little runny nose, increasing sinus build-up, reaching for the Kleenex, still with vigor.

Stage 2:

Confirmed head cold, sinuses filling, blocked nostrils, when horizontal (dread bed) post nasal drip and tickled throat and superficial cough.

Stage 3:

Annoying cough, maybe sore throat, weak and fragile, 2 hankies, maybe 3, you sound like Darth Vader, body aches and chills.

Stage 4:

Cough moves down to your bronchial tubes, initially unsuccessful attempts to get purchase on phlegm (what a great word!), cough becomes a full body blow, a seismic eruption, you become aware of all your torso muscles, sneezing with extreme vigor, dread bed continues, cannot sleep horizontally, lower nostril blocks up and drips onto pillow, mouth breathing turns lips and everything else to crusty parched desert, slides into slumber are interrupted by wracking cough. fragile, partner moves to another bedroom.

Stage 5:

Head begins to clear, slight headache due to residual congestion, urge to cough slackens, still fragile, move slowly so as not to awaken the monster within.

Stage 6:

Finally able to return to work. Milk the absence. Exaggerate the experience. At any stage, bronchitis, strep throat and/or pneumonia may be invited to participate in the ravaging of your body. You are a hero.

Journey Of The Common Cold (feminine)

Stages 1-6:

Feels like shit, powers through, gets job done (and takes care of sick spouse and children). She is a hero.