News Columns & Blogs

Tim Chitwood: Running hot when you've got a cold

Why call it a “cold,” anyway, when you’re sick? Is it because of the weather? What if it isn’t cold outside, and you’re hot, sweating, with a fever? What makes that a “cold”? Why not a “hot”?

Such Seinfeldian questions come to mind when you're sick.

You know how it goes: You start sneezing, and you try to blame allergies, even though it's 30 degrees outside. Maybe. One night. (And next day it's 79.)

Then your nose starts running so fast you can't keep up with it, and your brain gets cloudy.

If your brain gets cloudy first, at my age, you're not sure that's a symptom. Maybe you've just got a lot on your mind. Maybe you're out of coffee, too.

Decide you're sick, and the next thing you do is go to the bathroom and dig out the over-the-counter medications you stashed away the last time you got sick and made a drugstore run.

In my drawers, I found some knockoff pseudoephedrine.

My brain was a little cloudy, but I could have sworn that in the past, cold medicine put you to sleep, particularly if you had a screwdriver with it.

Especially if you drove the screwdriver through your eye.

Turns out it's no wonder they make meth out of this drugstore-cowbody medication, if you use the non-drowsy formula.

You think you're going to pass out and sleep with your sinuses clear, but no. Not at all. Not even close.

No, it's more like you downed a couple of espressos before you went to bed, so that you could lie there with your eyes wide, staring at the ceiling, all night long.

I guess that's why you can't buy this stuff at the drugstore without showing some ID and submitting to a records check, like you're 22 but look 13 at the liquor store, or you're trying to vote.

Whatever happened to the cold medication that warns you not to operate heavy machinery or make life-changing decisions?

Maybe it's time we ignored all these big pharma ads we see on TV during the evening news.

They all sound like this:

"Are you staggering around sucking snot like a zombie in a blizzard? Want to dry your sinuses faster than a cow patty on the summer plains? Then try Paxalode."

Actor testimony: "I shorted out my laptop fainting face down on the keyboard with my nose running like a broken faucet. The boss deducted $800 from my pay to replace my Apple with a Dell. That's why I switched to Paxalode. Now my work takes so long I never fall asleep."

Legal disclaimer: "Paxolode is not intended for children younger than 30 as they may have vivid disturbing daydreams at 3 a.m. Side effects may include petulance, pouting, losing your keys, finding your keys, throwing your keys against the wall and losing them again."

Next time I'm hot with a cold, I might stick to home remedies I don't have to go to a drugstore and show some ID for.

Tim Chitwood, tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8508.

  Comments