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Commentary: Do You Still Think Im Hot When I Have a Cold?

When I haven’t done something in a long time (such as Olympic ski jumping, rescuing a baby seal from a gang of sharks, or making tacos without drinking all the cooking wine) it’s hard to do it very well the first time after the layoff. 
 
Well, it’s been a very long time since I’ve had a bad cold; and I know it’s just the first day but I’m sucking at it! 
 
And as a man I’m especially pathetic at being sick. I vacillate between being an irritable Viking and a whiny baby.  “Everyone get outta here and leave me alone to die with honor. Just hand me my battle axe…and could someone bring Daddy Ray-Ray some butterscotch pudding with sprinkles.”
 
Have you noticed that dating couples in love respond very differently to being sick than do married couples.
 
Dating Couple in Love
Stephanie: “Maybe you better not kiss me; I think I’m getting a cold.
Rob: “I don’t care. I don’t care if you have a cold, the flu, mono, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, malaria, and the bubonic plague. I’m going to kiss you hard, I’m going to kiss you long; I’m going to kiss you NOW!”
 
Years later as a Married Couple
Stephanie: Achooo!
 
Rob: Are you coming down with a cold?
 
Stephanie: No, when I was sweeping I think I just stirred up some dust.
 
Rob: Maybe you should sleep on the couch tonight just in case.
 
Corporate Conspiracy?
 
It’s still hard to comprehend when we live in a world with scientific breakthroughs like smartphones, hybrid cars, and the McRib, that we haven’t come up with a cure for the common cold.  Then again perhaps the Pills-Liquids-Mists-Lozenges-Vitamins-Vaporizers-Kleenex Industry is secretly paying the government and medical researchers NOT to find a cure. If the liquor lobbyists are successfully keeping wine out of grocery stores in Tennessee what is to keep the mucus mafia from stymying a cure, thus keeping us doing double-shots of Nyquil and keep us smelling like Vicks Vapor-Rub. 
 
Perhaps someday the industry will run out of original commercials and innovations in the products. Take Kleenex for example. Tissues started out 1-ply in an ordinary box. Then 2-ply tissues in decorative boxes. Then 3-ply tissues. Tissues with “sneeze guard.” Tissues with aloe lotion built in. I get it. I know that somewhere around Day 5 wiping your nose feels like scraping an open wound with sandpaper and a habanero pepper. 
 
But where does it stop? Is it going to be like dental companies who still manage to find vital new things to add to toothpaste and special features to add to a toothbrush?  Thank God for the ergonomic handle and rubberized comfy sure-grip! 
 
Now my toothbrush no longer suddenly flies out of my hand and hits my wife in the eye while brushing her teeth with mint flavored Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Peroxide Fluoride Tartar Control Super Whitening Toothpaste with Germ Killing & Breath Freshening Gel and Enamel Protector Specks.
 
Several years ago when Cameron had a lingering cold and his nostrils were redder than Lindsay Lohan’s nose on her way to rehab, I got him a box of the thickest and softest tissues I could find. 
 
He honked into one of the tissues and actually said, “It’s like blowing my nose on a baby angel.”  (In that moment in my spirit I sensed all the winged cherubim and seraphim of heaven drawing their swords and taking a few steps backward.)
 
Dr. William Shaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University, says regarding the $4 billion cold remedy industry, “There’s a bit of magical thinking at work here. In the 21st century, the idea is that we ought to be able to do something about colds and flus.”
 
And indeed we should be able to do something. More to the point, Dr. 
 
Shaffner’s department should be able to do something. In the meantime I am experiencing…
 
The Stages of Grief Associated with a Head Cold
 
SHOCK: (sneeze, sniffle, cough) Oh my God, I’m coming down with a cold!
 
DENIAL: No, I’m not getting a cold. It’s just a reaction to dust particles.
 
BARGAINING: Maybe if I overdose on Vitamin C and Zinc I can ward this off.
 
ANGER: Who gave me this cold? I’m going to find out, hunt them down, and kill them!
 
DEPRESSION: This cold will never go away. My life sucks. I don’t see any point in going on.
 
ACCEPTANCE: I accept my fate. Now I just want to die peacefully with these cotton balls stuffed in my nose.
 
I know this too shall pass. So in the meantime I just need to everyone to get out of my space and not bother me…unless I need another juice box and my blankie. 
 
Author and therapist, Dr. Ramon Presson, is the founder of LifeChange Counseling and the Marriage Center
 of Franklin, TN. www.LifeChangeCS.org  He can be reached at 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Posted on: 1/16/2014

 
 

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