How Your Body Works During the Crud

Usually when I get sick the only thing I take is a pain reliever, if needed, and I do a dose of cough syrup before bed. Otherwise it’s tea and Fisherman’s Friend. I think Tante Irmgard introduced me to FF and it is the only cough lozenge going. Might not taste great but it works. Ricola is pretty good, too, but it’s more like candy and if I eat too many I get a stomach ache.

But my new remedy that I tried for the first time this year is Theraflu which I recommend with reservations. I bought it several months ago because I felt a little off and I was going on a trip and thought it might get me through the day if I went down hard. Luckily, we didn’t need it on the trip.

But I tried it over the weekend when I felt so awful and it was pretty good. For those of you unfamiliar, Theraflu is a powder and you add hot water. I only did a half envelope at a time. It tastes like lemonade made with Pez and battery acid and it did revive me, so recommend if you have a gruesome cold especially if you have to function out in the world. However.

First of all, I know for some people, anti-histamines make them sleepy. For me it keeps me awake. When I did the Theraflu, even early in the day, I had a hard time sleeping at night.

Second, I think it disrupted the whole having a cold process. I’m not a doctor or a scientist but I took biology in high school several decades ago. Here’s how it works. When your body gets a cold all available stations get down to business producing as much snot as quickly as possible to distribute to any area remotely involved in the respiratory system.

Then you come along with your Theraflu and the body’s control center tells everyone: knock it off with the snot making. And the body is like, “What? But I like making snot, I have all the materials here to make tons and tons. I want to make snot.” But the control center says, “Hard cheese, you can just hang out and prep your station. You make snot when I say so. This is temporary.”

So all the snot making systems of the body are tense in readiness for the word they can go back to work. And there you are, thinking you are getting better and the crud will be behind you soon.

Then the Theraflu wears off, the control center hits the button telling everyone they can get back to work. Now your body catches up on the last 4-5 hours of snot making and you are flooded so quickly you’re not even sure what’s happening.

At one point I was doubled over coughing so hard I put my hands over my eyes, partly because I didn’t want my eyeballs to pop out and partly because I didn’t want to see my spleen that I’d just gorked up sitting on the floor with all the used tissues.

Cough remains. We went to the store last night and bought 6 more packets of FF and 4 boxes of tissues. Also a giant basket of food because we ate everything we had even all my emergency meals I had stashed. All we had left was garden burgers and mustard.

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