Friday, October 16, 2015

The Five Stages Of A Head Cold

    Most people are familiar with the "Five Stages Of Grief" made popular by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in the early 70's. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance are all part of the grieving process.

     While battling a nasty head cold this past week, I realized that these five stages are applicable to what I'm feeling as I trudge through my coughing-sniffling-sneezing phase. I sound like a barking seal and have been holed up in my house for days because the cough is as loud as an air raid siren. No one needs to see me in my ratty bathrobe that has pockets bulging with used tissues. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear this is how a zombie apocalypse begins.

     I've also been taking that "feed a cold, starve a fever" saying way too far. I don't have a fever, so I feel justified in stuffing my miserable, aching self with a stack of pancakes and a warm bowl of mac & cheese. There's a reason these gastronomic pleasures are called "comfort foods." This is also why I'm living in my bathrobe lately….because chances are my jeans won't fit.

     If you've already been slammed with this season's new illnesses, I'm sure you'll relate to these five stages of a head cold:

DENIAL:  "I don't have a cold. It's just my allergies acting up. And the only reason my body aches is because I overdid it at the gym yesterday. There's no way I'm getting sick right now---only two days before my vacation begins. I'll just drink a gallon of orange juice, pop some throat lozenges , and go to bed early. I'm sure I'll be fine in the morning."

ANGER: "Who the hell gave me this cold?!? No one else in my family has been sick. I'll bet it was that guy hacking up a lung behind me in the 10-Items-Or-Less line at the grocery store. This is all his fault. How dare he set foot in public. He may have started a flu pandemic! If this coughing gets any worse, I'm going to put myself in an isolation tank for two weeks. At least it will get me out of doing housework for awhile. I'm far too weak to push a vacuum."

BARGAINING:  "Dear God, if you wipe away these cold symptoms right now, I promise to stop cursing so much at bad drivers. I'll even build a habitat for all the ferrel cats in the neighborhood. Better yet, I'll make dentures for all the elderly crocodiles living in the Everglades. I promise to do anything you ask, if you just make this head cold disappear."

DEPRESSION: "10 days and I still can't get out of bed. According to Web MD, I have a rare disease that comes from exposure to the dust on a rhino's horn. Although I have not been to a zoo in five years and as far as I know, no one on the block has a rhino stashed in their backyard. I'm exhausted and drowning in nasal spray. My gawd, I'm going to die right here in my recliner….in my ratty bathrobe, with two Vick's Inhalers shoved up my nostrils. If I die tonight, the mortician won't need to embalm me because I'll have enough cold medicine in my system to keep my body preserved for years."

ACCEPTANCE: "Okay, I'm not dying, even though I look and sound like I have the Black Plague. I just need to adjust to breathing out of my mouth and having a head that feels like it has been filled with sand bags. At this point, I'd be willing to convert to Scientology if it meant having one phlegm-free day.

     Now that I've been through the five stages of a head cold, I've forgiven the stranger who shared his germs with me at the grocery store, bargained my way into a larger size pair of jeans and decided that there will be no more trips to the rhino exhibit at the zoo.


50 comments:

  1. Omg. I know all this to well. Colds are a real nasty bitch.

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  2. I have been through those 5 stages... especially the first one, I don't have a cold... it is just my allergies... I have had some of the longest lasting allergies in history... and the way we look when we are sick is scary, yet I rarely care at the time... I hope you recovered from the cold/flu that you had xox

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    1. Getting better but I STILL sound like a barking seal.

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  3. Good Lord, I can relate. I don't know what it is about head colds but sometimes they just hang on FOREVER!

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    1. Seriously! I'm usually only sick for a few days but I've had this b**** for three weeks now. Enough!

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  4. I know this cycle. it has become very familiar this year! LOL great post i love your style!

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    1. That you so much, Carrie! And I hope you don't get any more colds this season!

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  5. Lol! And if you think that's bad, just remember how much worse it is for us poor men ... (ducks and covers)

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    1. YES! Men always get way more sick than us...hahahahaha!!!

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  6. I love those five stages - all so true and all so relatable - hope you're feeling back to your fabulous self-ness soon (even in the slightly larger jeans! Why do some people lose weight when they're sick - I never do!)

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    1. Right?? I don't get that, either. I'm always STARVING when I'm sick---unless I have a stomach bug.

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  7. What a GREAT idea for a comedy piece (she said enviously) and nicely done! You've just made the world a funnier place.

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    1. Awwww....thank you so much, Roz! You just made my day!

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  8. Oh my gosh, this was so me yesterday! I woke up with an awful sore throat and am definitely in the denial/anger/bargaining stages. I have a half marathon to run on Sunday!

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    1. Oh no!!! Why do these things always happen before a big event? Take care of yourself and I hope you feel better!

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  9. Lol oh yes! I have been there. My favorite part is trying to guess how you got sick..."I know it was..."

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    1. Right?? I'm always trying to figure out who is responsible for sharing their germs with me.

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  10. Your sense of humor rocks. By this point in a cold I'm ready to take my head off of my body in some way. Sigh. Feel better!!!

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    1. Thank you so much! I am feeling better now but for DAYS I felt like my head was full of concrete. It was AWFUL.

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  11. What stage is the one where you fall asleep with tissues stuffed up each nostril to stop them from dripping on your pillow and then wake up because you can't breathe?

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  12. I caught a cold on the flight home from Germany in May and it stuck around for three weeks. Thought it would never let go of me.

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    1. That' just one of many reasons why I hate planes. You're stuck in this flying contraption with a ton of people who have god-only-knows-what germs and illnesses. Yuck!

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  13. This post reminds me of those television commercials, where the guy is asked 'do I need to call your mom". Of course, says there person who hasn't had a cold in quite a while, knocks on wood.

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  14. HA!!! Love this Marcia!! I have SOOOO been there! You nailed it, girl!

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  15. This is hilarious! I laughed all the way through it. So relatable and very clever post. Just last night I started sneezing and declared, 'Wow, my allergies are acting up.' Today I have a scratchy throat and have begrudgingly admitted it might be a cold. Last night we went to a planetarium show and there were many horrible children there with whooping coughs. Am I ever mad! That's as far as I've gotten. More stages to come in the upcoming weeks. Haha!

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    1. Whooping cough is going around----at first I thiught I had it. Now I'm not so sure but I'm STILL coughing, and it as been almost four weeks of this nonsense. I hope you're feeling better and that it didn't turn into a full blown cold!

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  16. Hi Marcia,
    Very funny--and very true. Shared on G+

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    1. Thank you, Janice---that was very sweet of you!

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  17. So so funny Marcia! But a Scieftologist for phlegm-free? Hopefully it doesn't come to that LOL! Also WebMD is evil! ;)

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    1. I think I'm finally past the phlegm stage, so no conversions to scientology were necessary.

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  18. Ha! The denial part is ESPECIALLY true for me - I suffer from run of the mill sniffly-type allergies anyways all the time anyways, so any time I get a cold, the first few days its always NO NO NO, THESE ARE JUST ALLERGIES. Unfortunately by the time I break down and admit it's a cold I've generally already infected my guy, at the very least. Poor TQ.

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    1. That's the tricky thing about colds---when we're at our most contagious, we don't even know it and are spreading the germs around like wildfire. By the time we figure out it really IS a cold, dozens of people have already been infected

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  19. Great post! I can so relate right now, especially the "it's only my allergies" part (or maybe asthma thrown in there, too). I always wonder how I can get so sick when I work from home and rarely go out anywhere except for shopping and errands like once a week. Apparently that 's all it takes. That and whatever germs my hubby brings home from his co-workers!

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    1. I can't figure out how I got this one, either, I work at home and my kids are all grown. My hubs only works with one other person in the landscape business, and that person was not sick. I'm betting it was from the stranger in the grocery line.

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  20. I thought I left a comment - but somehow it didn't go through. I feel terrible for you Marcia for having to go through a nasty cold - but OMG did you make the best out of it - a hilarious post! Loved it:)
    xx

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    1. Sorry the comment didn't go through---you aren't the first person who has had that issue this week. The cold has really sucked the life out of me but I'm definitely trying to make the best of it!

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  21. I've had the same exact thing going on! I think I went through each of these twice!

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  22. Hilarious post, as always Marcia! This is totally relatable to a case of the stomach flu I had a couple years ago. Denial: Um, I just sharted. Wow, it must be these new probiotics I'm taking. Anger: I can't believe I just sharted! Who does that under the age of 80? Oh crap, I think I'm going to throw up. Bargaining: Dear God, if you just let me throw up, I'll go to church every Sunday from here on out. Depression: I seriously think I'm dying. My insides are coming out both ends and I still can't believe I sharted. Acceptance: Ok, so once I got a pillow, it's not THAT uncomfortable on the bathroom floor. And just think how thin I'll be once this is all over with. Of course, not NEARLY as entertaining as yours! Just wanted to let you know we all understand;-) Oooh also, I always read your posts, but I always tend to read them from my phone. For some reason, whenever I try to comment, it will never allow me to publish them. As soon as I click publish, it just erases it! So weird!

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    1. I'm not sure why that is but others have had trouble leaving comments from their phone as well. Anyway, I think your five stages are HILARIOUS! The sharting----OMG I can't stop laughing!!!

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  23. Whenever I get a cold I'm pretty much in the anger stage the whole time. I hate getting sick. Hope you're better now.

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    1. I stay mostly in the anger phase, too. But yes, I'm feeling better SLOWLY each day. Thanks!

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  24. God Marcia, I hope you get better soon!! It's awful. I just got over a case of Upper Respiratory that decided to turn into bronchitis. It took me three weeks to completely be rid of it. I'm going in on Wednesday to get my flu shot just so I can avoid anymore of this!! Drink lots of soup & stay in bed!! Sending luv & prayers your way!! ;) xoxo

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    1. Thank you Natalie, and glad to hear that you are feeling better, too!

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