Ah, the season of the cold and sinus infection

Published 11:21 am Friday, January 22, 2016

The season is here.

It’s the time of restless nights, headaches and difficulties keeping a clear head.

I’m not talking about tax season. With the final onset of the southern winter and its fluctuating temperatures and periods of extreme cold followed by extremely warm days, the cold, flu, allergy and sinus season is in full swing. And my sinuses are running overtime.

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Like most colds and sinus attacks, the malady makes me feel terrible, but not bad enough to go to bed like I should.

And I know it’s not just me. Everywhere I go, I see people with red, watery eyes walking like a character out of the TV show, “The Walking Dead.” I hear the coughing and sneezing and barking that comes with the onset of the season.

Right now, my head is stopped up and feels like it could explode. My nose is running like a fireplug stuck wide open. I sit at my desk or in my recliner at home and break into coughing fits. My throat is dry forcing me to drink gallons of water and juice. At night I sleep on multiple pillows so I can breathe. Several times I wake up coughing in the middle of the night. Normally a hot-natured person, I walk around with goose bumps feeling continuously cold.

I am miserable.

In the old days, when I was much younger and more foolish, I tried to tough out colds.

The prescription was a list of basic things: Drink gallons of orange juice. Take drugs like Sudafed and other decongestants. Suck on the strongest menthol cough drops I could find to clear my head. All it did was get me light-headed.

At lunch, I would go home, eat and crash on the bed for 30 minutes. I’d get back up, go back to work and suffer through the afternoon, go home, eat and crash (literally) in the bed.

My attempts at curing the common cold or sinus attack brought criticism from my wife and my mother, and mom’s criticism bordered on hypocrisy, because she was well known for toughing out illnesses. I’ve since learned, however, that as a parent “do as I say, not as I do” is part of the tools of the trade to raise children.

I can say now without fear of contradiction my attempts at self-diagnosis and self-treatment are over. Age and the changes that come with the advancing years have changed that. Because of high blood pressure, decongestants are off my list. I haven’t a had a high-powered cough drop in ages, and I now leave the diagnostics and treatment to my doctor, who has a better grasp at the proper options to meet my problem.

In some ways, though, I still tough it out. I still work the hours and still keep moving.

So working with the doc, I’ll get this thing under control and beat it.

And be ready for round two in the spring.


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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