Cold virus hits hard

A cold virus  laid me low for almost two weeks. My life has been on hold. Items on my ‘to do’ lists have been ignored. No visits from grandchildren. No housework –  a bonus. I cancelled coffee dates. No blog post. I ignored the work I had planned. 

Cold virus
Cold virus

The first evening, I sneezed. Three times in a row.

‘Too much pepper,’ I thought.

The following morning, my head ached. My nose streamed. I sneezed. Over and over again, paroxysm after paroxysm. I stayed in bed. By nightfall, my ribs hurt. Muscles I didn’t know I had in my chest  complained when I breathed.

I accepted love and sympathy, coffee, toast and bowls of hot soup from John. Tried not to grumble. Tried to be gracious. Tried hard, even though I felt miserable, sorry for myself.

My illness was a simple cold. I hate to think what it would have felt like had it been the flu. I read in the paper that this is a bad year for the flu. Even people who had the  vaccine have been stricken. Perth public hospitals are overflowing. Residents in aged care facilities are isolated from each other. The cold virus is virulent. It spreads easily.

John also spoiled me last time I had a cold virus. Three years ago. I began sneezing on the slow Spanish train between Madrid and San Sebastian. Somehow we’d booked the journey on a so-called ‘local’ train. The trip took nearly eight hours. We’d expected three.

We’d been travelling from early morning on the super-fast train from Seville to Madrid. Lunch in the in the dining car beckoned. But there was no dining car. Nowhere even to buy a hot drink. A single dispensing machine doled out chocolate bars, bags of chips and lemonade. Lunch was two Mars bars. Three hours into the journey, the machine broke down. Perhaps it ran out of goodies.

By the time we arrived in San Sebastian, I was miserable. Hungry. Ill. Thoroughly fed-up and grumpy. I was in the tight grip of an unmistakable cold virus.

Our hotel room was pink. Bright, bright pink and cream striped curtains, too close for comfort. Matching pink floral bed cover. Pink walls. I climbed into the bed and sank into utter luxury. Overnight, I used all  the tissues in the bathroom and all those the in our luggage. I started using toilet paper to wipe my nose.

Morning, and John pulled the curtains back. Wonderful deep bay windows with a table and chairs that had been hidden. The room was twice as big as it had first appeared. Sun streamed in. Framed by trees, the ocean sparkled.

John went out to buy tissues. He came back with tissues and a pair of beautiful earrings. A get-well present. The hotel staff spoiled me with special food. Jugs of icy fruit juice appeared.

If I had to suffer a cold virus I could not have chosen a better place. My recovery was remarkable. I was soon out and about, soaking up the sun and sights.

Even a short viral illness can focus one’s mind. I had plenty of time to think. I’m now fired up to complete some projects and start others. The first will be an Australian Society of Authors Novel-writing Masterclass on Saturday. Looking forward.


Some facts about the cold virus

More than 200 types lead to your misery, but the most common one is the rhinovirus, which brings on 10% to 40% of colds. The coronavirus is responsible for about 20% of cases, while the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and parainfluenza virus cause 10% of colds.

Source: Webmed 


Simple preventative measures we all know

  • Frequent hand washing
  • Keep hands away from face and mouth
  • Use antibacterial wipes to clean keyboards, phones, tablets, taps, etc.



8 replies on “Cold virus hits hard”

  1. Isn’t it just glorious how ‘normal’ feels after a bout of illness? Enjoy life back in the fast lane – (but don’t hit the gas pedal too quickly!)

    1. Thanks for the warning, Rachel. I want to get on with things quickly, but noticed that I got tired about halfway through my usual walk this morning. I guess that’s a warning. Lovely to see you yesterday. You are such a good grandmother.

  2. Thank you for the information regarding the fluu virus .
    In fact my daughter Sharon has had a cold and due to this, unfortunately has not been able to visit me at OZCARE PORT DOUGLAS . Personally ,I didn’t realize how *traumitic *
    the effects of a cold could be ,and I am so appreciative of her
    *thinking what I could be suffering should I go down with a cold .
    I am 81 and was diagnosed with Parkinson in 2009 ,so am always keen to maintain *a clean bill of health *,and keeping in touch wth you is obviously most essential .
    Congratulations Maureen ,on your recovery and look forward to any more tips from you relative to *living with Parkinson’s
    James Watson

    1. Lovely to hear from you James, and thanks for your reply to my blog. Sharon sounds like a very wise woman, knowing the possible effects of a cold virus on someone suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. You look after yourself really well. The virus is easily passed from one person to another. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of hand-washing, especially where a lot of people live together. If Ozcare Port Douglas is a residential aged care facility. as I think it is, they will probably have hand sanitizer in your room. That also helps to prevent the spread of diseases like colds and flu when used regularly.

  3. As the culprit of giving you said Virus (albeit not me directly but my daughters)… I’m truly sorry. It was a nasty one and I’ll be much more vigilant keep them away from their doting great-grandma!

    1. No, Claire. I could have picked up a virus anywhere, certainly not from my great-granddaughters. Anyway, I quite enjoyed the respite, in a perverse way, lying in my bed being waited on for days on end. I just wish I’d read more books while I had the opportunity.

  4. I don’t know why we all feel so bad when we take a few days in bed to recover from an illness, worrying about all the commitments we should be doing—we feel guilty when, really, we shouldn’t. I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery!

    1. No, I don’t know either, Louise. It seems to be a woman-thing though, doesn’t it? I feel much better for my days in bed. I must take heed of that if another virus comes my way.

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