Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How flu is better and worse than a cold

So how was your long weekend, American readers? Pleasant, I hope. Mine? Thanks for asking:

Flu.

Yep, perfectly-timed to gut the weekend. I started having symptoms mildly Saturday night and Sunday morning, reluctantly decided I couldn't make the 27-mile drive to church — and boy, that was the right decision. I got headachey, sick, and dizzy. So to spare you the details, I just got sicker and sicker, and spent the rest of Sunday and first 2/3 of Monday pretty miserable.

(Mercifully, Dear Wife — who'd just had a dose, herself — took Cadillac-level care of me.)

So here's why I (kinda) like getting the flu more than I like getting a cold.

The flu, as a rule, barges up, kicks in your front door, makes your life Heck for 12-36 hours... and then leaves. It grabs you by the collar, beats the stuffing out of you, throws you to the ground, and then it's done with you.

You feel dramatically worse, awful, and then dramatically better. It's like the world's second-worst guest: crashes in, trashes the place, storms off. You're left to do an hour or two cleaning up cigarette butts and beer cans, but basically the worst is over. (The worst guest would never leave.)

A cold, by contrast, isn't as dramatic but takes much, much longer. My body in particular always seems to put up a protracted and doomed fight. As a result, it may take me a week just to come down with a cold. And then I have the cold for a week. And then I take the next week or two to get over it.

It snivels its way in, miserables its way around, then snivels off — all very, very gradually. It's a protracted process.

I guess you could say that flu is like a mugging, and a cold is like protracted low-grade torture.

Of course, the rude bottom-line difference is: colds don't kill you, but the flu can. Jim Henson, QED. So, there's that. Kinda major, that.

Of course, what they both have in common is that they're both baleful consequences on Great-Great-Great Grandpa Adam's experiment in autonomy. Another common factor is that both are first-creation realities, and will not be part of our new creation life (Romans 8:18-25).

Meanwhile... ugh. Patience and hope.

27 comments:

MSC said...

For the cold - "Bragg's Organic Raw-Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar" my friend. Start will liberal doses at the first signs of a cold and it will be gone in a matter of days. It works for my whole family and all of my intelligent friends use it too.

DJP said...

This could be a fun meta.

Scooter said...

Flu is also like the Occupy movement: It takes a body damaged by sin, completely wrecks it, and then leaves to recover yourself.

I came down with food poisoning when I was in India 2 years ago. I was given coconut water (not coconut milk) as a remedy. Not that food poisoning and the flu are in any way related, but I hope to the win Nastiest Home Remedy That Does Zilch award .

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh, Brother... I'm suffering with you, and Gunnar is showing signs of being the next to fall.

The way I see it is that my alter-ego (an old, grumpy, tired chain-smoker named Gladys) has staged a hostile take-over of my body. Trying to get her to leave...

Push fluids and treat your symptoms. And thank God for someone who fluffs your pillows and brings you beverages.

Praying we're all well soon,

Julie

DJP said...

Yeah, except when I "pushed" fluids they pushed back so violently as to spring a nosebleed.

Then when that tempest passed, I sipped some Sprite, and that settled just fine.

Staci Eastin said...

Sorry to have a laugh at your expense, but you nailed it. Kicks in your front door is right.

When I worked, people were always asking me how they could tell the difference between the cold and flu. My answer was that with the flu, you generally went from "Hmmm, I might be coming down with something" to knocked flat in about an hour. Then you're so achy it hurts to even comb your hair.

Hope you're better soon!

DJP said...

Yeah, exactly. I had to close my eyes when people talked, because they hurt too bad to listen.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

A nosebleed, too? Oh no! SIPS! Lots of little SIPS!

And, oh, I hear ya about people just talking being overwhelming. My deep, deep sympathies.

Robert said...

Then when that tempest passed, I sipped some Sprite, and that settled just fine.

Ginger Ale works really well, too. It's a staple at our house for when anybody gets sick. Hope you feel better soon.

Wendy said...

Ugh! That stinks! Thank goodness for your dear wife :)

The boy is coming down with a part flu/part chest cold thing.
There is nothing like being helpless when you are sick yourself. And there is nothing like being helpless when you are caring for someone who is nastily sick.

DJP said...

Yep. Once, Valerie and I caught the same flu at almost exactly the same time. Shipped the kids off to grandparents, collapsed in bed helpless and immobile, until it had had its way with us. Then both fine. Click, click.

Kara said...

Actually Jim Henson died from a form of Strep called Streptococcus pyogenes. He only had flu-like symptoms, not influenza the article states. Just keeping you on your toes. :)

DJP said...

Thank you, I appreciate it.

But flu does kill.

RT said...

If I am safely at home I find that sipping brandy is effective with a cold. At any rate before long you don't really care that you are sick. The flu requires a more scientific approach which, for me, consists of assuming the fetal position in bed and hoping for the end of the world.

Fred Butler said...

@Scooter Flu is also like the Occupy movement: It takes a body damaged by sin, completely wrecks it, and then leaves to recover yourself.

I don't know. The way Dan describes the cold, you would think the Occupy people have more in common with it. Hanging around leeching off you.

One of the speakers at the symposium I attended this weekend was taking something that was vinegar/red cayenne pepper mixed together. He said Spurgeon swore by the stuff, but after a fairly lengthy search, I couldn't find any exact recipe. Anyone know what I am talking about?

Charlene said...

Your title caught my attention--I didn't think there was any way the flu could be better than a cold. But when you put it this way, I guess it's true. Most of us would prefer to get it over with. Glad to hear the attacker has left the area.

On a side note, for the longest time I thought you were holding a cat in your profile picture. Then I thought it was a trophy of some kind. I finally decided to look closer and I think now that it's a sword. I think.

Jules LaPierre said...

Not the least bit fun. Praying you're on the mend.

DJP said...

Charlene: clearer?

Mizz Harpy said...

I hope you get better. Colds don't last as long if you use a neti pot every day since it rinses at least some of the virus from your sinuses. The Neilmed irrigation bottle works even better.

Your description of the virus barging in and wreaking the place is the exact way I explained what a viral infection is like to a student I'm tutoring. Ha.

DJP said...

That's me, Mizz H - bloggin' like a PhD!

:^D

GrammaMack said...

I'll take a cold over the flu if the flu makes me vomit. Ugh!

FYI, we also had a long weekend in Canada (or five provinces did, anyway), yesterday being Family Day.

I hope that the intruder has left the building completely!

Rachael Starke said...

@Staci-

In our house, "my hair hurts" is synonymous with "I'm getting the flu".

Strangely, I haven't had a really awesome, "just leave me here to worship at the porcelain altar" bout of flu in years. I have had colds that made me convinced I would never be able to sleep or breath again....

Rita Tomassetti said...

It terrifies me to think I could get the FLU!(I didn't even get the flu shot...fearing I would get it from it!) I hate being sick. But as for colds I really don't mind them, but I usually take these natural pills Penny's grandmother, Gram, recommended me ;p it works everytime! (Probably a placeholders effect, but I try not to tell my brain that)
Hope you feel better Dan!

Charlene said...

Ah, yes. Definitely not a cat!

DJP said...

"Penny"?

o_O

Robert said...

Colds don't last as long if you use a neti pot every day since it rinses at least some of the virus from your sinuses.

My mom told me that there have been people who have gotten infections from using the neti pot and died. Here is a news story about it. The main thing I see is that you need to use "distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water" in order to protect yourself from an infection. This scared us because we use a neti pot to battle sinus infections. It works great at that!

Kerry James Allen said...

I thought DJP was holding a pool cue. Duh!