The natural history of the rhinovirus

images1.jpg It begins with the throat. Though I accept there’s probably a lot of variability from person to person. It’s usually wakening at 6am with that dry catch in the back of your throat, not quite a lump when you swallow, but more like there’s a bit of glass there. Then you know it’s coming. You know you’re in for the dreaded man-flu.

Then the head begins to ache, when you can feel your heart pumping with each throb, the rush of blood in your ear when you lie on one side. Your skin and muscles begin to ache, a symptom that rejoices in the name of hyperaesthesiae. You’re hot then you’re cold then all of a surprise you’re hot again. Though that may just be the menopause…

And last of all the nose kicks in. Feeling like you’ve been hit full smack with a football in the face, your eyes water. Like you’ve just watched Watership Down three times in a row. With that comes the sneezing, sneezes that rush up on you all of a sudden, that leave you no time to get a tissue to your face and you end up covering friends and colleagues with microscopic droplets of what may well be bubonic plague, cause by this stage this is what you feel like you have.

You become physically attached to a box of Kleenex, knowing that standing up quickly will provoke a change in the mucous distribution in your sinuses, leading to a whole new barrage of nose trumpeting.

You down paracetamol like smarties, thinking you’ll die of liver failure if the man-flu doesn’t get you. You hoak about, right at the back of the cupboard looking for the Ribena and drink gallons in the hope that the Vitamin C just might do something.

You lie in bed but can’t sleep cause no matter which side you lie on one of your nostrils will always be blocked, you try rolling over to let gravity shift the mucous but it doesn’t help. The only way it stays clear is lying on your back but then you can’t sleep at all like that.

But then one day you wake up and your nose has stopped running. Like it’s hit the wall or just finished the 10km fun run. Instead, when you blow you’re greeted by a whole new consistency. A kind of green sludge, like the type of stuff they used to pour over minor celebrities heads on Saturday morning TV shows back in the good old days. Now you know you’re on the road to recovery.

48 hours from the first symptom you’re running about like a mad thing in complete health. This is man-flu, the very definition of making a mountain of a molehill. Goodness knows how I’ll cope if I ever get proper sick.

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1 Response to “The natural history of the rhinovirus”



  1. 1 Pizza and wine « Nelly And I Trackback on December 22, 2008 at 9:41 pm

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September 2007
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