Saturday, January 27, 2007

it's not the cold; it's the cold medicine

A few weeks ago a friend of mine came to work with a cold (no doubt because he wanted the rest of us to share it) and he complained that the cold was making him feel "not all there". I told him it was the cold medicine that gave him that feeling, not the cold. He didn't believe me, insisting that cold always make him feel this way. Of course when I asked him if he ever had a cold without taking cold medicine, he said "no".

I'll bet that a lot of people think this. Since they were children, they have started taking cold medicine at the first sign of a cold or flu, and as a result they think the resulting symptoms of cold medicine --drowsiness or racing heart, inability to find a comfortable sleeping position, a feeling of being disconnected-- are cold and flu symptoms but they are more likely drug symptoms.

I've been suffering from the flu all week. It started with a sore throat on Sunday, moved into my ears and chest for Monday, chest and stomach issues on Tuesday, etc. as my immune system chased it around my organs all week (that's why the flu is so exciting, it's like a new surprise disease every day).

I didn't take antihistimines or cough syrup or those combo cold medicines (I only took Pepto-bismol-like medicines for my stomach and those throat-numbing cough drops for the cough) and I felt pretty good all week except for the particular symptoms that I was suffering from. Sure, the ear-ache and chest cough were unpleasant, but I had very little trouble getting comfortable or getting to sleep, and when I was awake I felt alert and connected. I was able to put in a full day's work from home, and when people asked me how I was feeling, I always had to answer, "Not bad actually, I'm just staying home so as not to pass this on." (hoping that some of them would get the hint).

Then one night, my nose was so blocked up that I knew it would keep me from sleeping so I took one of those combo cold medicines. Within minutes I had those other "cold" symptoms. I was feeling disconnected, my heart was racing, I tossed and turned all night unable to get comfortable, and the feeling of being disconnected lasted well into the next day.

So anyway, I'm not a medical doctor so take this for what it's worth, but I find that a cold or flu is much less miserable if I avoid the cold medicine (specifically, anything continging antihistimines or decongestants).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

call me

This is potentially a really cool thing: a link that lets you call me and talk like we were on the phone. Of course you need earphones and a microphone to make it work.

I'm just trying it out here; don't know if it will work. Once I figure out how it works, I'll modify this post to give more details.

By the way, I'm home with the flu (which is why I have time for this) so don't be surprised if I sound like a frog.

Hmm. According to my official tester, it is only giving the option to leave a video message, and not to call me. I don't understand because I'm logged in to Wengo.

UPDATE 3: Additional testing reveals that although I can talk to others, I can't hear them. I'm not sure that's such a bad feature... Still, I'm disabling the link until I get this figured out. By the way I should have said what this widget is: it's WengoVisio.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

an idiot by any other name would smell like feet

Dan Hersham has collected a hilarious, er, collection of phrases to say "dumb". I contributed two more quotes:
A cup and a saucer short of a full place setting
If his nose was on upside down he'd drown in the rain.
So, go read and more importantly, contribute. It is vital that we have a complete database of these historically significant phrases.

(link from One Small Voice)