A Spoonie’s guide to the common cold…

…as I reckon we’re better than Joe Public at this sort of stuff?

When you’re dealing with pain and fatigue on a regular (quite often daily) basis, a cold can feel like a personal slight from the universe, or a case of bad karma leaving you questioning if your ‘thank you’ to the barrister was peppy enough, or a really mean way for the world to tell you to eat more satsumas.

Obviously, colds are shitty for everyone, pain or no pain.  On the one hand, I have to rest so often anyway, I don’t value ‘a day to just do nothing’ (as it has been suggested I might).  I rejoice in the times where I can do fun things with the pain under control, and see my friends regularly enough that they have some recollection of who I am (the limpy one – remember?). Point being, I spend enough time in bed in front of Netflix through debilitation already, it’s not a break for me.

However, as someone who regularly dalliances with pain, fatigue and general unpleasantness, I am more than well equipped to deal with a bit of snot and a headache. It is for this reason that I feel I have advice to give, for spoonies and non-spoonies alike.

Here is how to cope, and how to cope well, with the common cold.

  1. Rest Rest Rest

An obvious one, but as someone who spends far too much of life ‘resting’, I reckon I’ve got it down. Multiple blankets, hot water bottle (unless it’s one of the  mythological British ‘sunny days’), multiple bottles of water and multipack tissues by your bed so you DON’T have to get up, at least three pillows, calming music if your head can take it, or Netflix if you’re up to it.

  1. Netflix carefully

I tried to watch Wild Wild Country in the early days of this virus, big mistake (I mean I’d implore you to watch it, it’s brilliant, but not when ill). Avoid serious/ complicated documentaries (Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends are acceptable for the fluey), anything that will make you sad, avoid stuff with fast movements (even the more dynamic Drag Race episodes were too much for me). I stick with what I know, Friends, invariably; it’s like a warm hug and that’s what you need when you feel like tiny men are hammering at your head with a pickaxe and you can barely breathe.

  1. If / when you go to the shop, buy the shop

Ordering groceries online is preferable, but I left myself with only 2 Petit Filous and a pain au chocolat in my cupboard, so I couldn’t wait the 12 hours for delivery. I then rather foolishly ended up not buying enough food, because I didn’t know what I fancied. I then did not have the energy to go back and thus ended up in the same position the next day, but one Filous down.

  1. Lemon and ginger tea

Boil the juice of half a lemon with water and a load of fresh ginger. Leave it on the hob for a bit.  Add honey. It’s divine. This may be obvious to those gifted with common sense, but it’s taken me almost 26 years to discover and it’s life-changing.

  1. Wallow, but just enough

Wallow enough to allow yourself the opportunity to look after yourself, to rest and to give in to that hot chocolate, or to watching This Morning or whatever it is you fancy. Don’t wallow too much that you become unbearable to those around you. If there is palpable eye-rolling, you’ve gone too far.

  1. If you have flatmates, make sure you let them know you’re ill

The ultimate aim of this is that they make you tea. Be visibly ill on the sofa for at least half an hour and cough near them so it really sinks in.

  1. Eat well and drink loads (not Gin)

It’s obvious; eat grapes, lay off the Baileys.

  1. Remember that it’s a cold.

Yes, you feel rubbish, but in the grand scheme of things it’s really not that bad. Brexit? Trump? Context is a wonderful thing. Your cold is going away in a few days, they aren’t.

Any other handy hints for battling the common cold? Please let me know, I’m in the throes of one. Also, if you’d like to make me a cup of tea, that would be nice.

Becky x




Author: Becky

Semi-successful walker, music lover, Ribena enthusiast.

2 thoughts

  1. I have a little tip. Accept help when it is offered. For example, if your mother asks you if you need anything, tell her that you need some shopping, instead of saying that you’re fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She might then turn up with shopping and with additional nutritious things, like home made soup, widely attributed to helping you feel better when you have a cold. You never know.

    This is why your mother should NEVER have access to anything you do on social media!


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