My throat was sore, the morning light hurt my eyes and my nose was running. I’d have liked to have turned over and gone back to sleep but I had no excuse for that because it was only a common cold.
The kitchen was full of morning busyness – radio on, phone ringing, toast cooking . . . I wanted to leave it and return to bed but I couldn’t do that because I wasn’t really sick I only had a common cold.
My farmer went out. Peace reigned but so did mess. Yesterday’s papers were strewn across the sofa, dishes cluttered the bench, in the laundry a pile of washing waited for attention. I wanted ignore it, sit down beside the fire and have a wee nap. But I couldn’t do that because I wasn’t really sick, I only had a common cold.
The phone kept ringing and all the callers started their conversations by asking, ‘how are you?” Of course I answered ‘fine thanks’ because they were not really interested in my well-being and although I wasn’t fine at all there was nothing to make a song and dance about. I only had a common cold.
The box of tissues was empty but the pretty bits of cotton and lace in my drawer would have been soaked by a single blow. I found more substantial handkerchiefs in my farmer’s drawer, hoping he wouldn’t mind me using them in an emergency. Not that this was an emergency. It was only a common cold.
It was nearly lunchtime but I wasn’t hungry, nor would I have been able to taste anything had I had an appetite for it. What I really wanted was to tuck myself up with a large lemon & honey drink and leave the day to get on without me. But I couldn’t do that when I only had a common cold.
It felt like someone had filled my sinuses with putty and one ear was a bit sore. I thought about ringing my doctor but the medical students with whom I flatted in my youth said if you treat a cold it lasts a week and if you leave it alone it’s over in seven days. Besides, it would be silly to subject others to infection in a doctor’s surgery when I wasn’t really sick and I only had a common cold.
I was supposed to be going down to Dunedin to the opening of MP Michael Woodhouse’s office this afternoon then on to Clinton where I’d been invited to speak to the Lions. I made apologies for both, knowing it would be foolish to spread any germs, but feeling guilty when I only had a common cold.
We were supposed to go to a combined 21st and 50th birthday party in Gore tomorrow but cancelled that too, still feeling guilty when I only had a common cold.
I prescribed myself an early night, last night and as I tried to get to sleep I thought about this “only a common cold” business. No doubt colds are common but why is something which makes you feel so lousy always prefaced with an “only”?