I have happily recovered from a nasty cold that never seemed to end. The experience led me to think about some very basic things that even the common cold can teach us. Here are seven that mine taught me:
#1 - A 7 day cold does not last 7 days.
Contrary to popular belief that you're in and out of a cold in seven days, the reality is that full recovery is often not realized until 10 days or beyond depending on your health when you got the cold and how you took care of yourself when you had the cold.
#2. You can bomb a cold down with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is helpful to maintain a healthy immune system but cannot extinguish a cold once you have it … but if taking 5,000 units makes you feel better, “bombs away."
#3. You can't rush healing with antibiotics.
The biggest complaint doctors have about their patients is their constant demand for antibiotics to treat their colds. It's disappointing but true. There is no cure for the common cold. Deal with it!
#4. The best method to treat a cold is a combination of rest and hydration.
Sure, the sinus meds and cold remedies help treat the discomforts that colds bring on but they neither shorten the healing period required or actually heal the cold itself, and they are not a replacement for rest and hydration.
#5. Colds can be the gateway to more serious diseases.
My Christian brother, friend and personal physician, Cary Carpenter tells me that many bronchial issues and pneumonias begin as neglected colds. The worst advice you can receive or give yourself is, "it's only a cold."
#6. Every day you choose to work instead of rest adds a day to your recovery.
I fought through my cold and went to work when I felt lousy. I got the work done and it didn't kill me but my seven day cold lasted well beyond 10 days as a result. You can be a hero but realize there will be a cost.
#7. We like to complicate things.
What is so difficult to understand about getting plenty of rest and drinking a lot of liquids for a week? And yet we overdose on NyQuil and infect others by being at work when we should be home in bed. If anything, getting a cold should be a yellow light from God warning us to slow down because there may be dangerous things ahead that will require more than just sleep and water to get us better.