Half an hour ago, I was awoken by Titus crying over the baby monitor. Normally a pretty terrific sleeper, he was audibly disturbed. He was asking for momma, but Sonja is sick so I went up instead. When I got there, I found that he had vomited in his crib, and on himself too, of course. Ironically, I had thought to myself within the past few days how nice it was that our kids rarely throw up. I got him up, cleaned him up a bit, bundled up his dirty things, changed him and brought him downstairs. Currently he is laying in bed with momma, watching Sesame Street, happy if a little dazed.
I’m not sure if I’m noticing it more because it’s worse this year, or simply because I’m getting older and am more susceptible to it, but the cold has become something far worse than I remember. I had one that caused me to miss several days of work late this winter, and while I had hoped my white blood cells would be built up enough after that to fend off anything that would come my way this summer, I am afraid that with Sonja, Titus, and even little Zooey all sniffling, coughing, and scratching in their throats, it was only a matter of time. I feel it coming on.
It started about twenty-four hours ago, the tightness at the end of my schnoz, that tickle in my throat. We leave for a week in Napa on Sunday, so immediately, I overreacted. With the help of a friend I affectionately refer to as my voodoo doctor, I started in on essential oils, vitamin C, and more, mixing up concoctions in a half-gallon mason jar and drinking it down. I’ve been on a strict regiment for the past eighteen hours, and I’m hoping — praying, that I can kill this prior to starting work next Monday in California’s incredible wine country. My greatest fear is that the last time, even after I felt better, it took a while for my palate to reacclimatize. If I can’t taste next week… well, you’ll be reading some very different posts than if I can.
Last night, I poured myself a glass of Pinot Noir from the Carneros region of Napa — the southernmost AVA in the Valley. It’s a wine I know well. I wanted to see if my palate was being impacted. The nose was muted, but I could still make out some of the telltale signs of the varietal, including a little bit of Pinot funk on the back end of that bright bing cherry. On the palate, again, everything was present — the cherry, earthy notes, and all the rest that I knew should be there… but not as it should be. Familiar with the wine, I muddled through, but didn’t even bother to finish my glass because I was unable to enjoy it. Had I not known the wine, I couldn’t have said anything intelligent about it. I’d reschedule our trip to the Valley, but…for when?
It’s a strange problem to have. Physically, sure, most of us can just grit out a cold, go wherever we need to, get our work done, carry some tissues and cough drops, and function. Wine may be the one avenue where a cold that doesn’t bind one to the bed is nevertheless truly crippling. It might be similar to a piano player have a hand seize up for a lengthy spell, or a pilot temporarily losing vision. Without the ability to smell and taste, I have no ability to do anything useful with wine, and it is incredible how much even a little cold can impact our olfactory capabilities.
Last night, before I went to bed, I texted a friend who soon will sit for his Master exams, and asked what he would do if he caught a cold a few days before his exams. I am eagerly awaiting his reply. Then I took some Nyquil and got a good eight hours in. If I figure anything out to help me beat this cold, to strengthen the resistance, I’ll be sure to share it with you, and if you have any terrific ideas, home remedies, or other methods that have worked for you in the past, I would be grateful if you would share them with me. For now, I’m going to go get some more voodoo, watch a little Sesame Street, and give my son a bath.
Cheers to your health and, hopefully, to mine,