The Queen's cold

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Obviously there is no way to know if it is the same virus from which the Queen has been suffering, but I, like so many people I know, have suffered from a particularly bad cold over the last few months. It is telling that she was publicly so ill as to not attend Christmas events.

I really am sick of it, and it has now been a month.

More than once (like today) I started to think it may be over now. It is mostly a cough, sometimes dry, sometimes coughing something up, but seems to have lots more in store than just a cough. I was tired, feverish, aching all over, to various degrees for the whole month.

I am not one to stop working for something like a cold, though I was trying to work from home even more than usual as no need to infect the office. Most of the time I was able to do some work, but quite a few days I could not even do that. I know some will cry "man flu", and I understand that, but this has been a real bugger.

A few times I have had to go to the office - two TV interviews in the last week. Thankfully recorded so they can edit out the coughing. As often is the case with a cough, if I stay still, don't talk to anyone, and work at home, I feel like things are going well. Go outside and change temperature, or start talking, and shit hits the fan.

I'd love to know how/why a virus can be so much more resilient than others. Clearly we win the battle - everyone I know who has had this, whether 3 weeks or 6 weeks or whatever, has "survived" it. So what makes one virus take so long to be defeated I wonder?

Even so, this really long bout of being ill is depressing. I have been taking paracetamol and sudafed regularly (at a bit below max dosage, as I do worry) for weeks now.

This week was extra special, on Tuesday I went to the office to meet a TV crew for Euronews. I had a coughing fit, and coughed so hard I pulled a muscle. I do not recall agony like this ever before, I was thinking I must have cracked a rib or something, I could not move, I could hardly breath, let alone talk. My staff were great, especially Andrew and Jimi, an ambulance was called. They got me on gas and air which helped. They concluded I had pulled something! After a couple of hours I was able to struggle though a TV interview thanks to a very patient TV crew before getting codeine and valium, which I then spent two days solid on. I could not lay down properly, ended up sort of propped up on my sofa to sort of sleep. To be honest, neither codeine nor valium seem to do much for me. Thankfully over the two days the pain has gradually reduced.

So, once again, I find myself hoping that this is close to the end. The muscle pain is mostly gone, or at least manageable. I have to be "careful" coughing, which is, in itself, strange.

Good luck to anyone else that has this - I know some that have had it as "an annoying cough" for many weeks and little more - well done for fighting it so well. Personally, I have been suffering. I suspect there are those way worse off than I, and you have my sympathies. Get well soon.

P.S. I discovered the ambulance crew were self employed working for a company that subcontracts the work from NHS, and so we like Uber drivers, even fined if they have too long a break. That is going to be the next uproar, I am sure. They were very good though.


  1. I'm glad you're feeling better, I had the same bug just before Xmas, missed 2 days of work and wasted a day's holiday, and a weekend. And still a bit snuffly even now at the tail end of jan.
    It did make us feel a bit better knowing at least even the queen was suffering from it... but nowhere near as good as it would have if it was prince charles!

  2. I've had the horrid cold and found that some Thieves essential oil from young living got rid of the cold, and stops it coming back.

    A few drops in my pillow plus a drop in a pint of water occasionally seems to do the trick.

    My parents use it regularly, I was skeptical though it somehow works.

    1. Sorry but no, there is no reliable evidence that so called "essential oils" can cure anything. Worse than that there's also no prior plausibility. So until evidence is forthcoming the null hypothesis applies.

  3. I'm sorry to hear you've been having such a crappy time of it. The missus claims that the raging winds here in Skye keep the viruses away, so we never get colds or supercolds or the like. She might be right.

  4. I believe what you’ve had Adrian is the nasty Adenovirus, which has a number of variants and the most serious has been called the “killer cold”. Funnily enough the track of infections that I saw a couple of months ago somewhere suggested that it was initially no more prevalent than the “common cold” viruses (rhino etc.) that tend to plague people, at least until around 2014 when it has been peaking quite a bit higher than usual.

    Just to be clear for those who haven’t had it yet, this is not your typical one week illness. It’s a brutal bastard that takes you out of service for around 3 weeks (more if you’re older or perhaps have other health complications). A common trait and way of identifying it from other viruses in the “common cold” pool is that for 2-3 days you’ll be unable to sleep at night due to violent endless coughing.

    Myself and half of my family had it about two years ago (took my elderly mother about 6 months to completely stop coughing afterwards) and my wife got it this winter, but luckily the immunity from the first round seemed to keep me safe. Unlike a normal cold virus this one seems slower to mutate, so once you’ve had it you should be safe for a bit longer.

    It is at least a brilliant example of how a very identifiable and highly infections virus (more so than rhino etc.) can suddenly spread through a population like wildfire. Imagine if it was one like Spanish Flu and killed most people off.

    Little tip – I think jumping up and down on the spot (star jumps) may help, as well as a bit of deep breathing. You need to do this in order to help free up the infected sputum that’s having a party in your lungs. But don’t overdo it as that would be counterproductive.

    Likewise when in the “can’t sleep due to f’kin endless cough” stage then sit up and learn to sleep in a seated position, or allow yourself to sleep on the sofa downstairs (seated position) while watching a dull movie. Lying down flat in bed is the worst thing you can do.


    1. I'll have to try the jumping. Five weeks and counting here.

  5. I've had this long cold for about a month now... hope it goes soon but it's not too bad now.

  6. I had this for three, almost four weeks. Couldn't shake it off. Otherwise fit and healthy.

  7. I have had it for 5 weeks or so, it has managed to wreck my ears the gunk generated by blowing my nose went into my ears causing the eardrums to rub on the ear bones and then cause perforations in both. Not enjoying being deaf, causes sickness and instability, said to my doctor I would have preferred flu and I am a diabetic. Looking forward to it going as it's driving me nuts.


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