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Some women have a thing for a man with a cold

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Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010 12:00 am

I came down with a cold Monday, but this one is different.

In my lifetime I've had colds — cough, runny nose, that punky feeling — dozens of times. Sometimes these colds have been the flu — add on a fever, sometimes chills and a headache. I'm 58, practically an old man. I've recovered every time. So what is it this time?

Lisa Alfaro gave my wife Christi some Muco Coccinum — "a homeopathic preparation for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with colds and flu."Christi trusts Lisa. I should take it, she said.I wrinkled up my nose.

"She's just trying to help," said Christi, wondering what was up with me.

Then Arlene Roget came to the office with chicken soup and Zycam. That's what I need to feel better soon, she said.

Even Brenda Speth, publisher of the Napa Valley Register, got in the act. I called to ask her her help with a newspaper project. But before we could talk business, we had to talk about my voice.

"Have you tried EmergenC? It's loaded with vitamin C. I'll bring some to the newspaper conference," she promised. And she did. Thursday, before we could begin the CNPA Foundation meeting, I had to have some Emergen-C.

And of course, I had to turn to Theresa Larson, our "office mom" here at the Sentinel.

How come I can't buy pseudoephedrine, anymore, I asked Theresa? It was in the paper, she reminded me. The meth heads are using it to make drugs. You have to go the pharmacist and show your driver's license.

It's works better thanphenylephrine hydrochloride (the new Sudafed, etc.) doesn't it?

Yes, said Theresa with a mother's smile, it does.

There's something about these Baby Boom moms. I think they all have empty nests. Their children are grown and they can't be there when the kids get the flu, a traffic ticket or jilted. But this past week, they all had me. And they just couldn't turn off the nurture in their nature.

I took some of these "new" remedies. Not others. I'm not sure if they helped more than the cough drops and antihistamine that I always take. ButI'm getting slowly better.

I believe the final word on curing the common cold is embodied in an old doctor's joke that goes something like this:

A patient with a viral cold or flu — aggressively treated with analgesics, antihistamines and lots of fluids — returns to health in an average of seven days. Left untreated, it takes about a week.

So I should be feeling much better Monday, ladies. As for the mothering, I regret letting my annoyance show. Friendship is the most important part of a healthy life. Thank you.