From The Brink

So, one more tiny addition to the already tiny amount of good social media has produced in my life: it tells me when to get sick.

Late January, on the dot. You could time the NFL championship game and the Oscar nominations to it. There are too many memories now, too much complaining over the years at this time of year. The pattern is set. My immune system goes to Hawaii in the last two weeks of January. I hope it uses sunscreen.

They’re all slightly different variations on the infamous rhinovirus and its brothers. My bouts with the flu seem to come at different times, but those have been rare. I have more fever and not much of a runny nose with the flu.

I could tell you stories about runny noses.

I should say a word about Delsym, that formulation of dextromethorphan that seems to work best for me (the 12-hour variety), like a charm. It actually has done a better job than Rx cough medicine, although I’ve certainly taken dextromethorphan before. Who knows? Put it with the ibuprofen, the two OTC medicines I can rely on.

I just read that you can abuse DXM and create anesthetic dissociative effects like with ketamine. This might have been a fun thing to try for the old Chuck. There were days when I was pretty bored, but I think you’d have to drink a whole bottle. The whole thing might be a placebo, too, but it does seem to work about as well as codeine, with less in the way of side effects, so I’ll just be grateful. The coughing was annoying. I can skip dissociative effects.


I have something useful to say about data, which would differ from my usual stuff only in that it’s useful. At least to me.

It’s not a surprise people get colds in late January. It always seems like an active month for me, lots of meetings and travel and just social things, which involve other bodies and their runny noses. I shake a million hands, I swear, and no one wears latex gloves. Or masks, for that matter.

So now I know. January, watch out. Maybe take more precautions. Maybe cut back on the social stuff. Or maybe just expect it, load up on the ibuprofen and Delsym, and prepare accordingly. But at least I know, or suspect, and more information is good.

Then again, I could dissociate at any moment and forget all of this. Good thing it’s down on paper.


Chuck SigarsComment