Tips for a Summer Cold

Sick with a cold, Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, cuddles up with handknit afghan and dog.How did I get a cold in July, I wonder? A full-blown sneeze-blasting, rainy-nosed, head-filled-with-concrete cold. On the most perfect day of the year, filled with invitations to barbeques and boat-rides, I was walloped.
“Do you think you’re contagious?” friends asked. Sadly, I cancelled all my plans.

When my daughter was sick, I loved taking care of her. I’d bring her meals on trays, read to her, and fly down the hill to Wegmans to pick up whatever I could to coddle her.
“Puffs tissues, mom,” she’d insist, “peach tea, and NyQuil gel-caps, not the yucky syrup.”

After my daughter died I had to transfer my caregiver skills to myself. It was not easy. “Take care of yourself,” I’d always told someone else. But it was my turn to need care. Last week, “be kind to myself” became my mantra as I settled in for a long overdue head cold.

My three tips for pampering yourself through a cold:

  • Share. Tell your friends you’re sick. Post it on Facebook. Call your mother. Sympathy feels great.
  • Go outside. Walk the dog or get a weather report the old-fashioned way. Fresh air feels good.
  • Allow yourself to be a slug. If it’s too hard to hold a book or watch a DVD in midday then take a nap.

The first day of my summer cold, I used my last bit of energy to fetch Puffs, Nyquil, two DVDs, and the fixings for chicken soup from Wegmans. Wearing hand-knit socks given to me by a friend, I cuddled up with my dog in the afghan my mother knit for me. For two days I surrendered to being sick.
On the third day a friend called. Then the friend, her daughter, my dog and I went hiking in the rain.


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11 thoughts on “Tips for a Summer Cold

  1. Pingback: Working While Grieving | ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE - EVEN JOY

  2. Elaine Mansfield

    Hi Robin,
    I hope you’ve fully recovered. Yes, time to stop everything and surrender.
    It’s a great photo.
    I also find self-care harder than caring for someone else. My cold remedy? Tea made from freshly grated ginger.
    Be well and take care,

    1. robinbot Post author

      That’s two votes for tea. Guess it’s time to find a teapot. I wonder how many years PG Tips teabags are good for? Cheers, Elaine.

  3. Lynne Taetzsch

    Hope you’re through with it, Robin.

    Sometimes I think we get colds just to make us stop and take care of ourselves because we don’t do it enough when we’re healthy. 😉 At least, that’s my theory for why I get sick.

  4. Kirsten Wasson

    Lovely photo of you and dog. Your immune system is probably pretty worn down; you do so much for others, and grief is exhausting. How’s your tea supply? I’ve found that the ritual of the pot, the brewing, the pouring helps me keep going. And music.

    That yellow afghan is gorgeous! Like a daffodil spread over you.

    1. robinbot Post author

      I can’t wait to tell my mother what you said about the afghan she made for me. Thanks, Kirsten. Tea sounds like a great idea. Cheers!

  5. AnnetteCorth

    Feel better soon, Robin. Do you have any suggestions for Montezumas’ tarrying visit or a wildly-palpitating heartbeat? I guess a nap is the best thing after all. I hope I don’t have to hike in the rain. Take care, good friend. Annette.

    1. Gladys Botie

      Very smart daughter! Self-indulgence is the best cure for a cold when you live alone. This too shall pass. Love, Mom

      1. robinbot Post author

        Hi Mom. Self-indulgence definitely helped. But I couldn’t have recovered without the afghan, socks, good wishes from friends, and a visit to your place. Lots of love.

    2. robinbot Post author

      Sounds like you need some rescuing Annette. I’m back and in better shape than I left. I’ll be over soon. Cheers!


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