On Monday night I went curling. I was feeling tired but ok. We curled a six end game and, while we lost by a lot, I played one of my best games ever. I felt good.
We went to bed. I lay my head down and then sneezed. I sneezed again.
My throat immediately felt scratchy and my sinuses immediately plugged up.
Within seconds, I had a cold.
I'm sure those little cold germ buggers were hanging out in my system for a while before making themselves known but the onset of symptoms was quick and unmistakable.
So now it's Tuesday night.
I dragged myself through a full work day, participating as best as I could in meetings with a head full of cotton and the reflexes of a drugged rhinoceros. In between meetings, I pulled into Wal-Mart and picked up some cough drops, some day-time cold medicine, ginger and lemons. Let the battle of wills begin.
I do not take a lot of cold medication. Not because I'm all high and mighty about it and want to fight my cold using my own body's defences and nothing else. But because I have learned the hard way, repeatedly, that medications that make most people sleep turn me into an insomniac.
Tylenol Cold, nighttime, the one with the huge warnings on it about not driving heavy machinery - well if I take it I could fly a plane across the Atlantic singlehandedly and probably not even blink the entire time.
Even Cold FX and echinacea keep me up. I googled that the last time I couldn't sleep and, apparently, those immune boosters do have that effect on a few lucky folks.
So I am allowed to take two daytime cold pills but the last one needs to be down my gullet before noon to allow it a good 8 hours to work its way out of my system. Which means, of course, that by about 4pm, I'm sneezing and coughing and feeling decidedly wretched with no medical options to turn to.
Hence the lemons and the ginger.
While homemade ginger tea probably doesn't do much to actually cure a cold, it goes a long way towards making me feel better.
Take lemon, ginger and honey.
Peel ginger and drop into a small pot of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until it tastes gingery enough for you.
Juice a lemon or two, depending on how lemon-y you like it.
When the water is gingery enough, remove the ginger pieces and toss in the lemon juice. Add honey to taste.
Stir it around and pour into your favourite mug
Add a wee dram (or two) of the secret ingredient and enjoy.
Oh, it also helps to have an impish, perfectly healthy, charming little man to entertain you while you sip your tea.