Alright, I googled this and I’m not the first person to come up with it. So maybe this is more well-known than I think it is, but when it occurred to me it seemed like a revelation.
So here it goes:
All of my colds start in my throat. I get the same tickly-dry sensation in the same place every time, and then my tonsils get inflamed. I’ll get them cut out one of these days, I swear. I used to drink cups of scalding tea to get at it, but while that feels good it doesn’t work. I end up miserably sick and full of tea. No win.
But one day I got this idea. I thought about the experiments I had done in bio and bio-tech classes where we made bacteria resistant or transferred genes into it or watched whole colonies die based on the introduction of just a little salt, heat, alcohol, or acid. I had the eureka moment and headed for the bathroom.
I gargled with mouthwash obsessively, every few hours, for a day. I basically hit it every time I was in the bathroom for any reason. I gargled long and loud and hard, forcing it into the vault of my throat to the point of accidentally swallowing some.
I also verbally abused my resident infection. It went something like this:
I AM EVICTING YOU. YOU DO NOT LIVE HERE. THIS HOST IS DISAGREEABLE. I AM STRONGER AND SMARTER THAN YOU. I LIVE, YOU DIE. GIVE UP, YOU SHORT-LIVED MOTHERFUCKER, YOU HAVE ALREADY LOST. I AM GONNA UNFOLD YOUR PROTEINS SO BAD YOU’LL WISH YOU NEVER LANDED HERE. YOU WILL NEVER BEAT ME FOR I AM YOUR PLANET AND I WANT YOU DEAD.
I like to think the threats help.
As a veteran of endless colds that inevitably turn into bronchitis (thanks for the chain-smoking childhood, parental units!) I dread getting a cold with the serious resolve of someone who has listened to the whistle of her own pneumonia-fucked lungs and idly contemplated death.
If your colds are like mine, if you feel the warning tickle, hit the mouthwash. I buy the Target generic for Listerine and it works dandy.
Mouthwash is my cure for the common cold. May it serve you just as well.