A month ago I got this season’s flu shot. Being officially old I was given a quadrupled vaccine dose of four different flus. There was plenty of time to have developed an immunity to those flus, but, even though I got the shots and watched out for people who seemed sick and stayed away from them, here I sit with a 101°F fever. That’s four degrees over my normal temperature of 97.0.

A week ago I went to a symphony concert and heard not one cough from a crowd of over 300. In conversation with my improv friends it was mentioned that something was going around, but none of us there were sick. Perhaps I touched a contaminated doorknob, and that makes some sense because six days ago I had some dry crud in my nose and picked it out with my fingernail. I should have heeded my 2008 Probaway flu post — Prevent the common cold with capsaicin. If you use this suggested disease preventative you will probably discover to your surprise, perhaps chagrin, just how often you touch your eyes, nose and mouth and will soon learn not to do so. I don’t know how I caught this flu, and I did apply my usual hot bath procedure, but it didn’t work very well, or perhaps it did work really well, and if I hadn’t done it I would be much sicker.

Friday night I felt a little off, so I took a 106°F bath and lifted my mouth temperature to 102.2°F for five minutes, and then drank one ounce of whiskey. It takes about 45 minutes to do this whole cycle. Saturday, I went to my usual meeting but sat apart so I wouldn’t infect anybody and started feeling worse later in the day. Sunday I skipped four of my favorite events and took three hot baths. Monday, still feeling sick but no pain when coughing, and the cough was productive of a teaspoon of mucus. Monday I didn’t have any events so hung around the house and took a couple of walks around the block. Here it is Tuesday evening and I am not well, but not feeling too sick either. I will take another hot bath about 9:30 to 10:30 and that should be enough to get a good night’s sleep. Actually, I have been sleeping okay, except when I had a raw cough on Saturday and Sunday.

The old joke is, “the usual cold lasts two weeks, but if you treat it with every cure known to the medical profession you can be okay in only fourteen days.” By that standard if I am okay tomorrow, with only four days of the cold, it will still be a miracle cure even if I am now feeling sickish.