The Cold Was Not Weird. It Was Terrible.

I’m still sick. Feeling better today, to the extent that I’m at least upright. And my right eye opens again, which I always appreciate.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my folk understanding of colds. Like, I’m experiencing this cold as being both a head cold (in that my symptoms are mostly in my head and the little coughing I do is because of sinus drainage. Other than being tired and having to pee all the time, my body feels fine.) and a cold in my eye (my right eye). The symptoms of a “cold in my eye” are that it’s red and watery and there’s some yellow gloop in it. It might feel hot or itch. The lids are swollen.

You can have a cold in your eye without having any other cold. I also recall my older relatives having colds elsewhere in their bodies. You could have a cold in your back, which I believe I have had once, though I can’t really describe it. It’s like a back pain, but different. Like back pain is pain in a spot and a cold in your back is kind of strange pain on a spot?

And I think I remember my older relatives having colds in their joints, which is different that being cold in your bones. Being cold in your bones is just a kind of way you feel unable to get warm in such a fundamental way that it feels like even your bones are cold. I think you get cold in your bones most frequently when it’s a clammy cold.

But I’m not sure what a cold in your joints might be and I haven’t heard anyone use it since I moved to the South.

Anyway, I don’t know that these even are real colds. I think they’re just folk understandings of something else going on. I’m not sure what my doctor would do if I told her I had a cold in my wrist, for instance. Would she think I just meant that my wrist was an uncomfortable temperature or would she know that I was having some kind of discomfort that was different from the usual discomfort joints have?

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