Since finishing 150 miles on the bike this weekend, I've had the vague feeling that I'm getting sick. That telltale sign, the sore throat, was my first clue, though I bandied the idea about that my throat was just dry, the result of being a mouth breather. But since I'm not actually a mouth breather (I hope), I've had to face the fact that I might just be getting a cold.
My first line of defense when I feel a cold coming on? My homeopathic friend, Zicam, which can be purchased in any major drugstore. Zicam is some sort of zinc remedy that, in theory, wards off a coming cold or, at the very least, lessens the effects of the cold. I've had good luck with it over the years, though I really can't say whether the product was truly helpful or it was all in my head. Either way, it's been my go-to drug when I'm feeling the sickness coming on.
With Zicam, one must face that there's no looking cool since it requires you to stick a goober-y gel swab up inside your nostrils that then somehow passes the gel into your system through a form of black magic. Fortunately, I gave up the idea that I look cool long ago and happily shove Zicam swabs up my nose throughout the day, warding off the evil that lurks in my body. So imagine my surprise today when, sitting at my desk, ready to finesse another gel swab up my honker, my coworker Liz started reading aloud from a news story on the internet. "Consumers should stop using Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel and related products because they can permanently damage the sense of smell, federal health regulators said Tuesday," Liz laughed, practically choking on her glee, knowing full well that I was fiendishly using Zicam to battle my cold demons. So that was that, my love affair with Zicam was over. What if I were to continue using it and lose my sense of smell? How could I get through life without smelling the citrus-y joy of a lime? How could I risk missing out on the scent of my ginger perfume? What sort of life would it be without smelling Aveda products? It's no life at all, people, it's no life at all.
I drove home from work, angry at the world, lamenting the fact that I would now most likely be inviting a cold into my soon-to-be phlegm-filled sinuses, and all because now Zicam has the power to make me lose my sense of smell permanently. As I walked into my tiny home, my 24 pound cat had just dropped a fat one in his litter box. The odor seized my entire body and I shuddered, wondering how something as cute as my kitty could create something so foul. Suddenly I found myself lunging toward my work bag where my remaining Zicam swabs sat awaiting their fate in the garbage and I shoved them, one by one, up my nose, begging nobody in particular to be one of those Zicam victims left pathetically without a fully operational sense of smell.