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Burb's Eye View: Head cold puts damper on weekend

January 07, 2014|By Bryan Mahoney

I had plans. Big, juicy ones. I had the kinds of plans that enable men to conquer mountains (or at least the hills above downtown Burbank).

I was going to write and hike and take in the warm air while the entire northeast United States seemingly shrinks into a glacial oblivion. There were new recipes to try out with my indestructible cast-iron skillet, itself forged in the fires of Mount Doom.

I had mammoth plans and not one of them involved getting sick.

Then Friday night the mind-bending sinus cold set in. I should have seen it coming — after all, I taunted it all week while it visited my wife while I brought her hot meals and tissues.


I flaunted my good health in front of it, waving like a matador before a charging bull.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we’re only now entering the worst of cold and flu season, which peaks in February. It recommends getting vaccinated around October to stave off seasonal flu.

I was vaccinated only two weeks ago, and it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to work. By that time, your body has built antibodies to fight off several of the most common strains of influenza virus.

A cold is a different animal — a lesser cousin to the flu for most. If you’re like me and rarely get sick, it can hit nearly as hard.

By Saturday morning, my head worked independently from the rest of me. My legs and arms were ready to enact some plans, to walk about the neighborhood at the very least. But the 10-pound stone atop my shoulders would not lift it from whatever propped it up — the back of the couch, the bed pillow, etc.

By Sunday, the Vicks VapoRubbed sinuses opened a bit. Some power was restored to the thinky parts of my cerebral cortex and I was able to blink my legs on and off. They brought me to brunch at Granville Café.

A warning: Once you experience what I’m about to describe, you can never unsee it, so read this at your own discretion: While sitting at a patio café table for Granville’s Sunday brunch, the whirling fans above you create a hypnotic strobing effect to everything on your table — the salt shakers, the coffee, the silverware. Everything pulses in a hypnotic thrum, and this consumes your entire attention if you’re sitting there with a head cold (or too many mimosas, on a better day).

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