Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Swiss Cows and Colds

Yesterday about 4pm a cold hit me like a rogue wave and by 630 I was in bed with sinus pressure, post-nasal drip and the whole sorry bit. This is the second time in my advanced age that a cold has pulled a fast one on me during waking hours. That I've noticed the onset of the illness is the strange part. I don't remember having that experience before. But you're sitting there one minute, alert, active and feeling good when an invisible pall settles down and mucus starts oozing in the unseen caverns in the face.

Good to get this out of the way early this season, I guess. By the time the mutations strengthen the bug and make it really nasty my body will have the right antibodies in the war chest and I should cruise through winter as healthy as an ox. (Oxes are supposedly really healthy.)

Or maybe I just have cows on the brain. I was in Switzerland in September and saw more ideal cows than I'd ever imagined existed though I probably could have connected the dots on the Swiss cheese thing. Anyway, I kept thinking of that line from Fight Club about 'calm as a Hindu cow,' which sounds calm, but I'd have to ask Tyler Durden if he's ever been to Switzerland. Those Swiss cows are seriously calm.

For comparisons sake, among other reasons having to do with Jill's crazy goal of running a marathon this year, I went for a 15 miler in the Amish Country outside Lancaster this weekend to get the read on American cows. We saw lots of cows. In fact it was a bit of an Old McDonald kind of experience out there, with horses, mules, turkeys, chickens, cats, and the wildest species of all, the Amish themselves, cruising around on modern roads with their old-fashioned horse-drawn carriages. 

Deep in the midst of a an exaggerated, low-down, short-shorted groin-stretch one such cart clip-clopped by with about 4 Amish children riding on a kind of shelf affixed to the back of the cart. They were looking otherworldly mature in their 3-piece suits, self-darkening glasses and woolly beards and we locked eyes like aliens from different planets encountering one another for the first strange time. 

Shaking it off, I noticed the specific wear the horse-drawn carts put in the roads and wondered if the Amish pay state or Federal taxes for this privilege. (They compensate my father-in-law with quilts for brain surgery services rendered, so I didn't really feel off-base or bigoted in this assumption.) Later on Google would confirm that they do and my ire cooled. 

But back to the cows, American cows, Amish cows. They're pretty calm too, eating and crapping and making dairy products in the green-beating heart of Pennsylvania. 

Towards the end of our run we came across a field freshly covered in manure that was just starting to reek in the mid-morning sun. The smell was literally over-powering and though you may doubt the science behind this, I'm convinced that somewhere in the noxious fumes I inhaled this bug I have now. 

Which brings me lastly, to Zicam, which is another awful thing I've put up my nose in the midst of my prolonged encounter with cows. Though the intake is something to endure, especially when your wife has to pin you down to administer the first dose, I'm coming around on the stuff. It can actually be inspiring if you surrender to its magic.


  1. hope this helps you, I had acid reflux and awful painful heartburn. My friend told me to check as it helped him get rid of acid reflux and his post nasal drip. I've been following advice for about 4 months now and I feel much better, also at work people are not avoiding me anymore so it seems to have cured my bad breath as well.

  2. I'm sorry you're not feeling well! I hope you're feeling better already. I'm working with Zicam; visit for $2 off Zicam Intense Sinus Relief Nasal Gel. Feel better!