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I’ve made friends with a little old Japanese lady.  She is 84, and would rely on me for all her outside care if I didn’t insist that she “share” those duties with a neighbor.

If I get sick, Katsue can never understand , why I can’t spring back to full health in just a couple of days.  I am 68, and the first couple of weeks of February had me knocked down for the count.  For the first time in over a dozen years, Katsue sobbed when I showed up to her apartment as weak as a kitten.

My bank clerk described how she had been stuck in bed for three weeks with pneumonia.  She was on antibiotics, and didn’t bother taking a shower.  “My family knows what I smell like,” she explained.

It was as if she was playing a videotape of my previous two weeks – bed, sweats, and coughing.  We both took Tussin DM, but for me, nothing seemed to help.

A neighbor ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, so I didn’t feel too weird going to the doctor.  He seemed annoyed that I was taking up his time since I only had a “cold.”  Just a virus.  No cure.

Wikipedia says, “The traditional folk theory is that a cold can be “caught” by prolonged exposure to cold weather such as rain or winter conditions, which is how the disease got its name.  Some of the viruses that cause the common colds are seasonal, occurring more frequently during cold or wet weather.”  Well, that explains that.

So, I tried not to go outside, since that seemed to aggravate the thing.  No basketball, of course.  I tried huge glasses of orange juice, since everyone says we should get plenty of vitamin C.  Only thing, I get kidney stones from too much vitamin C, and I am diabetic.  I gave the rest of my juice away.

HackThen, out of the blue – it happened.  Sunday morning – or was it Monday morning (Feb. 17) – I hacked up a HUGE glob of – phlegm.

I didn’t spit it out to look at it, but I just know it looked like this monster from Star Trek.  It would have wiggled on the table if I had kept it.  One beady eye in the middle that would have looked right at me.  A good six inches long.  I swallowed it instead.

That ugly monster was the center of my cold.  Once it was gone, things started to clear up.  My left ear needed to drain, and I was reading my handy-dandy DOCTOR’S BOOK OF HOME REMEDIES (Prevention Magazine), when I felt this trickle in my eustachian tube.  I guess I had jarred it lose by getting out of bed.

In a couple of hours, I am taking Katsue to lunch.

Wish me luck.

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