Aspen Untucked: Sick Season |

Aspen Untucked: Sick Season

by Barbara Platts

There’s an old piece of advice that I’ve heard over and over again when it comes to writing, and I do believe it to be accurate. It’s simple and easy enough to follow. Here it is: Write what you know.

I try to follow this bit of age-old wisdom because, frankly, why would one want to write about something they don’t know? That doesn’t sound like much fun and the result is the ill-informed writer just ends up looking silly.

So, each week for my column, I attempt to write about things I know, whether they be about my generation (the millennials), a funny story I heard or a life chapter I’m currently going through. Usually, this strategy of writing what I know works well, and hopefully it leaves readers will an interesting story and possibly even a laugh or two.

However, this week, that whole “writing what I know” strategy is difficult, because the only thing I’ve really known for the last 10 days is the pain and agony of having one of the worst colds (you know the ones) that I can remember in my 27 years of life. So, unfortunately, that’s all I have to write about this week.

It started the way any cold does. I felt a bit tired on one night a couple of weeks ago and developed a slightly scratchy throat. I figured a long night of sleep would remedy the situation, so I made a hot toddy with extra honey, drank a lot of water and went to bed. From there, things only got worse. I became more congested each day, despite being overly certain that the cold was going to end at any minute. As the days passed, it became clear that a speedy recovery was not going to happen. I started having to cancel appointments and work meetings. I even had to miss a good friend’s birthday celebration. This cold was paralyzing me and I was absolutely furious about it.

Like misery, sickness loves company, so I made sure my boyfriend could join me in this congested adventure. We both became so ill that we were disinvited from any and all Thanksgiving celebrations. OK, not actually, but we excused ourselves because we knew no family members or friends would want to see us hacking up while they were trying to enjoy a healthy serving of stuffing. So, to keep our sickness within our apartment, we stayed home on Thanksgiving and made our own meal. However, since we were so mad at our colds for keeping us from our loved ones, we drank too much wine in order to “stick it to our sickness” and ended up getting sicker because of it. Go figure.

It wasn’t all bad during our 10-plus day illness. We caught up on “Game of Thrones,” watched a lot of news and learned how to make the ideal cocktail for a peaceful night’s sleep — it includes a dose of NyQuil, Benedryl or another drowsy-inducing Antihistamine, a cup of sleepy time tea and a small dosage of edibles. With all of the above, a peaceful night’s sleep is only 30 minutes away after consuming. We needed to knock ourselves out so we didn’t keep each other awake from our heavy congested breathing, also known as snoring.

During the long days with nothing to do, we stuffed ourselves full of cough medicine and hid from the outside world. With colds like this, simply taking the dogs to the dog park was an intensely exhausting experience. At one point, we may have “accidentally” taken NyQuil and stayed awake. I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried this, but it’s quite a trip. We were quite certain our faces were melting.

Despite the hazy days and the sleepy nights, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. Good health finally seems within arms reach. We’ve even started trying to exercise again, not well, but it’s something. Hopefully, by next week, I’ll have something else to write about besides my surplus of mucus.

As far as advice from this experience, I have only one tip: Don’t get sick.

Barbara Platts is finally at the tail end of her cold, however her cough is still something nasty. Reach her at or on Twitter @BarbaraPlatts.

Aspen Times Weekly

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