Do any of you have a preferred way of dealing with or shortening the duration of a cold?
Maybe I'm just a wuss, but over the past couple of years (toddler germ-sharing perhaps?) I've gotten a few colds that've plain knocked me over and out of commission. Frequent business travel really cuts into one's resistance, so with those colds I've been trying a bunch of things other than Vitamin C (which is better for pre-cold health than intra-cold cure).
- Cold-EEZE, an awful-tasting sucking candy with plenty of zinc gluconate, has been shown in a few reputable-sounding clinical studies (e.g. Cleveland Clinic) to reduce the duration of a cold. I've convinced myself that they work. One study (McElroy and Miller, 2003) explained in their abstract of a trial involving school-aged children that: "A total of 178 children, ages 12 to 18 years, was enrolled, of which 134 met criteria for efficacy analysis. The average cold duration with therapeutic lozenge use was 6.9 +/- 3.1 days, significantly shorter than the 9.0 +/- 3.5 days found in the control group..."
- By the way, here's what a search for medical data looks like if you're a researcher [Go to PubMed and enter, say, Cold-eeze in the search field.]
- This week, though, I went particularly hog-wild and bought two additional remedies to try. The first is ZICAM, a bunch of single-dose swabs-in-a-tube-of-zinc-liquid-for-your-nose. I think this woman's blog post describes it well.
- Second, I picked up homeopathic oscillococcinum, a product that is evidently popular in France. Oscillococcinum comes in a bunch of tube-doses, each tube containing plenty of tiny little sugary dots laced with extract of something-or-other from wild duck heart and liver. You're supposed to let them dissolve in your mouth every 6 hours. A little odd, maybe, and my reading on homeopathy suggests that the dilutive process results in one or zero molecules of the desired substance per dose, anyhow. Placebo? I don't know. Actually, this stuff is for treating the flu, not the cold. (Vickers and Smith, 2004).
- Water and tea.
- Fatty foods. I crave Chinese food when I'm sick. Then again, I always crave Chinese food.
A few other things having nothing to do with my cold
A lengthy piece about Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh. (Yes, he composed much of the music for "Rushmore.")
A short essay by MIT's Gilbert Strang, "Too Much Calculus," extolling the virtues of teaching linear algebra early on.
The New York Times: "The 10 Best Books of 2007."
One of my favorite arcade games: Marble Madness.
Groan! Is Europe a country? You've probably seen this gameshow clip regarding Budapest.
Attention font nerds! T-Shirts for you from Wire & Twine.