It’s not often I can pinpoint the precise moment that my immune system issues the orders to attack a foreign virus that has invaded my body. I was brought up to think of my immune system as an army with the white blood cells acting as soldiers, battling to destroy an enemy force. I guess the reality isn’t much different from that analogy and I still think of things that way.
So I’ve just come home from a hard day in the office staring at my dual 21 inch monitors at lines of code and I sit down on my sofa. I look over to my kitchen and spy a box of Kellogs Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and I simply can’t resist.
I’m on my feet in seconds. I’m pacing purposefully over to the counter. In the blink of an eye I’ve got a bowl out from the cupboard and in a move perfected by hours on the training ground I’ve started to pour the cereal into the bowl. I breathe lightly and turn to my right. Another quick hand movement and a spoon is in my hand. Squatting low I open the fridge, reach in and snatch the milk out in a blur. I slowly open the milk and begin to pour, savouring the moment and the sound of cold milk on dry corn flakes. I return the milk to the fridge and move back over to my sofa and sit down.
So as I’m about half way through the cereal I get this nasty taste and sensation in the back of my throat. It’s a feeling I’ve known so well over the years and I recognise it in an instant. It’s the signal that I’m about to get a cold. There’s nothing I can do, in a few hours the glands in my neck will be swollen and sore and I’ll have a thumping headache.
Cut to an hour or so later and this is exactly the case. By the morning (after a rough night) my eyes feel like they literally want to explode out of my head. Despite the fact that this might make an entertaining picture, I take asprin to calm it all down. And call work for a sick day. I can’t remember the last time I’ve taken one (no, my memory is not affected, I just never take sick days).
Still, that was Wednesday and I’m feeling almost back to my normal self today. Getting a cold isn’t very interesting but it was strange to feel a switch flick in my body from being fine to knowing I was fighting an infection of some sort. Weird…