What I’ve learnt this week: 22nd January 2015

I’ve had a sore throat all week which has led to my family urging me to ‘rest it for a few days. Don’t talk.’ Ummm. Usually when I get a sore throat it’s quickly followed by a cold. This time no cold arrived – and consequently neither did the sympathy. The thing with a cold is you can usually see how bad it is for the sufferer – the red, runny nose. The constant coughing and sneezing. With a sore throat there’s…well, outwardly nothing. Just the occasional wince after a swallow. What they can’t see is that the back of your throat looks like it’s been attacked by a school of piranha.

And then there’s the sleep deprivation. I can’t manage more than an hour at a time without waking up in pain and needing to suck a lozenge or two. Here are my current night time choices.

Sore throat treatments

Of all of them gargling with soluble aspirin seems to work best, which I’m pleased about because as a pharmacist I used to recommend it all the time. Perhaps I should have tried it earlier?!

There are two positive sides to having a sore throat. Firstly you can sound husky, though it isn’t guaranteed and I seem to sound more squawky than sultry. More crow than lark. Secondly whiskey seems to soothe the throat as well as the aspirin does and is a lot more palatable (though perhaps best not taken too often during daylight hours). I’ve been taking a dram of the gentle Dalwhinnie just before bed, but have been recommended Talisker Storm which I shall be trying out. Purely for the sake of medical research, you understand.

Following a trip to the doctors yesterday I announced I had viral tonsillitis. Immediately the sympathy levels increased. Note I’m not talking urging me to sit down while dinner was made for me, increased. Just a ‘oh dear.’ But it got me thinking that we should use the proper medical terms more. Instead of a common cold, say you have acute viral rhinopharyngitis. Not a stomach upset, but gastroenteritis. Why have a headache when you can have cephalalgia? And should you over indulge on Saturday night, duck out of the Sunday chores by telling your family and friends you have veisalgia.