Decongestant: (n) a substance that relieves mucus congestion of the upper respiratory tract.
I hate colds.
I am not alone in this, but they are a hazard for my profession.
I have spent my life using my voice in various capacities, and having that altered is at least annoying, if not costly.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the sooner I treat a cold, the better off I am.
This discovery was birthed during a particularly nasty head cold I had when I was a junior in high school. Being that particular age, I took no medications and certainly would never carry Kleenex in my pocket.
So one very cold day, when the study hall at school was overly warm, my nose began to run. I had nothing at all to stop the flow.
I had not taken a decongestant to dry me out.
Kleenex was for girls.
And unfortunately, the only thing available was the fuzzy sweater my brother had loaned to me, which had big, bushy sleeves.
I resisted for a long time.
I tried to breathe in deeply, sucking the nose flow back into my head.
I did a quick reach-up with my finger to push back the lava.
But it just kept coming.
Finally, in a complete breakdown, I lifted my sweater sleeve and quickly rubbed it across my nose, allowing all the furriness to absorb the “ick.”
I immediately reached down and tried to redistribute the human glue throughout the sweater so it wouldn’t be noticeable—and fortunately for me, the bell rang. I was able to run to the bathroom to blow my nose.
Being a teenager, I forgot all about the incident until a week later, when my brother put on the sweater and asked me what the deal was with the sleeve.
I could not tell him the truth.
It would not be healthy for his heart. (I don’t think he had a heart condition, but he could develop one.)
Being an adolescent and not quick-thinking on my feet, I replied, “Wear and tear?”
My brother looked at me, perplexed, then down at his clumpy, sticky sleeve. I don’t think he really wanted to know, so he accepted my explanation.
I have since learned that the power of a decongestant is that it dries you up so much that you don’t have to do embarrassing things to your clothing.