What common cold taught me about suffering

The common cold happens to be a common ailment, hence the name. It is so common that almost everyone suffers from it at least once a year. And for some strange reasons, we won’t be able to eradicate it ever. There are thousands of new strains of viruses that are generated all the time. While your body gets immune to some of the strains, new strains always defeat our body’s defense mechanism every now and then.

It is endless suffering. Sore throat, choked nose, running nose, headache, general weakness, fever, etc. Here is a chronological sequence and duration of how the virus attacks me.

Day 1:

  1. Scratching in the throat : 3 to 4 hours
  2. Severe scratching and slight pain : 3 to 4 hours
  3. Sore throat and more pain: 8 hours
  4. Becomes worse at night: 8 hours

Day 2:

  1. Morning feels terrible, pain while swallowing
  2. The pain recedes slightly but throat becomes dry
  3. Mild headache sets in
  4. My body warms up in the evening (fever)
  5. Nose blocks, more headache.

Day 3:

  1. Throat starts healing but gets dry
  2. I start coughing
  3. Fever recedes

Day 4:

  1. Cough
  2. Cough
  3. Cough

Day 5:

Recovery

It is 4-5 days of suffering. And there is nothing we can really do about it. Yes, we can increase our immunity by consuming the right vitamins, supplements, etc. But no one is really fully immune to the common cold.

Every human suffering has a defined pattern. Loss of a loved one is suffering and it will definitely have a pattern for recovery. Loss of one’s job is suffering. If you identify the natural recovery pattern of every suffering, you will be able to deal better with it.

My suffering with common cold had a pattern. Every time I have it, those are the steps which my body follows to recover. I am deeply and consciously aware of the hell will go through when my throat gets scratchy. This deep awareness helps me deal with it. And I am sure we all deal with it the same way.

Many believe that the biggest human suffering is the very existence of human life. And the greatest fallacy of our existence is that we are really not aware of how our existence will unfold onto the next stage. Some life Gurus take this responsibility and lead us. Some revealed religions like Islam and Christianity instill a belief system which enables us to deal with life. But largely existence, life, and death remain cryptic.

Having said that if you leave the human existence alone,  lesser (and common) human sufferings can be just dealt with by being mindful and conscious about the patterns of the suffering. At the end of the day you should know how your wound should heal.