I was feeling significantly better on Monday, but then the cold got worse on Tuesday, and continued to get worse through Wednesday, adding a cough and semi-runny nose to the sore throat. I think it's marginally better now, but still a long way from gone. (But still, thankfully, not the awful awful flu that so many other people have been getting, so I can't complain too much.)
I continue to suspect that a full night's sleep would do wonders for me, but that continues to be hard to come by. Last night, my throat started a new trick: at the moment of starting to fall asleep, instead of making a loud click like it's done before, it started generating mumbling noises. Voiced; vocal cords engaged, a sort of "uhhh" sound lasting a second or so before I jolted awake and stopped. Disconcerting.
Bhadrika and I had gone to the pharmacy earlier and acquired a whole bunch of drugs. I grew up pretty much without pharmaceuticals, and never really got the hang of them; usually when I get to the cold-remedies section of a drugstore, I kind of wander aimlessly, with glazed eyes, until I recognize a brand name, then grab it and flee. Bhadrika took me through a half-dozen common cold symptoms, described what's going on when they happen, and pointed me to the right drugs to deal with them. When we got home, she labeled all the boxes with a Sharpie so next time I'm sick I'll know which things to take for what symptoms. Very helpful.
She also explained to me more about how congestion works, and why it's important to drink lots of fluids, and so on. Very useful to know, especially because the diagrams of the nasal cavity that I've seen on websites seem to be pretty misleading.
(And btw, I always thought that pouring alcohol over something sterilizes it, but turns out that's not true, or rather that it's not nearly that simple. I'm still working through the CDC's fascinating Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings; I don't have enough brain to try to summarize tonight, but it appears to be worth looking at if you're interested in this kind of thing.)
Anyway, so I ended up trying a cough suppressant (little if any effect), an expectorant (which seemed to help some), and an oral anesthetic spray (which made the back of my throat go nicely numb for a little while, but also made parts of my tongue go numb). Oh, and I did the sinus-rinse thing a couple of times. Then I took Benadryl and melatonin and tried to sleep, but to no avail.
Eventually tried a half-tab of Ambien, which I think got me about three hours' sleep--at least, the clock seemed to jump from about 3 a.m. to about 6 a.m., though as usual for me with Ambien I didn't feel particularly more rested afterward--and then eventually I found a head position that seemed to avoid the throat-closing thing. So I got some sleep, but not really enough.
Tonight I think I'll try Ambien sooner, and maybe a full tab of it. Really gotta get some sleep. Pretty much running on empty at this point. (I tried napping yesterday afternoon, but still couldn't get to sleep.)