The symptom checker at webmd.com gives the following symptoms for the common cold:
- Pain or discomfort
- Decreased appetite
- Hoarse voice
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Body aches or pains
- Decreased smell
Weirdly, I get some slightly odd symptoms not mentioned here. And one that contradicts the final symptom listed by webmd. When I get a cold, my sense of smell (usually pretty terrible) is greatly improved. I haven’t yet found an explanation for my odd symptoms, and nor have I met anyone who has similar symptoms (unless everyone I’ve asked is trolling me). If anything here rings a bell then do please comment. Similarly, if you have a plausible explanation for my odd symptoms I’d be pleased to hear it.
Here are some other things I’ve noticed about the common cold’s effects on me:
Often, the first symptom of a cold for me is nostalgia. When I start suddenly remembering odd things from long ago, seemingly completely out of the blue, I now know to expect a cold (the correlation isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good).
Sometime later (after the sore throat and the stuffy nose have kicked in), I’ll find music seems to sound better than ever. This is handy, as in my experience listening to music is the best way to get rid of an earworm. Earworms are another symptom of a cold for me (I’m also more prone to them if I have a hangover – and possibly in hot weather). Just about any word I hear or think of can set off a musical word association game that ends with something playing internally on a loop. It seems to be much more pronounced than at other times, with the frequency of earworms much higher than at any other time (even when hungover on a hot day).
Then there’s the improved sense of smell I mentioned earlier. This presumably accounts for food tasting better than usual which is something else I’ve noticed.
I also feel more energetic than normal when a cold starts.
If it’s a very heavy cold, I get some minor visual hallucinations too.
So, how does the common cold turn me into a hyperactive nostalgic who craves food and music, gets earworms, and(very occasionally) starts seeing things? Oh, and is it just me? Or is this relatively common?