Let me tell you what happens to me before I get symptoms of a cold or other viral illness. I have been paying close attention for about 50 years now. And I think I have a pretty good idea about what happens in my body. Plus, I have listened to patients’ complaints and carefully watched and monitored their symptoms and illnesses for the past 40 years.

The very first thing I notice is that I have a feeling of sadness, self-pity, or irritability. I tend to get very easily offended and sometimes quite forgetful. This happens about one week before I begin to feel any symptoms of an illness at all. During that time, I cry a lot but if my mood is intense, I might even lash out. But I would have to be feeling really emotionally bad to lash out at anyone. But I have close friends that might get several calls from me during these periods to complain about this or that; I just need to vent.

The second thing that happens is that I feel pain in one or more areas of my body followed by tenderness in the affected area. Usually after I feel pain, I begin looking for symptoms. Sometimes I do not experience any other symptoms, but if they come, it will happen within 2 to 3 days.