There Has Got to be a Limit to How Much . . .

. . . snot the human body can produce! 

I don’t know if I mean a limit over the course of one’s life or in my current case, the common cold?   All I do know is that there has GOT TO BE A LIMIT!   I mean seriously, at what point do you start dropping massive body weight because you’re producing so much of the nasty stuff that your local stores tissue supply can’t keep up and you’re forced to do something awful, terrible, and no good . . . use paper towels, or worse yet, a regular piece of paper because you need to stop the massive draining that is happening from your nasal cavity from flowing down your face and all over your clothing, potentially flooding your entire home.

Over the top much?  Well possibly but that’s how I feel right now.  

It never fails, once a year, every year, between November and February I get a pretty bad head cold.   Lately everyone around me has had a cold, or worse, the dreaded stomach flu.   I’ve been doing everything humanly possibly to keep from getting either one.  Then Gaby came down with a cold.   Then Gareth.   A week passed after Gaby and Gareth got sick and I patted myself on the back because all my hard work to help prevent Kennedy from getting sick and more importantly me (yes, me.  Because when I’m sick, I’m ugly.  I’m whiney, temperamental, horrible to be around and just plain mean!) seemed to be working . . . until I woke up Tuesday morning with that tell-tale scratchy throat.    That’s what I get for premature self-congratulations. 

So I prepared myself by stocking up on tissues, throat lozenges, peppermint tea, Nyquil (because nothing says, “I’b got a bizerabble cold”  like the nighttime, coughing sneezing, wheezing, stuffed-up head, HOW THE HELL DID A DRAGON GET INTO MY KITCHEN . . .? quite like Nyquil!) and my CFF – Chest Friend Forever . . .

Vicks is the best

Nothing says comfort like a rubbing a little Vick’s on my chest and then putting a hot water bottle on top of that!   

Of course, Vick’s also comes in handy when you have what resembles road rash under your nose and on top of your upper lip from all that damned repeated nose-blowing.   And this m’dears is where I’m having trouble keeping up!    I have never ever been through as much Kleenex as I’ve gone through in the last three days.   I’m at four boxes of the stuff at this point.   I wish I were joking.   Four boxes, half a roll of toilet paper, a paper towel in the kitchen because I bent over and I don’t know what happened, but it was like someone opened a valve on my nose and turned it on full blast.  And then there was the pathetic piece of writing paper that I had to use in the car because my nose started to run and I forgot to shove some Kleenex in my purse before we left to take Gaby to dance this afternoon.   Ouch!   You know you’ve reached a low point when you have to rip a piece of wide-ruled paper out of your kid’s composition notebook in order to keep snot from running down your face and all over your coat!

I was lucky enough to stumble upon something really nice when it comes to Kleenex.  Usually I have trouble finding a tissue I like because they’re either too rough, or they leave gross little snot-covered “Tissue babies” all over my face when I use them.  I won’t name any names, but there’s a specific brand of tissues that rhymes with Duff’s Rough that is a huge culprit when it comes to tissue babies!   Anyhow, in my utterly congested, sniffling, sneezing stupor I happened to see these little lovelies and I grabbed a box!

Awesome Kleenex

As of right now, I’m on my FOURTH box of these little soft tissues of awesome that are doing battle with what can only be considered an inordinate amount of snot.  Honestly, I’ve never ever been so congested, or had to deal with bodily fluids coming out of my head at rates that compete with posted speed limits!    Right when I start to feel a sneeze coming on, my left eye does this weird thing where it just starts to produce buckets of salty useless tears that make it looks like I’m crying but only my left eye is sad.  Then after the sneezes and subsequent nose-blowing, my left eye decides to do it again, this time accompanied by what I like to refer to as the “PSYCHE!  I made you think you were going to sneeze!” feeling. 

I’m at that pathetic stage in a head cold where it’s rendered me incapable of tasting or smelling ANYTHING which in turn makes me proclaim, “What’s the point of it all if I can’t taste or smell anything?”  Of course I get all melodramatic because I happen to be really hungry, but why bother if I CAN’T TASTE OR SMELL ANYTHING?   

It goes without saying that I will not be the parent taking Gaby to any of her snowboarding lessons this week because with my luck, I’d probably walk around outside, or in the lodge with frozen snot stuck to my face, while being completely unaware.   Gareth has moved beyond the snotty-gross part of his cold and only the last vestige of his cold, a cough, is hanging on.  So he can go and brave the sub-zero temps and watch our female offspring slide around on the mountain while I sit at home bundled under several blankets with my awesome Kleenex, Vick’s, and a good book!

In the meantime I think I’m going to Google this whole, “Just how much snot can the human body produce?” question, because folks, I’m just about to call the Guinness Book of World Record people!  I know I’m already at my quota for the next decade.  A few more days of this and I’m sure I’ll have blown my nose in the span of a school week, more than I have in my entire 45 years! 



I’m Audrey, the voice behind Barking Mad, a freelance writer and photographer, and owner of Barking Mad Media, LLC. In another life, my “voice” (they call it “air talent” nowadays) could be heard on Clear Channel and Entercom ( KISW, KJR, KHMX, WCOL, WNCI, and several other large-market commercial radio stations) radio stations around the country. I'm married to my lifelong British pen-pal, and have 4 beautiful children. I hope you’ll join me as I embark on a poignant personal journey to lose 225lbs and in the process, gain my life back. I also write about surviving the loss of my 2-year-old son, Joshua, coping with the subsequent depression, and morbid obesity.

Latest posts by Audrey (see all)


  1. I can relate to this as well and we love vicks in our home as well.

  2. We had major colds and flu go through the house last month and if it was not for Kleenex and Vick’s VapoRub I don’t know how we would have survived. Seriously though… How big can a sinus cavity be that it can make that level of snot?

  3. I am with you. My whole family (besides me) has been down with something or the other the whole month of January. Strep, flu, echovirus, ear infections, colds, and more. I have went through so much tissue :(

  4. I don’t think I WANT to know how much the body can produce! But yes, there HAS to be a limit!!

    Good thing you have Kleenex & Vick’s! Feel better soon!

  5. First, ewwwww….

    Second, I wish I couldn’t relate, but I can. At least a few times a year, my sinuses drain and it’s totally icky.That’s when I’m glad to have Kleenex that treat my nose well instead of using crap that turns it into a hot red mess.

  6. My sister puts Vicks on the soles of her feet and puts on socks just before bed. She swears it works miracles for colds. Knock on wood, I haven’t had the opportunity to try it.

    • Linda,

      IT WORKS! I absolutely swear by it.

      It took me ages just to get around to trying it, but Gaby had a pretty severe cough a few years ago, and I thought, “What the heck? Can’t hurt!” Sure enough, she slept better and didn’t cough nearly as much. I use it on myself when I have a cough (this time around too!) and told Gareth he might want to start doing it as well. I can’t explain why it works (I don’t have any fancy letters behind my name, probably explains my complete lack of scientific explanation) I just know that for my little family, it does!

  7. How much?

    My dear, you have been married to me for a while now and have seen a bad cold. I mean the kind of cold that lingers from Thanksgiving and circles back to beat the carp out of you two or three more times before you get over it sometime in March. You have a way to go before you get that bad.

    So don’t. Get that bad, I mean. It would not be pretty.

    • That may be the case m’dear, but until I see you produce the vast quantities of snot that I am, I still have bragging rights!