Wednesday’s Word – Sternutation



noun: (stur-nyuh-tey-shuh n)

  • The act of sneezing


It was a high-pitched sneeze, a most delicate sternutation, the merest zephyr tangled in a pretty powdered, finger-tip of a nose. Eric Linklater, Magnus Merriman, 1934


Sternutation derives from the Latin verb sternuere meaning “to sneeze”.  It entered English in the mid 1500s

My thoughts:

At this time of year it is inevitable that you will catch some form of a cold.  Whether that be the sniffles, or full blown aches, fever, and all the other symptoms.  This is all well and good if you are not immune compromised, you get a cold, you work through it using home remedies, and it rarely knocks you off your feet.  However if your immune system is compromised for any reason getting the cold can be a whole different kettle of fish (pardon the pun – penguins eat fish).  I know, I am that person.

I already live every day with aches and pains similar to constantly having the flu (Fibromyalgia), and getting a cold just exasperates these aches and pains, making them feel ten times worse.  I try to avoid anyone who has a cold, because I know the detrimental effect that it will have on me, however being out at work with people who have children (children are just brilliant at bringing every germ going home) it is inevitable that I will have to interact with people who have the cold.  Only just recently the sniffles have gone round the office, along with the coughs and sore throats.  I had done quite well avoiding these for as long as I have considering the number of people I am in contact with each day.  However the cold caught up with me this last couple of weeks, and although I am feeling better (well better than I was) I have relapses where I feel back in the thick of it. My own personal remedy is to get the Echinacae and vitamin C in me, along with keeping warm, keeping going (distraction techniques) and taking plenty of rest when I can (pacing).  Managing chronic pain is exhausting enough without having to manage chronic pain and sickness from getting a cold too.

So the next time you take a sternutation fit, make sure you have a hankie to hand so that you are not unwittingly spreading your germs to people who cannot afford to be ill on top of their every day illness.

If you are feeling unwell with the cold or flu – I wish you a speedy recovery.  If you are a chronic pain sufferer then I wish you a low pain day.



4 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Word – Sternutation

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