Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Cured the Common Cold

In a new locale or home or business setting, I've come to expect to be sick more often during the first year.  It's an adjustment period for my body to get acquainted with, and build up an immunity to, a whole new set of germs and viruses in the air.  And so I ceremoniously announce my first cold in Georgia!

Ding ding ding... round 1 begins!

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The battles lines are drawn.  On one side it's me and on the other we have the usual sinus pressure, runny nose, sneezing and mildly productive cough.  (Productive, as used here, is just the more polite and doctorly term for spitting up globs of mucus - a.k.a. icky colored snot and infection.)  And since I'm jobless, it seemed like a good time to test the myriad of cold remedies suggested by well-meaning friends.  So here we go:  Kathy vs. the Cold Remedy.

While I was still in that pre-sick fighting hard not to come down with the gunk time, I started on the Zicam.  Well, actually, since I'm cheap I started on the store brand with the same active ingredient and dosing.  In the future, I'll be saving my money.  Even though it has a delightful orange creamsicle flavor (at least until you get down to the bitter medicine-y center!) it did nothing.

Kathy - 1 Cold Remedy - 0

So I switched to complaining about it and trying to manage symptoms and just let the beast run its course.  First up was hot steaming tea with honey and fresh lemon.  Yum!  The steam felt good on my angry inflamed sinuses and the liquid was soothing to my throat ravaged by the violence of hard coughing.  After a cup of tea, I felt pretty decent for 15 minutes.  Then the snot started flowing and the cough kicked back in.

Spicy food was the next suggestion so in between, I ate salsa.  Like drank it by the bottle...  I figured the vitamin C and lycopene in the tomatoes would be good for me while onions have a mild antibiotic/anti-fungal/antivirus quality and the capsaicin in hot peppers works to detoxify and raise body temperature to make it even harder for the unwelcome virus to survive.  Again, I felt pretty good for about 15 minutes after a big glug of salsa and then all the symptoms came right back.

A friend insisted that hot black coffee was the cure-all.  Black - no cream or sugar or any other taste enhancement.  Oh man... nasty, nasty, nasty!!  Not sure what's worse:  that evil brew or the stuffed up head.  But I do have to admit, for about 15 minutes I felt really good.

Settling in for the long haul...

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I'm calling the food and drink cold remedies fails since the relief was so short.  It's an awful lot of work to piece together enough 'feel good for 15 minutes' to have much of a productive day.  (Here productive means get something done.)  So... it's Kathy - 4 Cold Remedy - 0

Another friend, a nurse, strongly suggested seeing a doctor to get a prescription for some codeine-laced cough syrup.  Would LOVE the codeine-laced cough syrup... I don't abuse it, but I know from past experience codeine does wonders for me against both cough and pain.  However, even if I could afford it, there's no way I'm giving up one red cent to hear the infamous words "It's a virus and it'll just have to run it's course."  Remedy rejected.

Next up, hot shower and go to bed early (for a change!).  The hot steamy shower was so relaxing!  I got out and headed to bed feeling hopeful.  And when I got myself settled into a comfortable spot with the blanket and pillows just so, I had to pee.  And getting up for that got the cough and sniffles going again.  But then around 3:00 a.m. something happened - I could breathe and the cough all but stopped.  It was as suddenly and notably different as when you step into a dark room and switch the lights on.  I've never felt such a distinct end to the bad part of a cold before.

Time to pack it up and move on!

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Which of my fails was really a success?  Or was it the combination of things I tried?  Maybe just a fluke?  I wish I knew...


Hours later and I'm barely bothered with any symptoms.  I'm willing to call it cured.  If I knew how that happened, I could make a fortune!!

But I don't.

Just my luck...

1 comment:

jweb711724 said...

So glad that the steamy goodness of fresh lemons and honey was little family has used for is more of a comfort and sure...if the kids come home and are guessed...momma...make me your hot lemon and honey