Pleasant way to prevent cold/flu

January 23, 2005

It started on Wednesday with a hacking cough and congested lungs. I had a fever of 101 to 102 until the middle of Saturday night, when it broke, and I woke up soaking wet.

Since I moved to a new place I have gotten about 4 or 5 colds. I usually pride myself on not getting sick and when I catch the rare cold, I boast that I can recover completely in 2 days or less. Once my roommate and I had the same cold and she was sick for 3 weeks and I got better in, yes, two days. My plan:

  • Rest immediately, don’t work through the illness, it will just prolong it.
  • Gargle with hydrogen peroxide at the first tiny tickle in your throat.
  • Start taking zinc lozenges right away- 6 a day, suck, don’t chew.
  • Eat chicken soup with cayenne pepper and raw garlic in it- enough of both that it burns your throat.
  • Mix salt with warm water and suck it up through your nose – cleans out germs and mucus.
  • Avoid cold medicines that dry you out- your body is trying to wash the virus out.
  • Drink lots of liquids, of course,
  • take Echinacea and vitamins, and
  • eat healthy, and avoid sugar.
  • Wash your hands often and disinfect surfaces you touch a lot, like doorknobs. (This is probably more for the people around you.)

It works! So, in the past, I didn’t mind getting a cold so much- I hardly ever got one, and when I did, I had an effective routine. Now that I’ve gotten 4 or 5 in one year, I’m feeling a little irritated and frustrated, and my treatment enthusiasm is waning. That protocol takes energy. I’m tired of telling people, “Sorry, I can’t, I’m sick.” I feel more inclined to work through the cold, so I don’t miss out on stuff. This weekend I would have gone on a road trip to Arizona, even with a cold, if I didn’t feel so bad that it would have been ridiculous. I missed a fun dance last night which two people invited me to, I’m going to have to foist my church job off on someone else today, and I just pray I can go to the concert I’ve been looking forward to tonight. Even typing this is a drain. This is one of the most miserable colds ever and after doing a symptom check on Web MD, I think it could be the flu. I have some of the worst symptoms of both the cold and flu.

Hope on the horizon: Web MD lists lots of ways to prevent the cold and flu, including getting a flu shot, (which I never dreamed I might do before.) Here is the one that prompted me to write today:

#5 Take a Sauna

Researchers aren’t clear about the exact role saunas play in prevention, but one 1989 German study found that people who steamed twice a week got half as many colds as those who didn’t. One theory: When you take a sauna you inhale air hotter than 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.

Hey, that sounds enjoyable! They also reccomend eating yogurt, which I used to do daily and now never do. Could that be the key variable for me? There have been so many changes in my life it’s hard to say what the real factors are in the no-cold, lots-of-colds difference. I’m going to drink some more liquids and take a hot shower. When I get better, (hopefully in time for the concert tonight… I can dream,) I’m going to eat yogurt and sit in the sauna. Meanwhile, I’m geting a shooting pain in my head when I move my eyes too far in any direction. This is beyond the scope of my treatment expertise. Any advice?

Wishing you health…

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