Friday, December 16, 2016

Down with the Sickness (50 ways to leave your cold)

Although there is no optimal time to get sick (kind of like there's never a perfect time to get pregnant or wear that shirt that's sheer but has long sleeves), I'd definitely not recommend the midst of holiday goings-on aka mid December. Like my nose, it blows...hard and raw. I've missed out on nog-fests, dinners and open bar holiday parties for liquor companies. Life is not fair. While I should be wowing you with some kind of heart warming or glitzy Christmas post, instead you're going to get one about mucus. You'll deal.

As the daughter of a nurse, I have not only acquired a really dark sense of appropriateness and humor but also a giant arsenal of medicinal treatments for anything that could potentially ail me (both of the Walgreen's and Kooky bananas variety.)

As the snot volcanoes started to form in my nasal passages and the Harvey Firestein started to set into my voice, I called on every single weapon at my disposal to slay the beast of a cold. [Tangent: yes. A cold is a cold and is small potatoes to most, but for me- anytime I get sick I go into panic mode. I have craptatsic lungs and am what they call "medically fragile" so even though I feel bulletproof and badass most of the time, I'm not. As I get older and realize what a shit storm hospitalization is, I have come to terms with beings a vigilante. I'm that annoying person that will harp on you to get a flu shot and tell you to go away if you're sick. Anti vaxxers need not apply!]

It's been yeeeears since I have really had a legit cold, so I am exceedinglyrusty at how these proceedings even go down. Instead of being level headed, I just threw everything at the wall of sickness waiting to see what stuck (I know that sounds like a vomit euphemism, but it wasn't. I was vom-free.) [Tangent: as any scientist would tell you, this is the worst way to find what works. Having 100 variables in an experiment of finding a successful outcome is the worst idea ever. This is why I made a 71 in high school chemistry (but it was honors!!!)] Here were some of my methods.

  • Drink pretty much just hot toddies morning noon and night. So a couple years ago, I invented a drink recipe that is not really delicious, but definitely clears sinuses (of not just you but anyone in a 3 county radius). [Tangent: People (aka my family) often say it smells like I'm drinking a Yankee candle.] Years ago I got a starter pack of essential oils and had not a clue what to do with them, but after letting them collect dust in a drawer I broke em out for allergy season and learned they can take a hot toddy from 0 to 60 real quick. I mix hot tea, whiskey, lemon, local honey, a drop of peppermint oil and a drop of lavender oil. If nothing else it will make your home smell good and make you a lot drunk.  [Tangent: I couldn't tell you if it was alcohol or my immune system that was exhausting me, but I like to use the tactics of old timey prospectors to feel better.]
  • Netti pot like it's going outta style. As I've written about before here, I'm a big believer in a netti pot and it's more foolproof cuz, the netti bottle. When I was little, anytime I was sick, my dad would tell me to gargle with salt water (which always seemed like bullshit and something he leaned in the navy or on the farm, but it always worked even if I swallowed it and always gagged). This is the next natural progression, plus I like any treatment that immediately makes you feel better. [Tangent: Even if the cost is that feeling that you've been knocked out by a giant wave and are momentarily choked with sea water.] I sometimes even put a drop of that lavender oil in my Neti bottle with the salt solution (because what the hell else am I gonna do with all these oils?!?!?) to make the inside of my face smell refreshing and not like week old snot funk. And when I wasn't doing that I was just hitting my face with saline spray every 10 minutes to knock those boogers loose. My sodium intake through my nostrils has probably broken a record in the past 10 days. [Tangent:...I mean unless there's a human that ingests only kikoman soy sauce through an NG tube, then they probably earned that depressing crown. I shouldn't be so quick to assume that title.] 
  • Take all the medicine  I mean within reason (sort of). You best believe I pulled out all my best gal pals: sudafed, Zyrtec, Mucinex, Flonase, Tylenol, Afrin (when desperate because I was sick of blowing my nose all night). Vitamin c gummies for when I want to delude myself into thinking I'm indulging in a delicious sweet treat, but I'm really boosting immunity. I even swabbed my nasal passages with zicam the max number of times a day, even after I read an article warning a loss of olfactory powers among patients that used it. OH WELL! I NEEDED WELLNESS MORE THAN THE ABILITY TO SMELL! Priorities change when your throat is the width of a coffee stirrer.
  • Dip myself in Vicks vapo rub So I guess there are different camps, but I was not raised in a Vicks family. Like I guess it was around, but I never remember using it as a kid or basting myself in it nightly when a cold struck. Maybe I was too nasally sensitive and the idea of that was too much. Despite all this, when this cold rolled around- I got balls deep in Vicks. [Tangent: Eww...not literally...that would smart.] There were points when it was on my neck and chest and the soles of my feet, even though the logic that an ointment on my feet would affect my chest and head seems like dark magic [Tangent: One of the recommendations for a sore throat is to slather your neck in Vicks and wrap it in a man's sock. Does that sound ridiculous? Yes. Did I do it? Also yes. At that point I would have summoned every deity to do my bidding.]
  • Liquid Diet. What goes best with hot toddies? Hot soup. I ate any variety...homemade chicken noodle with bone 20 cent Ramen. My taste buds didn't discriminate. 
So after all of those shananigans, yesterday was the day I finally felt like a human woman. My voice is almost back...I mean as back as it could be. [Tangent: On the regular, my voice is sub-par.] Also, I finally have a computer that is functioning. Oh, bury the old macbook committed suicide last week and as a result I (for days) thought I had lost a LOT of writing that I am saving for a special project. [Tangent: Surviving being homebound without my laptop was hellish. First world problems...I am fully aware.] Luckily, it was pulled from the wreckage! Christmas miracles all around.

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