Friday, 12 October 2012

{Thriving this Winter} Day 12: Soothe

Disclaimer: In this post I talk about a lot of branded over-the-counter medicines. I am neither promoting a certain brand or prescribing medications to you. I am simply describing what works for us.

I can still remember the desperate, pathetic feeling as I walked through the rain (without my coat, because I hadn't realized it was raining) at 9:05 on a weekday night, trying to find something to help a sick stomach for Charming. We didn't have a car at the time and both the corner stores let me down. He ended up just spending the night in the bathroom. There was nothing I could do.

Now of course, I guess I could have called 911 if it was an emergency. And I would have done in a heartbeat. But he wasn't having an emergency. He had just had a questionable lunch. And to make my guilt cut even deeper, I am a nurse. I should know, I should have all the stuff. I had a stethoscope and fancy scissors. I had every kind of band-aid. But as for medicine? Nothing.

For cold I have a whole onslaught of medicines, remedies and foods that I use to get over a cold quick and help stave them off. Just to note: none of these things will actually cure a cold or flu, in fact most of them are simple symptom-hider's, so once you notice symptoms you are considered contagious for 72 hours, regardless of how you feel.

The first things we make sure we do if we have a cold/flu is to decrease the contact between us. No more taking bites from each other, sharing drinks, even avoid kissing! It is only 72 hours, so it isn't so hard. I also like to put new sheets on the bed. Because......

You should spend a lot of time in it! 

Rest is the best thing you can do. Even if you can't take a day off from your day job, change into your pj's as soon as you are done, jump into bed and try to sleep, or just do really low-strain activities (like a movie marathon!). This is a good time to relax. We also have a rule in our house that if we are taking the day off sick, we don't play with our friends after school  just continue all our extra activities and plans. You might have heard that one. Don't feel bad cancelling! You are sick and your body is telling you now need to take a break. So listen to it!

Also we like to take a lot of baths and showers. If you have a stomach flu then you will probably want to just get clean and brush your teeth a lot. (Then perhaps buy a new toothbrush..) If you have a cold, then the steam can work wonders for your sinuses. And feeling all warm & snuggly helps. If you have a wonderful person at home with you, try to convince them to throw your towel and bathrobe in the dryer for a few moments. Delicious!

The last thing we like to do is to have lots and lots of herbal tea. We find that we really like mint when we have a cold, and chamomile is supposed to be good for a sick stomach. I also sometimes like having an herbal tea called Sleepytime tea, which I find really actually helps me fall asleep. Make sure you add honey to your tea. Makes it more delicious and helps to coat your throat. Also sometimes we will make a tea in a bowl and then hang our head over it with a towel on top, to steam out our sinuses. It also makes you skin feel great!

for fever (tylenol)
for muscle pain (eg. ibuprofen)
for a sick stomach (eg. pepto-bismol)
for a bloated/heartburn stomach (eg. rolaids)
for cold, sinus pain (eg. nyquil, benylin)
nasal decongestant (spray)
hot lemon cold drinks (eg. Neo Citran)
cough drops (eg. Fisherman's friend)

Stock up on anything you like that has Vitamin C and/or B Vitamins in it! Think citrus and orange juice, but also spinach and chicken soup. Try to enjoy as many warm foods with lots of vegetables in it (so basically any kind of soup). Try to avoid sugar as many bacteria's feed off of this, and white starches are just another form of sugar. However, the one area you can cheat on this is with gingerale. The bubbles will help you get gas out, and the ginger soothes your stomach. It actually does make you feel better! This is a good time to splurge on quality items you might not regularly buy! Remember the faster you get back to work, the faster you can get back to your income!

While your thinking about it, before you actually get sick, why not stock up on the items you use to keep well and store them in a container in your linen closet. In addition to medicine you can put in cans of soup, or boxes of juice, or packets of tea. Put whatever it is you need when you are sick (maybe a box of cleaning wipes and the expensive kleenex?) in there and have it ready to go if you need it!

Are you ready for cold and flu season?


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