Thursday, February 22, 2018

11 billion ways to head off a cold, including Vitamin Cadbury Creme Egg

I woke up yesterday with that funny feeling in your throat that says, "This isn't bad now but just you wait." Soon after Ben—who'd crashed in our bed—got up, then decided to sit on my head, which definitely didn't help. Also: this was around 4:30 a.m.

On the train to work, I turned Facebook. "OK, Dr. Hivemind, help me out: What do you do when  you feel like you're on the verge of getting sick? Throat feeling a bit sore, so far it's my only symptom. Drink more tea? Wha?"

Within minutes, I had 11 answers. And they kept coming and coming:

"Zicam, stat"

"Take Vitamin D."

"There is a Republic of Tea variety called Get Moving, which claims to be a metabolism booster. I use it to flush out my system when I feel a cold coming."

"Zinc and Lysine...and take EmergenC."

"Manuka honey. And green tea. Lots of both. But not the honey in the tea—separate teaspoons every few hours."

"Zicam—I think the nasal swabs, which are now safe, are the best), Sambucol, and 1000 mg of Vitamin C every few hours."

"Gargle with apple cider vinegar (dilute with a little hot water). It is awful but really helps."

"Same deal with a salt/warm water  gargle."

"And gargle with oil of oregano."

"I make a concoction of steaming a cored and slightly hallowed out Asian pear with honey and fresh ginger, the liquid is yummy and soothing and the pair is a delicious treat."

"All of the above but YOU MUST SLEEP. It takes an enormous amount of energy to fight off a virus of any kind (even just a cold).

"I drink lots of water. Works sometimes. No idea why."

"I like eating animal crackers until I feel better. A side of hot chocolate is good, too."

"Airborne, 2-3 times a day."

"Zinc tablets. Every three hours or so, just when symptoms emerge. Don't chew them, let them dissolve."

"Eat a bunch of oranges! Vitamin C kicks that sh*t."

"Extra sleep, sunshine, lot of liquids."

"Get some elderberry syrup and start drinking it three times a day. Or start taking Yin Chao."

"1. Oscillococcinum. 2. Saline spray, rinses mucous membranes, keeps them hydrated. 3. Lots of fluids. 4. Elderberry syrup. 5. Hot bath before a nap."

"Sleep!!!!!! At all costs. And eat hot Thai soup."

"Drink, drink, drink everything, and then take something to knock you out so you have a nice hard sleep. It's the only time I drink Gatorade. Literally vats of Gatorade. It works for me."

"I take an Advil with a glass of red wine. Throat usually fine the next day."

"I did a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water twice a day for my sore throat last week. Helped a lot."

"I make sure I'm drinking enough water and take lots of naps, and I start downing Zicam Ultra tablets. Can't even remember the last time I actually got a gold. I get the first-day starting stuff and then I'm done."

"Wellness formula 4x4. Thieves Oil rubbed on the bottoms of your feet (works for kids, too!)."

"Cut up a garlic clove and swallow small pieces with water. Do daily."

"D3 (5K IUs every day), Vitamin C (3x per day) and echinacea 2 capsules 3x daily. Works like a charm every single time. Was exposed to the flu in an ER for over seven hours, started with a scratchy throat and headache, did my trifecta above and more symptoms and good to go!"

"Zinc lozenges every few hours in the first couple of days. Don't always work for me, but research says it can help. Also: Oregono oil drops. And sleep. Chicken soup is also good because it's supposed to minimize symptoms if you do end up getting sick."

"I always pop a Cold-eze. (With food.)"

"Cold Snap 2 capsules 5-6x per day."

"Ibuprofen every five hours."

"The Medicine Ball at Starbucks, so good and soothing. Steamed lemonade, water, honey and two types of tea, mint and peach I think."

Wow. Cold-prevention-palooza! I'd heard of some of these. Airborne works for lots of people, but not me. Zicam sounded promising. A Starbucks secret feel-good drink? Exciting. More sleep? Yes, definitely! Er, maybe? I know, I know. Elderberry syrup: had to google. Cloves of garlic: I think I'd have to be fed those while I slept. Red wine: BRING IT.

Of course, I got caught up in work and didn't try a single one of them. Self-care: not one of my strong suits. Back at home, I got Ben to sleep, trying hard not to breathe on him, made myself a shopping list and ran over to Whole Foods. My game plan: hit as many body parts as I could. I got Cold Snap pills. I picked up the oregano oil for my throat. And, whoa, $50 for a jar of honey?! Just, no. I found one for half the price. Then, of course, I wondered if bargain Manuka was as anti-inflammator and antiseptic.

I hadn't worn my jacket because it was a freak 70 degrees yesterday, and as I emerged from the store it was blustery and I started shivering. In my head, I could hear my mom saying, "This is the type of weather that makes you sick!" Joy.

I headed over to CVS. Lozenges! Vitamin C! Vitamin D! Zicam swabs! A Cadbury Creme Egg! Not yet scientifically proven to fight colds, but anecdotal evidence of their soothing powers is strong.

Back at home, I laid out my stash, then had it at like a meds junkie. As I heated up water for green tea I popped the pills and vitamins. I swabbed my nose while sucking on a lozenge. I made the tea and dropped in a lozenge for good measure. I opened the box of oregano oil only to discover they were pills, so I cracked one open into a cup of warm water and sloshed the flakes around and it smelled like pizza. Until I went to sleep, my lips tingled. I crashed at 11:00, an hour improvement on my midnight bedtime.

Finally, I'd taken care of myself, with a vengeance.

This morning started off well. Ben woke me up at 6:00 a.m. I had no sore throat, just some sniffles. WIN! I had another meds party (minus the Cadbury Creme Egg), then packed a goodie bag for work. I'm going to treat myself to a Medicine Ball at Starbucks this morning, then hit the local juice store at lunch for some hot juice concoction a colleague recommended. I'm also picking up elderberry syrup and doing shots at my desk; Googling revealed it packs antioxidants and Vitamin C.

So grateful for my hivemind, just as good as Urgent Care this time around. And Cadbury Creme Eggs.

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