Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The Uncommon cure for the cold (no really!)
I was just knocked on my ass for a couple of days. Sick, as in a sore throat, clammy hands, feeling hot and cold, STUFFED nose, phlegmy, gross, sensitive, cold.
The last time I felt this way I dragged myself to the doctor and was given the most insane advice ever. How to knock a cold out in 24 hours. Really. You can turn it around that fast.
We've all felt it. You get a sore throat. You think maybe you're coming down with something. A couple of days later, you're looking for somebody to baby you. And you can only imagine staying home and laying on the couch in your pajamas all day. You're too sick to even bother watching Oprah - on a day you're laying around in your pajamas on the couch!
The following is a list of rules given to me by a doctor to get over a cold in 24 hours:
- rest. Rent a bunch of movies. This is your time to be as lazy as possible. Take the day off. Don't move, unless you have to pee.
- drink. make tea all day long. Drink it until you can't stand it. Add lemon and honey for bonus points to soothe your sore throat.
- eat. As much soup as possible. Anything broth-y - vegetable or chicken soup. Or vegetable juices can be great too.
- medicate. This is the most important part. I thought my doctor was nut-so when she told me this. Ready? Ok... So you need BOTH Tylenol and Advil. Start with the Advil when you wake up, take two pills. Wait 2-3 hours, take two Tylenol. Repeat this cycle of switching from 2 Advils, to 2 Tylenols every 2-3 hours FOR 24 HOURS.
- spray. Use a non-medicinal saline spray as needed. Since there is no medication in plain saline spray, you can use as much as you'd like.
For bonus points this is my own advice I'm adding to the mix:
- rinse. Neil Med Sinus Rinse - I can not say enough about this amazing product. If you're prone to sinus infections (colds get worse and worse for weeks and weeks and then you need an antibiotic) this is something you need. It is basically a Netty-pot on crack. So much easier to use and works a bazillion times better. Find it in the cold section of any drug store and follow the directions on the package. Do at least once in the morning and once before bed.
- steam. Take a really hot shower. Fill the bathroom with steam and stay in there a while.
- decongest. Take a Sudafed or so. (Don't take more than the recommended dose. I learned this the hard way).
- continue. Act smart for a while after you start feeling better. You can continue to take some medicine, but cut back. Also the sinus rinse and lots of liquids won't hurt.
And things to avoid:
- over-exertion. For instance don't take a boot camp class in the freezing cold the morning you wake up feeling sick, and then come home to a major attic clean-up. I certainly did not spend last Saturday doing such things!
- dairy. Anything milky does not help. Also avoid all junk foods.
- alcohol. Just don't even try to sneak in a shot of Jack Daniels, I'm talking to YOU.
- antibiotics. Some doctors will whip out their prescription pad faster than anything. If it's a cold virus, the antibiotics will not do anything! I can not stress that enough. Give your body a chance to heal itself for a few days before going that route.