Anybody reading this that doesn’t know I’ve had a cold (and a cough and sore throat) for what feels like forever but has actually only about 4 weeks….but 4 weeks is long enough to be really, really fed up.
I’m in that twilight zone of not being well but not being sick enough to stay off work. So this is how I’m coping.
SleepPossibly because I’m so rubbish at it, sleep is my go to cure for everything. Staying asleep is hard when you have a cold and over reliance on Night Nurse is a thing. So back to sleep hygiene basics (regular waking up times and no screens half an hour before bed) and going to bed early. I’ve been in bed by 9.30pm every school night because 5 hours sleep is better than 3 and small sleeps at the weekend so I can stay awake in company. Yes, I do feel like I’m 87 instead of 41 but I’m significantly more cheerful as a pretend 87 year old, than I would be if I was trying to carry on as if I wasn’t ill and I have to confess, that isn’t much more cheerful!
Gentle ExerciseI’ve been trying to get my steps in and do my yoga (although I’ve stopped this week on account of not being able to bend down without wanting to faint!), I’m not advocating a 10k run but making sure I’m a little bit active is helping me feel the good kind of tired that comes from doing something and getting out in the fresh air (or as fresh as the air gets in London) and that is helping to lift my spirit because when you feel rotten there is something amazing about knowing that despite that, you got some exercise in.
Eating rightComfort food is great when you’re sick and my inclination when I’m feeling this grotty is to eat lots of ‘junk’ food that doesn’t take a lot of work because cooking feels like an effort and I want something tasty and easy. So I’ve planned lots of easy food that means I can get home and eat well without too much effort. For me that’s lots of vegetable soups, dahl and extra vegetables generally. Lunches are easy to prep and eat, my standard combo of vegetables, boiled eggs, hummus and oatcakes and I’m ensuring that I drink loads of liquid and herbal teas. I do eat treat food you won’t be able to tear my daily Dark Chocolate Tunnocks Caramel Wafer from my cold, dead hands but I’m trying to fuel my body with what it needs to get better.
At week three the biggest problem I was having were the coughing caused by the nasal drip and the ‘squeaky’ noises my draining sinuses made at night (seriously weird!), so brought out the big guns and started rinsing my sinuses out using this. The first day I did it, the noise stopped and I didn’t wake up at 4am in the morning with a coughing fit but it’s not actually stopping anything. I’m told it takes a while for this to change anything so I’ll continue.
Cough SyrupThe NHS says that most cough syrups you can buy over the counter don’t work. My doctor says that pholcodine syrup is the only thing that works to suppress a cough but that has it’s issues so I made one. 5 tablespoons of honey (I used this one, because much as I’m told manuka honey is the thing, that stuff is expensive and this is minimally processed and tastes good), 5 tablespoons of water, the juice of a lemon. Heated and reduced, take as needed, adding ginger to this works too.
I have a doctors appointment next Monday, so for now I’ll just have to keep on with this. Everyone seems to have a version of this going around and it’s really, really boring.