I feel that I get more than my fair share of colds but apparently the average adult gets two to four a year and it’s been two and half months since I had the last one. Mind you that lasted nearly four weeks but then everyone seemed to have that cold and everyone was one for about a month, so I don’t think I’m special.
Last Thursday, I woke up at 4.30 in the morning and I was slightly bunged up and I had a tickle in the back of my throat and I knew this was going to be a cold. I’ve been really careful and I’ve been taking elderberry syrup and all my vitamins but I spent the weekend before with Ma, who has a cold and the boys, who are germ magnets, I commute on the train every morning, which is not known for it’s germ free environment and I’d been at the doctor’s on Wed afternoon. So somewhere in all that I’d picked something up and I think I must have subconsciously been aware I was incubating something because I’d spent the weekday evenings, sorting my life out. Over the weekend the mystery was solved, it was the nephews, O had ‘manflu’ and Lu and Ben both had colds.
Cassie had just rounded up her ‘how to cope with colds’ series with a list of her favourite cold and flu remedies, which got me thinking about what I do when I have a cold or infection. Because it’s pretty much the same every time and waking up on Thursday morning, I started to go through it.
Ginger, Lemon and Honey Soother and lots of water.
I make a big batch of this for the fridge at home and to take into work with me, I use a lot more ginger in this than I used to, because last time I was ill, ginger seemed to be the only thing that helped the coughing, I also eat the ginger (it is extreme but it helps!). I drink this all through the day and for every cup of it I manage I also drink a glass of water. Fluids are important and I make sure I have lots of them!
I continue the ginger theme with ginger shots from Pret but I also can get them from Sainsburys. I find they help and it might just be the juice element adding to my Vitamin C intake but at this point, I don’t care.
I’m not sure whether this is having any effect but I have it so I increase the amount to tablespoon every two to three hours through the day.
When I’m ill, I sleep. Some small children get wired when they are ill, I was never one of them. When I’m sick, my body wants to sleep, that’s easier said than done because I need to work and it’s hard to sleep if you’re coughing and bunged up. I do get all the rest I can and have been known to come home, take my make up off and go straight to bed.
Cold and Flu Medicine
I’m happy to try all the ‘natural’ remedies in the world if they help but at the same time God gave us the ability to science the hell out of things and so I’m more than happy to use cold and flu medicine if I need to. Generally, if it’s a mild cold, I don’t need to take anything during the day but I do take Night Nurse to ensure that I get a relatively good nights sleep.
VapoRub, Olbas Oil and Tiger Balm
When I have a cold, I smell like all of the above. I use the Olbas Oil through the day and smother my neck, chest and back in VapoRub before bed time. I also put tiger balm or VapoRub on the soles of my feet and cover with bedsocks before bedtime.
Tidy and organised
Ok, so being caught up on household chores and having an empty laundry basket or tidy kitchen don’t make me feel physically better, however, knowing that they are done or only need minimal work from me relives my mental load and allows me to relax and get on with getting well. Also having to wrestle through a mess or a load of laundry post cold doesn’t help with recovery. Added to that, although I would love to go to bed at the first sign of a sniffle and stay there until it was gone that doesn’t pay the rent so I have to do the 9 to 5 and when I’m ill, I need everything to be as easy as possible.
That looks slightly different each time but last week, it looked like doing a food shop on Thursday night and making batch of chilli, a batch of onion soup and a batch of boiled chicken. They are all freezable and are easy to eat and heat and relatively good for me. While I had the energy, I changed the bed and the towels (because those things always make me feel better and got the dirty ones washed (once they dry it takes five minutes to put them away).
Food as Medicine
I’m not super strict about it but I limit alcohol, additional sugar and dairy and try to eat healthily. Last week, I tried this smoothie to have for breakfast and it was great on my sore throat and the meals I cooked were easy to eat and relatively good for me.