Tips from a flu-cold bug survivor
I am neither a medical doctor nor a registered nurse, but I have lived through this season’s flu-cold bug, which gives me some insight into survival techniques. I lump together both the flu and a cold because when you hurt, you hurt, and I am not a professional, just a patient.
The patient’s job is to seek some professional medical help. Thank goodness for immediate care clinics. Our Harrison County Hospital is an advanced high-tech health care facility, and it doesn’t need to be filled with folks who are coughing and sneezing with colds. Don’t try to outrun this bug, which seems to ease up a bit and then attack with a vengeance. Getting up and going while running a fever is not heroic; it is a menace to society.
We are often told to go home, stay in bed, sleep and drink a lot of water. Let’s look at that scenario realistically.
Sleep a lot. It may be easy to sleep during the day when feverish, but what do you do when you then wake up at 3 a.m. and can’t go back to sleep? Here are a few of the obvious choices:
1. TV. There must be something on television to distract one from aches and pains, since we have a trillion channels these days. Movies would seem obviously attractive in the middle of the night, so let’s look at some of the choices listed in the guide last week.
”Dawn of The Dead’ ‘ a nurse, a policeman and others fight flesh-eating zombies while trapped in a mall.
”The World’s End’ ‘ five childhood friends reunite for an epic pub-crawl that turns into a battle for mankind.
”Hercules and the Circle of Fire’ ‘ The son of Zeus and his dream woman, Deianeira, must save mankind from a fate without fire.
With this kind of violent inspiration on television, we should not wonder why the evening news is full of killings in our own neighborhoods. Hardly soothing thoughts for a sick person.
2. How about upgrading the apps on your cell phone when awake at night? I tried that. I found that my old phone can’t handle the most recent additions, and I now get two copies of each email; it will not sync with my computer and I can’t text out. Also, it provides little relief from disturbing violence. I just received notice on my phone in the middle of a news feed that I could ‘play a free game’ titled ‘Game of War.’ And they have the nerve to call it ‘a smart phone.’
3. Raid the refrigerator. What a chance to eat all those forbidden foods that carry calories and cholesterol. Ugh, the cough medicine must have put my taste buds out of whack. Chicken soup is a hit and is advised by most folks; however, it is a bit of a challenge to eat without spilling when in bed at night.
4. In my pre flu-cold condition, I had saved a lot of things to read when a break came in activities. But, alas, I now find that thinking is not easy when one’s head feels like a block of concrete. Only pictures have much appeal, and that lasts only a few minutes.
5. Don’t even think of having those long talks with family members. They are all asleep in the middle of the night and, besides, a sore throat makes it hard to speak.
6. I wouldn’t recommend staring at things in your room for inspiration. When your head hurts, you don’t notice the beauty or the dust that surrounds you. When you recover at bit and really see the room in which you have convalesced, it looks like an overwhelming mess.
7. One of the best things I found to do while languishing about was to sit at the window and watch the journey of the sun across the sky, the flitting of the various birds, the rolling clouds overhead and the occasional drops of rain that fall. Good daytime activities but not very applicable to those wakeful times at night.
To sum it up, after one month at my farm accompanied by the bug, I would offer the following age-old advice:
Get professional medical help, go home, go to bed, gripe and whine a bit to vent your frustration, sleep when you can, eat some forbidden food along with chicken soup, drink water and some more water, pray a lot, don’t give up on the flu shots, and ask your friends and family to bring you the following: nose-blowing equipment, lip gloss and, of course, chicken soup and lemon tea.
Or you might think upon this quote from Shakespeare that a friend sent to me: ‘Above all, forget not thy Patience, for what wound doth heal but by degrees.’
I guess it is just as the nurse practitioner said to me, ‘You have a cold and will just have to go home and ride it out.’