Stop a cold or flu on its tracks: Three critical advice from a nurse

January 10th, 2014 § 0 comments

My colds are hell on an infinite loop

Phase 1: Starts out with an innocent tickle at the throat, a few soft sneezes, and a slight chill down the spin. My internal alarm and stress level goes into full panic mode, “stop cold at all cost!” In no time, the whole shebang knocks me to the ground.
Phase 2: Throat feels like the desert with red rivers in between. Nasal passages, what passage? Clear, yellow, green, red, thick to thin snot. You name it, I’ve got it.
Phase 3: Headache, coughing, can’t breathe = no sleep = no rest = more sick = ear infection, nose infection, throat infection
Phase 4: Go see the doctor = antibiotics = kill everything inside me = zombie
Phase 5: After much suffering I get better but the coughing never fails to persist another 3-4 weeks or more.
Longest holding record for being sick: One month, literally in bed, with a cold turned pneumonia. It started on my birthday…I hate being sick with a vengeance! I’ve had 2 pneumonia in my lifetime and many, many colds and flus in between. I’ve taken lots of antibiotics which basically fried my whole immune system. Skin allergies and all sorts of sensitivities started developing over the years. Last time I took Ibuprofen for hives, my whole face got swollen, so I really liked the following advice given by my nurse which were simple and non-medicine related.

3 critical tips from a Kaiser advice nurse

At the first sign of a cold start on this routine right away. Don’t wait until other symptoms develop. If you wait things will only get worse before it gets better. You can still use these advice if you are already sick. It will help reduce the symptoms and help speed the healing process.

1. Gargle with warm salt water every morning and every night, or more when needed

Salt water gargle recipie In addition to gargling I use a sinus rinse in the morning. I rinse with a warm saline solution to the reduce chances of a sinus infection. It also really helps me remove most of the nasty nose clogs. You can find Simply Saline in regular drug stores in the allergies section. I purchased my kit many years ago at a local CVS. I originally bought it for my mom’s allergies as an alternative to medications. You can read my detailed review here.

Saline Sinus rinse for cogestion, allergies, dryness, irritations from pollen, dust, smog, animal dander

This rinse has a learning curve. For me it was worth the effort to master it.

2. Sip 1/2 cup of warm water every 1/2 – 1 hr throughout the day

3. Use a humidifier at night-time

The key purpose of this routine for me is preventing the cold or flu symptoms from getting worse. By keeping the airway passages (nasal and throat) sterile and clean, you will kill off the bacteria and breathe easier. Sipping lots of warm liquids and using the humidifier will keep the throat moist which will decrease the chances of having further irritations to the throat that will cause coughing. During my one month in bed with pneumonia, I was skeptical of the significance of these advice but I was willing to try anything to get better. To my surprise I got better. The irritation in my throat and nose got better and my cough eased. I am so glad I followed her advice and am thankful each time I get sick I now know what to do to cut the life span of my cold or flu in half. Nowadays, along with lots of rest, I probably only get less than half-way into Phase 1 on most of my colds.

My 2 cents, preventions is key: ( Affiliate links as recommendations below)

Emergen-C Acai Berry, 30 Packets, Alacer Emer'gen-C

  • Take vitamin c. I like to take 1-2 packs of emergen-C a day when I am feeling a little off. I like the Acai Berry Flavor. You can get them at Costco or any health food store. Flavors may vary in availability at different stores.
  • During the flu season, wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
  • When you feel sick maximize your sleep.
  • Keep your feet, neck, head, and torso warm.
  • Intake tons of warm water, by sipping. Drinking water this way helps your body absorbed it instead of flushing it out quickly. Absorption gives the water a chance to go through your system and detoxify it.

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