Saturday, March 14, 2015

I choose to live

What do you do when you feel yourself inching towards a viral infection or the flu? Or what do you do when you wake up one morning to a sore throat, congested nose and a flat voicebox? You fight... because of you don't, then you get caught in the grip of a runny nose, sticky hands, headaches, feeling hot and cold, painful ears, painful lung and a sluggish brain... in short a couple of days of pure misery. You're not completely down, but you are not completely alive either. You have to think harder to come to conclusions. You avoid going out cause it's cold. You isolate yourself from friends to avoid spreading the sickness. All you can think of all day is your warm cosy bed... but your bed has all the germs from last night which totally ruins the rosy picture you want. Your table is sticky. Your keyboard is sticky. It's a mess.... so yeah you fight.... and here are a  few pointers...
1. Drink lukewarm water till you get well. Don't boil it and don't drink it cold. Drink it lukewarm. Hot water is painful on your tongue and tastes horrible. It will make you want to puke and you will try to gulp down cold water instead. Which will be a relief for five seconds before you notice it's coldness hitting your raw painful throat. It will make the throat infection worse and you more miserable. Don't drink it no matter how much you have to push yourself to turn on the gas and warm up some water.
2. Use soft tissue paper. Regular paper towels are harsh and will give you rashes. The best thing is to buy a bag of toilet paper dedicated for your nose. Toilet paper is soft. Buying a bag means you won't have to worry about running out of tissue paper. And you won't use the same rag repeatedly on your nose which will just keep you in touch with the germs and hence sick. Using the same rag repeatedly also causes  you not to blow your nose enough which will cause the phlegm to accumulate in your head and chest. This will give you a headache and breathing problems. It will keep you sick for a longer period. Use tissue paper. Whenever you feel phlegm in your nose, blow your nose, and throw away the used tissue. If you use toilet paper, less will be wasted as you will tear only that much which is needed to blow your nose once. If you feel phlegm in your throat, go to the bathroom sink, look up at the ceiling. The phlegm will rise up your throat and into your mouth. Spit it out. Keep your nose and throat clean. It keeps your airway clear. Best, keep a carry bag in your room to throw away the used tissue. Once it's full, close it and dispose it. Put and new carry bag in your room.
3. Gargle every day. Boil a glass of water, mix a pinch of salt in it and gargle every day. This is to kill the germs in your throat and cure the infection. A doctor once told me that it cures 50% of the disease. You need to do this during the period when your throat is painful and sore. When the infection starts getting cured, your throat will get itchy and you will want to cough like an old person. Don't cough. Buy halls with honey flavor to sooth the itching and keep it in your mouth.
4. Keep your room clean. Wash your sheets regularly. Wipe your keyboard, table and other surfaces with CLOROX wipes or Dettol. Do your laundry every day. Open your windows for some time every day to get rid of the dank air.
5. If you went to the doctor, and got medicines, take them regularly on time without fail. Ask the doctor to give you a night dose that will make you sleep. If you are not well rested, then you will be sluggish and will not take good care of yourself which means a slower recovery. Nyquil might not always be enough. Also make sure to get a morning dose that doesn't make you sleepy. You want to be awake during the day. Else you won't do your regular work properly or take good care of yourself which again leads to slow recovery.
6. I also drink hot ginger tea to help my throat. If you can't do that,  that's okay. Just take the medicines.
7. Taking steam will also help fight the throat infection and help you heal faster. Do it once per day.
This must feel like waging a war. And you are waging a war... against a virus that will suspend your brain functions so that you are in a haze. You are just surviving. I'd rather be alert, awake and energized every moment of my life so that I can think and feel every moment. I choose to live... to really live. What about you?

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