“I’m going to stop at Shopper’s on the way home, do you need me to grab anything?” My spidey-sense went off. I knew something was up as soon as my husband told me he was going to stop at Shopper’s on his way home from work.
See, he has a compromised immune system. It’s one of the many not so lovely side effects of living with colitis, and it means that he catches everything that goes around, and I do mean everything. If one of the kids comes home with a sniffle, hubby is pretty much guaranteed to catch it. If one of his co-workers has a nasty bout of the flu, it is pretty much inevitable that hubby will bring it home within the next few days. Not only does he catch every passing germ or virus, but he also tends to come down with it harder than anyone else in the household.
So when he tells me he’s stopping off at the pharmacy on his way home from work, well it often means he’s stocking up on Puffs or cold meds because he feels something coming on. As his next text message popped up I read, “Oh and can you check the cabinet and see if we’re out of NyQuil?” Sigh. Yep. Just as I thought. Time for Hubby Has a Cold, the 2016 edition, episode 9.
The unending rounds of colds and coughs making their way through our household can be depressing. It feels like as soon as we get over one bout, somebody brings something new home. Between the finger sucking hair eating germ collecting kindergartener and the immunosuppressed husband, I sometimes feel like we just can’t catch a break.
If like me you feel like your family is caught in a never ending cycle of sickness and ick, you may want to keep these guidelines for surviving cold and flu season in mind:
Make taking time for yourself a priority.
Saying no to stress can keep your immune system strong. Find time to do whatever refuels your batteries, and always make getting a good night’s rest a top priority. (Seriously. This is important.You need sleep and not just when you’re sick).
Avoid picking up germs at work.
Be wary of sinks, office kitchen tools, and especially doorknobs. Wash your hands frequently and keep some antibacterial gel on hand for those times when you can’t run off to the restroom.
Know the signs.
Not many people realize they’re most contagious in the first 24 hours of symptoms. If you find yourself developing a cough or sore throat, a runny nose, headache or body aches and chills or general fatigue it might be a good idea to isolate yourself as much as possible from the rest of your family. When it comes to work, if you’re experiencing two or more of these symptoms, do your best to stay at home and enjoy some downtime (Hello Netflix!).
Double up on pillows.
Place an extra pillow on your mattress to elevate your upper body. This helps blood flow away from your head and will reduce the inflammation of your air passage. It can also be great for reducing body aches.
Tea? Yes, please.
Drinking herbal teas like chamomile, mint, or passionflower can help you relax while also helping to keep you hydrated. Personally I find hot beverages soothing to a sore throat, particularly when you add a dollop of honey.
Sweat it out.
Steam and humidity can help drain your sinuses and relieve some of the sinus pressure and stuffiness. I know some people go in for the whole bowl of steamy water and a towel thing, but personally I find nothing beats a piping hot shower. (Helpful tip: warm your towel or bathrobe up with a quick spin in the dryer, so you don’t feel chilled when you get out)
Try that Vicks on your feet thing.
If you are still all stuffed up and can’t breath try putting Vicks Vaporub on your feet. I know, I know, it sounds silly, but seriously, I find it works.
The people at Vick’s suggest that you treat all your symptoms simultaneously by using NyQuil and DayQuil liquid or caplets:
“Look for a medication that can treat the toughest symptoms while also helping you rest. DayQuil COMPLETE and NyQuil COMPLETE provide all in one relief for your toughest cold and flu symptoms so you can start seizing the rest of your day, and get the rest you so desperately need at night.”
What other tips would you add to the list? What do you find works best when you’re down and out with a nasty cold bug?
Don’t forget to visit www.pgeveryday.ca for coupons you can use to save on Vicks brand products.