Friday, April 1, 2016

How to Survive the Flu



I am not a doctor and this is not real medical advice. If that's what you want, you should go to the CDC website or something. That kind of site usually tells you to go get Tamiflu within the first couple days of your illness. I eschew going to the doctor except in dire situations, so this advice was not for me.

First, don't get on a airplane, even if you think you are just tired and cold. Your ears will be popping oddly for weeks after you get better. And it makes you a major vector for transmission, which no one wants. Someone could die from the infection that you passed on.

Lay down and sleep. Sleep some more. Put on blankets and let the fever kill those little viruses exploding your cells. Don't freak out if you have a 103.4 degree fever. No one has gotten brain damage from that low of a fever. If your fever lasts for more than a few days you might want to see the dreaded doctor in case you have pneumonia or some other secondary infection. 

Good-quality, soft, toilet paper works better and is less expensive than brand-name tissues. It doesn't chafe your nose as much, for some reason. If your nose gets raw, put a little of a beeswax based lip balm on it. 

Once you can't sleep anymore, then it is time to bring in the cough suppressant, antihistamine, and fever reducer. I highly recommend Severe NyQuil. Supplement this with Ricola, or if your throat is seriously hurting use something with menthol. Not cigarettes - don't smoke while sick, you crazy nut - I mean those gross, fake-sugar, dye filled, cough drops.

If you have a terrible post-nasal drip take lots of warm showers. It will loosen up that horrible, rainbow-colored, sticky stuff, which you must cough out. It also helps with the aches. And you will wash away some of that weird metallic immune system smell. 

If you have long hair put it in a side braid and dentangle every couple of days. It will save you a lot of work later and it seems to keep pillow tangles away better than a bun. 

Eat something. Yes, I know everything tastes gross, but have some toast and soup. It is no fun spending the next month trying to build back up all the muscle mass you lost. 

And last and probably most importantly - write down some of your fever dreams/hallucinations. I have a fever poem that I wrote in high school that I still enjoy reading. 

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