The flu sucks!
I might get really, genuinely, profoundly sick with the flu once every three to five years or so. When I get sick, I feel like death warmed over. I also happen to hate going to the doctor's office or the hospital unless it's a real emergency, and ever since I've been a little tyke, I've always been able to use this simple three step process for healing myself, much like a cleric from Dungeons and Dragons. It is with great pleasure that I present to you my no-nonsense, common sense approach to eradicating the flu from myself, and sincerely hope that you can follow these simple steps in order to feel better yourself.
Step 1: get rid of that fever
The last time I had the flu, I had a pretty nasty fever to go along with it. In fact, the temperature actually approached 102 degrees, which certainly raised red flags with me right away. 104 degrees at a sustained time can eventually result in brain damage, and I happen to like my brain quite a lot, so as my fever hit 102, I was adamant about stopping it from rising any further.
The simple solution: Extra Strength Tylenol. I took two caplets and within 30 minutes, my fever had stopped rising (and actually had dropped by about a tenth of a degree). Within 2 hours, my temperature was down to 100.9, a much, much more manageable amount.
While Tylenol (or aspirin, if you're not allergic to it) works wonders, and quickly, for a fever, if this doesn't work, you need to go to the hospital right away. If you can't get to a hospital, you may want to consider taking the drastic action of getting into a tub filled with ice water. The key is to get that body temperature lowered as soon as humanly possible, before any sort of damage can be done to your brain!
Step 2: soothe your throat
At the time of writing this, I still had a pretty bad sore throat, going on three days at that point. As mentioned above, I was able to get the fever under control fairly quickly and effectively, for which I was most grateful.
But the stupid sore throat lingered. I tried Chloraseptic spray, and that helped a little bit, for like 2 minutes. I tried something organic called "Throat Coat" (terrible name, but hey, I was desperate), and none of that stuff helped either. Finally I went back to my childhood in my brain, remembering the temporary respite Halls would always provide. Sure enough, these bad boys soothed my throat while I was sucking on them, and then even for a few minutes after. I found that I was easily able to get through yesterday- the worst of it- by popping a Halls whenever I needed one.
These guys don't taste anywhere near as badly as the ones I had when I was a kid, either. If you have an Amazon Prime account, these Halls will ship for free, which is awesome. If you don't have Prime, I highly recommend it if you order more than $200 a year of online stuff. Amazon is the bomb in terms of home delivery, and they don't even have drones up yet!
The opposite of how you feel with the flu
Step 3: nourish your body
Finally, your body is going to need to recover from being through so much. As mentioned, I rarely get sick, but when I do, I like to treat myself as effectively as possible. After getting my fever under control and then soothing my sore throat, I took three measures to ensure that the healing process would take:
- I went to bed right away. Seriously, this may seem obvious, but it's amazing how many type A friends I have who will simply refuse to do this! Go to bed. Now. Your body needs rest in order to recover from being run over by the flu train.
- I ate chicken soup. Cliched? Maybe, but soup has exactly the blend of nutrients your body needs in order to recover... and to feel better. Maybe a part of this is psychological, but psychology is powerful, and it works!
- I drank plenty of water. Remember, you're going to be sweating and losing a lot of fluids. It's really important, as always, that you keep your body hydrated.
Once your body is nourished and you've started to feel better, only then should you get up and move around in your home. Don't even think about going in to work until 2 days later, though, unless you want to get your coworkers sick!
What works for you?
What are some of your home remedies when you're sick with the flu? Do you agree with the general concepts outlined above? This is my common sense, no nonsense approach, but there are often small tweaks individuals have made with healing themselves from the flu. What has worked for you? I'd love to hear from you! Maybe I will even be able to incorporate some of your tricks the next time I'm sick (hopefully many years from now, in all honesty).