Monday, January 14

Good Eating Monday: Wise Cold Care

Since colds and flu are making the rounds right now, I'm going to share ideas for ways I handle such symptoms.

And yes, science has determined that a bowl of chicken soup actually does help. 
My husband just had a flu bug for the past day, but I only got a head-cold, mild in both cases because we use Zicam.
 We got this bug from a military guy who came to our house last Sunday.
The thing is this guy went to work with his flu 
all week while taking nothing for his symptoms before even thinking of calling us to ask what sort of over-the-counter things he ought to buy to alleviate his symptoms.
A week late.
 I was appalled.
 Yet I find this approach common  among the young and unmarried, particularly men. 
I suppose they think they can just muscle they way through their flu or colds.
However, I say, if you treat the symptoms so you sneeze less, cough less and snot less, then it's better for those around you--in your home and on the job, because less sneezing and coughing means less spraying virus germs about.
Of course, if you have a fever, you should, if at all possible, stay home.
A fever = flu
(vs. the common cold, which doesn't usually involve fever.)
Being military, however, our friend couldn't just "call in sick," but would have had to seen a military doctor and have himself put on quarters for a few days and probably should have.
(And should not have come to our house either. Sometimes people don't think.)
But in these trying economic times, not everyone has sick days or can afford a doctor or to take time off from work, regardless of health. 
These are the people who need to be really savvy about good symptom control--not only for their own comfort, but also the protection of others.

So, today I'm going to share what I stock in my home medicine cabinet for cold & flu season:



 Though I trust you're savvy enough to know what you can and cannot use in the way of over-the-counter cold remedies or if you even can use them at all.
Plus I'm only concerned with adult cold care here.
People are probably more conscientious about treating their kids then themselves.

I think the main trick is being ready by keeping basic cold/flu fighting supplies on hand all the time.
 There are numerous cold product coupons at Walmart.com & Smart Source you take advantage of right now.

What 'I like' to keep on hand:

Zicam: This is my #1. It's a homeopathic product that reduces the length of colds and can lighten the over-all symptom experience. The trick with Zicam, however, is you must use it at the first sign of cold or flu symptom and use consistently as directed for best results.
They have a broad range of products.
A coupon is currently available at their website
http://www.zicam.com/ourproducts

An Antiseptic Mouthwash:
Such as Listerine or generic versions of it. Gargling every few hours during the on-set of a sore throat can quickly get rid of it.
Good idea to rinse your toothbrush in it after every use while sick, too!
Both a good night-time symptom & daytime symptom reducing product:
 The purpose of this type of product is to reduce symptoms so you can sleep at night, then reduce symptoms so you can function during the day.
There are lots of brand choices.
Be sure and read the labels for what symptoms they treat. 
Generally these are complete symptom treating products in a bottle or capsule, so you don't have to buy a bunch of individual products and they typically include something for fever, body aches, headache, coughs & congestion. If you can get one that includes an expectorant, that could be a plus.
*Note: It's very important that you do not over medicate yourself. Use all over-the-counter cold/flu products exactly how the directions say to use them.*
 
Disinfectant Spray:
I use Lysol, but there's several brands available. I think even Dollar Tree has a generic brand.
I consider this part of my arsenal against virus spread and
re-infection.
I spray down the pillows, sheets and blankets in the mornings, after we're up, when one or both us has something. It's a good
in-between linen washing option.
Who wants to wash all the bedding everyday?
 Also spray toilets & sinks.
Really important: I spray & wipe off computer keyboards where we've been sitting, coughing and sneezing.
Spraying disinfectant on a tissue and wiping off cellphones or smart phones might be a good idea, too---especially if phones or keyboards are shared. Even computer screens, if they're being sneezed on might stand a disinfectant wipe-off.
******
When I used to work at the flower shop, during cold/flu season, I'd either have a canister of Clorox wipes or a disinfectant spray on hand and I would clean off all the phone receivers, computer key boards, cash register key pads, counter top & credit card pad---things everyone who worked there touched and used, first thing in the morning when I came in. 
I started doing this after the phone there gave me a cold.
To me, it's just about being smart during cold season.

If you have a virus, be smart---take care of yourself and protect those around you!


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