If it seems longer than usual between blog posts the last couple of weeks, it's because I have been down for the count with a miserable cold. Lying at home, feeling like my head is being squeezed in a vice, I just can't think at all, let alone write something creative.
Why did I catch this cold? I'm convinced it's because I braved the crowds for a day of after-Christmas sale shopping, and I forgot to employ my secret anti-viral weapon. What is this secret weapon you may wonder? Saline nasal spray.
All last winter, despite being surrounded by snuffling, shuffling runny-eyed rhino virus victims, I avoided catching a single cold. I employ several germ-shunning strategies. First, I wash my hands frequently, after contact with public places, sick people and oft-touched surfaces, and always before eating. Second, I avoid touching my eyes or nose or mouth when my hands aren't clean. Third, I turn my head or when possible move quickly away from those uncovered sneezes that people sometimes let fly. I try to get enough rest, and eat right. But most importantly, I use saline nasal spray after I have been in big crowds, or small gatherings where someone is sick.
For whatever reason, when I got home from my post-Yule shopping, I forgot. Now I'm paying the price. I first read about saline nasal spray in an article a doctor wrote about how to avoid getting colds. Along with the usual advice, he mentioned that saline nasal spray can kill any germs that have made their way into your nasal cavity before they get further into the body, and it also keeps nasal membranes moisturized. Dry, cracked membranes allow germs to infiltrate more easily. It's an inexpensive, completely natural preventative measure, and for me it has always worked. I usually get several bottles for free every winter when the major drug stores offer it as a rebate item in December or January. Give it a try.
Now, what should you do if you have already succumbed to the cold bug? Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of hot herbal tea, have plenty of soup, and plan better next time! Inexpensive store-brand Benadryl should lessen your symptoms until it has run its course. I hope you are feeling better soon!