I am a really really bad sick person. I know that most of the time, we women have the pleasure of condescending to our male counterparts when it comes to being able to ‘’suck it up and take it’’ when inflicted with some sort of flu or cold virus. We place cool caring hands on hot feverish foreheads and make chicken soup from scratch and bring our (lame) boyfriends/partners juice and rent DVD’s when they are feeling sick while inwardly rolling our eyes at the male body’s absolute inability to deal with even the smallest of sniffles without looking for someone to mother them. Oh…shove a tit in it! I want to say at times when a large, hairy, mouth-breathing, congested crybaby asks for a belly rub. And then….I hate to admit it, but shamefully, I join the ranks of these young soldiers in the sickness trenches. I am a freaking whiny baby when I have a cold too.
Everything just seems Wrong in the world when your body is too weak to perform simple tasks without having it scream out against you, like eating, or going to the toilet. The imbalance that one feels – like when one nostril is completely blocked and the other one is so clear that every inhalation feels like knives whizzing past your sinuses? I am in awe of my friends who are able to go to work with a runny nose and a rattling chesty cough and a mild fever. Why? Why put yourself through that sort of torture? Why Be A Hero?
Being a Naturopath, I feel I have a bit more leeway with my sick days and how easily I can cave when it comes to cancelling patients and staying home. I cancelled my patients yesterday a) to avoid leaving the house and the warm confines of my husband’s track pants and b) because it’s just intelligent PR. Who wants to see a dripping, nasally, sneezy, wheezy naturopath? It’s like signing up with a fat fitness trainer.
I feel that in our society, one is made far too guilty for calling in sick. I know that sometimes in life you just do not have the luxury of being able to lie in bed all day, not with deadlines and projects and bills to pay – I get it. But sometimes that one day you spend in bed with a pot of herbal tea and the latest season of Mad Men will bring your healing time from a dragged out miserable (and not so productive) 2 weeks down to a 4-day recovery slot. Sometimes it IS just worth it to do yourself a favour.
But how about those times where you cannot afford to miss work? Well, make sure you have these things in your medicine cupboard at all times – powdered Vitamin C (Metagenics Ultra Potency-C Powder – 1000mg per quarter teaspoon – it’s potent stuff), a good quality Zinc (Biocare – 30 mg capsules), a good probiotic (BioKult – www.bio-kult.com) and tons of raw ginger, good honey (manuka if you can afford it) and lemon (organic, preferably). What do you do with all of this? At the ONSET of the sniffles, take about 4000mg of vitamin C – this potent antioxidant will help boost your immunity and clear out any toxins. Then every hour, take another 1000mg until you start getting the farts (oh beware these farts – they WILL clear a room) or loose stools. Then you stop. Throughout the day make a HUGE pot of Lemon/Ginger/Honey infusion and drink as much as you want. Lemon supports your liver to flush out the toxins, ginger is good for your lungs and is warming and honey (especially Manuka) is nature’s antibiotic and will help fight off whatever has invaded your body and made you feel like a heaping pile of steamy poo. Keep hydrated, so drink lots of water too. Take 2 capsules of the probiotics at every meal to help your immunity as 80% of your immune system is along your gut and without probiotics, no immunity. Before you go to bed, take 60 mg of Zinc – another immune booster and cell-healer. In the morning, you should feel about 60% – 100% better (depending on how early you started this regime) – enough to be able to make it through a day of work. If you catch it early enough, botanical treatments such as Echinacea purpura or Red Korean Ginseng can give your immune system the boost it needs to fight it off before it turns you into a zombie. Aconite 30CH homeopathically can also help – but only if caught at the Very Beginning – like when you start feeling like you’re About to turn into a blood-sucking zombie.
In the meantime, learn to listen to your body before it breaks down on you. If you’re getting sick more than twice a year, or if it’s taking you more than a week to get over something, it’s probably high time that you change something in your life to support your immune system. You can start by going to see your friendly neighbourhood Naturopath.