Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Out in the Cold

A dear client reminded me of a saying the other day: "You go to the doctor and you'll be well in 2 weeks. If you treat a cold yourself, 14 days."

I want to break down a little more about the course of my cold the last couple weeks. Usually I get some kind of upper respiratory infection every year about this time- late Spring or early Summer. When we lived in Tallahassee, there was a weird phenomena where the oak trees would dump piles of dusty yellow clumpy blobs all over everything. In the office complex where I worked, several building surrounded a circle of trees, surrounding a wide sidewalk which goes around a nice sized pond. When you walk in that circle under the trees during this pollen dumping time, you could see it falling down like snow. Needless to say, anyone who even thought about having allergies would be affected by this stuff.


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This respiratory irritation would usually set off whatever further crud I would get in my head- Sometimes Strep Throat, sometimes full blown flu. Since moving to Tampa, I haven't noticed any specific environmental allergens causing me any problems and I'm out of the call center setting for work, leaving me more protected from viral airborne pathogens, I believe.

The cold I had this year, I blame somewhat on the Wife, who had it a good week and a half before I developed any symptoms, and several co-workers who were also hacking and coughing a lot. The good news is, however, that the cold was VERY mild and it didn't develop until I had been exposed for a long time from several different sources. I believe that is due to my improved nutritional regimen over the past several months, including daily vitamins and substantially more fresh, raw vegetation.

The initial, noticeable symptom was a sore throat and 100 degree fever. That was the highest the fever got and only lasted about 8 hours a day, two concurrent days.  By taking 1 day off work, I had a Tuesday-Thursday block off in a row to rest up.

The biggest help, in my opinion, was increased veggie juice consumption, 3 days of rest, and some monkey picked oolong white tea blends from the Wife's skillful brewing hands. I also juiced most of a watermelon with some fresh mint leaves which made a delightfully hydrating, cleansing, cooling, refreshing, light drink. I plan to keep drinking that all summer long- medicinal food can be so tasty!

The Wife and I also spent several hours watching How I Met Your Mother and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy whilst cuddling on the futon in the living room. Laughter was a very fine medicine indeed.



I took pseudoephedrine in a maximum strength 12 hour dose, once, to dry up the goo for my first shift back at work. I feel like it messed me up more than helping. It caused twitchy eyes, a dry raspy cough, and I felt jumpy for two days after that one dose. That's the only conventional cold medicine I took.

The only symptom that lasted longer than 4 days was my decreased energy level. Thankfully my workload at work was lower than normal- probably due to Holy Week and Easter activities, which allowed me to ration my energy output. 

The bottom line is that by boosting my immune system for months, I treated the cold before I had it. Anybody want an ounce of watermelon and mint flavored prevention?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Health Tax

While doing my taxes the other day, I started thinking about a health model comparable to a financial model. Meaning, you have to invest health over time to get compounded health later.

Likewise, I started thinking about ways we tax our bodies every day or week- what holds us back from our goals incrementally? Financially I'm constantly thinking, "What if I didn't have to pay taxes? Would I be substantially wealthier?" A Tea Party perspective, if you want to look at it politically. At an old office job I had, there was cake for some occasion or another at least twice a week. That cake was always from a supermarket bakery and was comprised mostly of Crisco, powdered sugar, and food coloring. It always felt like the same question- could I be markedly healthier if I never gave away a small percentage of my health on a regular basis?

I had a mild cold for the past two weeks and I was very careful to avoid all processed sugar and refined carbs. I also juiced piles of veggies and took copious amounts of vitamins in pill form. I drank gallons of water and ate a whole watermelon by myself over a few days. I was trying to gather all the loose change under the couch cushions and deposit every bit of health back into the bank so I wouldn't overdraw again. I was already paying off one overdraft fee with the current sickness- to push that metaphor to it's utmost limit.

The point is, daily habits add up- maybe it's time to re-examine if they're building us up or breaking us down, in the long run.

Listen to the audio version here: