Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Typical Flu: Lessons Learned

The triumph can't be had without a struggle.

--Wilma Rudolph

Despite having the flu over the holidays, from a health perspective, 2005 probably goes on record as one of the best Christmas seasons I've experienced in quite awhile. I can't say that it was perfect. There were a couple of rough patches that made me wonder if I would get better on my own or if we'd need to bring in reinforcements (i.e. do a "tune up"). Plenty of down-time, plenty of high calorie foods, and the right combo of OTC and prescription meds did the trick.

Because I was on minimal meds to keep my CF in check, I was finally able to do some experimentation to see what OTC meds would work best for me. No, this was not self-medication. I didn't take a bunch of stuff just to see what it would do to me or to knock myself out. I only treated symptoms according to the instructions on the medication and followed dosing quite accurately. The following is a list of the meds I tried and what I observed as my reactions to them as well as their overall success.

1) NyQuil
Purpose: Taken to reduce coughing, coat my sore throat, and and induce sleep

Observations: Coughing was reduced throughout the night, however, because of the alcohol induced sleep, all of the gunk in my lungs seemed to "pool" by morning. This resulted in a substantial increase in the amount of time and effort taken to clear my lungs upon waking. Furthermore, the sleep was fitful. I never felt like I was fully asleep--just medicated. I Suspect that NyQuil may in fact be Absinthe.

Conclusion: Next time I'll try Dimetapp or some sort of cough suppressant/congestion relief that does not contain alcohol

2) Chloraseptic
Purpose: taken to relieve sore throat

Observations: Barely worked at all to cool my sore throat. The menthol actually made me cough more. Suspected allergic reaction similar to asthmatic symptoms associated with my Eucalyptus allergy.

Conclusion: Sipping hot tea with lemon and honey worked far better to sooth my sore throat.

3) DayQuil Tablets

Purpose: Taken to control congestion and aches during the day

Observations: No problems. Cough was suppressed sufficiently, sinus pressure reduced.

Conclusion: I'll keep some of this on hand just in case.

4) Ibuprofen

Purpose: Fever Reducer, pain reliever

Observations: Reduced fever, relieved pain--even the sore throat pain. Also seemed to help control the frequency of chest tightness and asthma symptoms.

So, there you have it. Some things worked better for me than others, and some didn't work at all. I think the biggest shocker was how poorly NyQuil performed for me. That was disappointing. In the future if I'm falling behind on my sleep because of the coughing, perhaps I'll try a Tylenol PM or something. However, I'm not anticipating being sick again any time soon! I'm optimistic that 2006 is going to be a banner year.

Current mood: content
Current snack: tortilla chips and guacamole
Emotional weather: sunny, clear skies
Health-o-meter: 89% of baseline

Great to see you at 89% of baseline! That is probably the highest you have been for a while - so glad the flu is gone and you are well! In addition to the OTC meds, much prayer also went into your healing - God is more powerful than Nyquil!! :)

It was a great Christmas - I'm so glad we got to see so much of you and Brad.

Love ya,
Yes, God is more powerful than NyQuil. He's even more powerful than duct tape! He keeps me held together despite my varying states of disrepair :)

Love ya!
Yeah... I'm not impressed with NyOuil either. Or sleeping pills. They don't work on me. Gargling with warm salt water always helps my throat though. It's weird how sometimes the simple things work the best.

I hope you are doing much better now!
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