I’m a very positive person 99.7% of the time. It’s just natural. I see life as a big game. I don’t take too many things very seriously. There isn’t much that brings me down emotionally, and if you know me, you’ve likely NEVER seen me in a bad mood.
That being said let me tell you about one aspect of myself that you may not know…
I am a whining baby when I’m sick. If I don’t have my wife around to take care of me, I might as well die.
So, I really don’t like getting sick. If my head hurts, glands hurt, the nose is stuffed full of crud and my throat hurts, I don’t want to do ANYTHING.
Vern is SICK ——— Vern is Healthy!
I don’t know how some people continue to come into work day after day like that. I am NOT going to work if I feel like that. There’s just no point. How can I focus on work if I can’t even breathe?
Breathing is necessary for work. I know this. Breathing is just barely necessary for sleep and so I usually choose to sleep.
Sleeping is not good for productivity. In fact, it’s the antithesis of productivity at work – yet, it is actually doing some good for the state of my body – so I sleep a lot when I’m sick. My addiction to blog is still stronger than any sickness so far so I still sit at the computer and blog for a couple hours, but mostly I just sleep.
I have some secret lifehacks for not getting the common cold. As I get older I get smarter.
These are Vern’s:
15 Secret Lifehacks for not getting REALLY SICK with a Common-cold
1. I eat spicy food as much as possible. Living in Thailand for a couple years gave me a mouth that can withstand nearly any level of spicy chili peppers. I noticed when I was in Thailand I was only sick a few times in a couple years! I attribute it to some degree from eating spicy food every day and nearly every meal. It’s my own private logic – don’t question it. :)
2. If I notice my nose is getting stuffed up I will immediately change to this diet: HOT, SPICY SOUP for every meal. I’m not joking about this hot, spicy idea. I usually have onions, garlic, Thai chilis, and some noodles for carbs. That is my diet until I’m not sick anymore. “The Body” quickly works out that it’s not getting anything but this, hot coffee, hot water, and bananas which form the complete sick diet for this guy. There is something about eating hot and spicy that keeps the nose juice flowing. Nose flow is GOOD because the alternative is “nose no flow” which leads to sinus headaches which leads to being more miserable that a person has a need for.
3. If I notice I’m getting sick at all – I do not eat ANY dairy products at all. Zero. My friend in the Air Force had a saying… he made it up at the dinner table once as we were talking about what we do when we get sick. He said, and I quote, “Butter builds snot”. There is so much wisdom in what he said. I have noticed that it is so true. If I have milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, ice-cream or any other dairy product (are there more?), my nose condition instantly gets worse and worse throughout the next few days, regardless whether I have any more dairy. Now I don’t know if I’m allergic to dairy at some level, but when I’m healthy I can eat quite a bit of pizza – every day for months as I did in NYC – and no problems result. I think it’s only when I’m sick. Trust me on this one, I think it’s universal.
4. If I have exercise planned and I”m feeling the first stages of a cold – I GO exercise anyway. Unless I’m feeling soreness in my glands and muscles – as is the case with flu. Then I’ll wait a day and see what’s going on. On occasion, I will purposefully go exercise when I’m sick with a cold – as it clears it right up during exercise and sometimes I swear it gets me on the road to recovery faster.
5. If I happen to be near the ocean I will go surfing, bodyboarding, bodysurfing, or swimming for a couple hours. Why? Invariably I swallow salt water and it gets up my nose a lot – especially while bodyboarding in Waikiki or at Bellows AFS on the Windward side. When that happens for some reason my nose clears RIGHT UP and either stays like that all day or just doesn’t get bad again. Of course, I need to blow my nose in the water about 19 times to get it all out – and I don’t make any friends on these trips, but it makes me feel VERY good.
6. If sex is a possibility – I try to set that up. Not solo sex, but involved with my girlfriend sex. For some reason, certain things really clear up how I feel. And, it’s something I’m giving, not receiving. I don’t know why, but during and after sex – my cold seems to disappear. Are you the same? I’d rather not get into exactly what the secret act is on this, you can figure it out from my one clue I think… Are you with me? ;)
7. Two words. Two very long words: Pseudophedrine Hydrochloride. Aka: Pseudiphed I think it’s called. These are small red pills – in generic or brand name form at the medication section of your grocery. You CAN opt for the $1.99 package of 24 pills in the generic form because it’s all the same drug. Be careful not to take a pill that has any added ingredients because the ones they add make you sleepy. ESPECIALLY anything for chest congestion. At least they do for me. They KNOCK ME OUT if I take them. Be careful and just look for the 30 mg small red tablets and read the label. I take one initially and drink a lot of hot water while I’m on them because they dry me out if I don’t.
8. I drink hot water and never cold. I don’t drink anything cold if I am beginning to get sick. If I do, I immediately feel much worse and it usually leads to a full-blown cold.
9. Ice-cream, as you can imagine – is the worst thing you could possibly have if you are feeling a little bit sick but it’s not full blown. I never have it if I feel anything except perfect, healthy, fit, and slim. LOL. But when I do have it, I could eat a quart of Haagen Dazs Coffee flavored ice-cream. Don’t eat anything colder than room temperature.
10. Do not under any circumstances marry or date a teacher, nurse, doctor, dentist, or cub scout leader. You are just ASKING for an extra 4 colds per year if you do so. Anyone that interacts with many people each day – whether touching people or not – is asking for it.
11. If I touch a doorknob or anything that others touch – I wash my hands, use the 99% germ-free alcohol gel, wipe my hands on my pants, and I’m very conscious about not touching my face – including blowing my nose until I’ve washed my hands. In the restroom I get some toilet paper in my hand before I hit the lever to flush. If there’s none available, I don’t flush. I’m not touching that thing without it. I then wash my hands. I then grab a paper towel or more toilet paper and open the restroom door, tossing out the paper into the trash that is usually right next to the door.
12. When I must grasp a door handle to open the door I try to grab it in a location where others don’t normally grab it. It’s difficult – and I look funny doing it – but I believe it helps.
13. My girlfriend doesn’t get touched or kissed as long as she is sick and for a few days after. This seems cruel, but she asked for it because she got sick. ;)
14. I keep myself warm when I’m sick. Too warm. I actually want to make myself sweat if possible. If there is a sauna nearby, I’m in it. If there is a jacuzzi – I’m there. When I sleep I put a shirt over my head so my breath stays hot while I breathe in and out all night. I don’t ever have a fan on when I’m sick.
15. Part of the reason I don’t like office-work for others is that they use the air conditioning too much. Even if I have air-con I like to use a fan instead, or open the windows up so they’re blowing. Air-con dries the sinuses and makes me ripe for colds. If I have a cold there is almost nothing worse than sitting in air conditioning eating ice-cream and cheese covered pizza for someone’s birthday party.
Those are the things I do to try to avoid a cold before I get it. Sometimes I still get one though it’s rare now. On average I get a cold 1 time per year. I don’t mean influenza, I mean a simple, common-cold that lasts 1-4 days. I noticed that when I moved away from the North USA (Pennsylvania and New York City) that I get fewer colds too.
Best of Life!
What are your tricks for avoiding common colds?
What about once you have a cold, how do you lessen its effects?
Do you know someone that NEVER gets common colds? What do you think is the secret? Can you ask them and write a comment on this post?