by Andi B.

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring you the flu. I absolutely hate getting sick. I’ve always been one of those disgustingly lucky people who don’t get sick often, but when I do, it’s usually 102 degree fevers, mild delirium, and seeming zombieism. There are ways to take care of yourself when you’re on a budget. (Some are even free!)
Step 1: Know the signs to catch it early on. I really should’ve known better when I’ve woken up with a sore throat for the past three days, and my joints were aching yesterday. I dismissed it as part of the weather change.
Step 2: Build your defenses. My Dad always advised the “ACE” program. At the first tickle of the throat, the first sign of illness, he would start taking recommended doses of vitamins “A,” “C,” and “E.” He would also start drinking orange juice like it was going out of style.
Step 3: Stay warm. You don’t have to blast your heater (and I’m sure your family doesn’t want to live in a sweatlodge) but putting on extra layers is wise.
Step 4: Know when to call in the experts. The last time I got a really major flu, I moved back in with my mom for a week. I vaguely remember writing down my Kaiser Insurance # and handing it to her, telling her if my fever didn’t break by nightfall to please take me to the hospital. Recently, my grandmother’s flu creeped into her lungs and became pneumonia. While I don’t personally believe in bothering the doctor with each new sniffle, sometimes you need to go to the professionals.
Step 5: Make your health a daily priority. Eating more nutritious food is often more important than eating “more food.” Keeping any amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet is essential.
Step 6: A tribute to my mom and her “Jewish Penicillin.” I don’t just mean my mom’s hugs; my mom makes great chicken soup when we’re sick. She makes her own chicken stock, throws in fresh veggies, some egg noodles or matzo balls, and everything’s better. Scientist’s even agree.
Step 7: Get more rest. ’nuff said.
And with that I leave you. I’m going to take my chills away from the computer and back to bed. Stay healthy.