Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beating Sickness, aka Things My Pharmacist Told Me

One of the most annoying things about being a woman is your period. Aside from the crap we can all agree on, the thing I'm touching on in this post is the fact that just before her period, sometimes a woman is more susceptible to getting sick.

I'm pretty sure this very thing ailed me the past couple of days, as I had body aches without fever and a runny nose that wouldn't quit. Yesterday I went home from work early just because I couldn't concentrate. To make myself feel better, I took a picture of my new kangaroo onesie.

I'm so not kidding. Isn't it awesome?

That aside, it got me thinking about how much I'd dislike being sick for the wedding. Here's a bit of advice centered around minimizing a cold that I've gotten while dating Dr. Light, who is a pharmacist and has a pretty good head for this kind of knowledge.

1. Drink lots of water. Despite this being an age-old adage, I never really understood the advice. Ok, yeah, we're always supposed to drink a lot of water, so why would this be any different when you're sick? Well, the last time I had a nasty cold, Dr. Light gave me a good reason why I should do this. Drinking a lot of water helps thin out the mucus in your system, meaning that if you have a really nasty stuffed up nose, you can have an easier time blowing it out. Thinning the mucus and getting rid of it will also keep you from getting a sinus infection. THAT, my friends, was really great advice for a girl who likes to know the reason behind things. And who hates sinus infections nearly as much as she hates her period.

2. Dr. Light always recommends Airborne when I catch a cold. I'd never paid the stuff too much mind, but he practically swears by it. If you've never heard of it, Airborne "contains 16 vitamins, minerals and herbs – including Zinc, Echinacea, and a blast of Vitamin C" (I cribbed that all from their site). You can read up on the specific ingredients on your own, but Zinc, Echinacea, and Vitamin C are things that people from different parts of my life have always recommended to me in times of sickness, and Airborne combines them into an easy-to-drink dissolving tablet. Plus, it travels easily (think: honeymoon). It's a simple way to fortify your system and help you get back on your feet.

3. Definitely use an expectorant when you have a cough and you are awake. Expectorants help you get all the crap out of your lungs and system by forcing you to cough. If you are trying to sleep, it's ok to use a cough-suppressant, but avoid buying an expectorant and cough-suppressant combination - they work against each other. It's like asking your body to cough and not cough at the same time. So keep that in mind when you read the packages at the store.

That's my small bit of advice. I wish I could tell everyone how not to get sick in the first place, aside from minimizing stress and sleeping more. Since I can't, all I can do is point to the stuff you probably already know, but now can back up with a pharmacist's blessing!

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