The Huffington Post’s Healthy Living section is like a bright beacon of hope today.
For what it’s worth, they’ve posted an optimistic article suggesting ways in which one might avoid catching the flu from an infected person they are attempting to nurse back to health. Now, I am a huge fan of science fiction, but this article suggests the existence of something I’ve never been so bold as to consider a possibility. Once I hear whisper of infection amongst my inner circle, I consider it a miracle bolstered by the strength of my sheer will if I don’t contract whatever nastiness is swirling about.
But when it comes to actually being there, caring for an ill unfortunate, I figure I might as well just crawl in bed alongside them… (as long as we have equal rights to the remote of course.) After all, why fight it? It’s only a matter of time, let’s be honest.
This article takes a different approach altogether. It advises against getting a last-minute flu shot since immunization takes a few weeks to kick in. It also mentions maintaining a distance of 6 feet from said sick person. I personally don’t see how this would work, but it’s something to shoot for. The bottom line I guess being, don’t crawl into bed with them.
For those who do succumb to the failings of their immune system, we offer a few tidbits:
That which we call the “flu” is generally treated by addressing its symptoms. Rest and plenty of fluids are top priorities. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin can help reduce fever and aches. However, recent studies have shown that people who used these medications suffered from flu symptoms several days longer than those brave souls who endured the virus gauntlet un-medicated.
Perhaps the thing to remember is the fact that your body heals by cleansing itself of toxins. The same applies to viruses. The ultimate goal is to help your body flush out the virus. Medication, while it may be momentarily soothing, is just another toxin that requires flushing… thereby inhibiting the body’s ability to focus on eradicating illness. This is also why it is wise to stick to very light or liquid foods such as broth and chicken soup. Heavier foods force your body to work on digestion, rather than fighting the infection. And you know it’s true because it (pretty much) rhymes. We kid. It really is true, regardless of how you choose to say it.
Of course, aspirin (and aspirin-containing products) should never be given to children who are 17 years or younger with the flu as this may cause a rare but serious disease called Reye’s Syndrome.
It’s also good to keep in mind the possible side effects in regards to ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen, which include stomach upset and allergic reactions.
There are also some FDA approved prescription medications available. They can result in some particularly unpalatable side effects, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Some may even cause nausea and vomiting.
Which, if you ask us, defeats the purpose entirely.
Look, it will (or should) be over in 7 to 10 days.
Drink water. Eat broth. Rest.
And next year, get a flu shot.