All the Colors of the Phlegmbow: The Common Cold.

YES, we’re going to talk about that nasty stuff you blow out, cough up and other such nonsense!

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Why isn’t there a cold vaccine?

Since everyone’s body chemistry is different, and the cold can be caused by a possible whopping 250 different viruses, scientists wouldn’t be able to make a vaccine to protect against all of them.  Not to mention, the cold usually isn’t long-lasting unless it turns into something worse, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, so there’s no real need for a vaccine. Shocking I know!

Considering, since everyone’s body chemistry is different, everyone experiences the cold differently. If two people have the exact same virus that caused their colds, they may each suffer differently depending on how each of their bodies immune system reacts. For some, it’s just a few days of the sniffles and much-needed rest, for the rest of the world and MEN, it literally feels like we’re dying.

Not to mention, people with allergies, and/or preexisting breathing problems such as asthma are more susceptible to getting colds, and since their lungs are already irritated, inflamed and fighting off phlegm, it makes having a cold a lot more severe.

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 Should I get an antibiotic?

Colds are viral, not bacterial. Antibiotics fight bacteria. The only time you should take an antibiotic is when it’s prescribed by a doctor for possible inflammations and bacterial infections that you may get with or after your cold. Such as sinus blockage or ear infections.

Tips From WebMD:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If you don’t have that nearby, use an alcohol-based gel.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue.
  • No tissue? When you cough, turn your head away from others.
  • If you have a sudden sneeze, bend your arm and sneeze into it.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Wash any shared surfaces, like phones and keyboards, frequently. Viruses can live on surfaces for several hours.
  • Stay away from crowds during cold and flu season.

 Is the old wives tale true about catching a cold in the cold?

No, this is a myth. Although being in the cold doesn’t help if you’re already on the verge of getting sick or you have a preexisting condition such as asthma, which could push the cold into high gear. Since colds are viral, you have to come into contact with a virus in order to catch one.

The Colors of the Phlegmbow: All the Icky Facts

YES, we’re going to talk about that nasty stuff you blow out, cough up and other such nonsense! Because, despite it being gross, it’s important to know when it’s gone from just a cold to something worse, and you can tell by the color of your phlegm. Buck up buttercup cause here it is:

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Self-Care for the Common Cold

Basically, you know your own body best. Only you can figure out what you can give your body to help yourself feel better. Over-the-counter medication really only should be taken when you have the extra body aches and pains, otherwise you’re not really giving it a chance to fight on its own. The more natural remedies help boost the immune system as well as they’re usually things you should be eating/drinking every so often anyways. (my opinion)

In terms of suppressing the cough, sometimes you need to change between cough drops so that you’re body doesn’t get thinking you’re just sucking on some candy.

Here’s what I’ve been taking:

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Always read the label!!!! No matter what you’re taking. Also, be in tune to what you’re body likes and doesn’t like, and how each thing reacts with it. The two Cepacol lozenges work pretty well but they numb your tongue more than the throat. I had a bit of difficulty trying to get a mucus clump loose from the back of my throat when trying to swallow after having part of my mouth go numb.

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When it comes to eating, I’ve been trying to do spicy. It helps to clear the nasal passages and I like spicy food. Noodles have no real nutritional value, but when you’re not really into eating much, it seems to help me. If you can do a broth, or chicken soup then that’s great. Eat whatever you can get down, and what you feel will help. Best to try to be as healthy as you can though, as it will obviously help you feel better as well as be good for you.

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Tea tea tea. I’ve been doing good in avoiding coffee. With the tea comes the pee. Be prepared for lots of trips to the bathroom. Tea is good for you as it’s got lots of good stuff in it that’s good for your immune system. Ideally, green tea is supposed to be the best, but I’ll stick to my Chai, since I think the green is yuck! The only time I’ve been doing a bit of sugar (as little as possible) in my tea is with the chocolaty chai, otherwise Manuka honey is the best kind of honey to take when you’re not well.

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Peppermint is good for you when you’re sick. If you’re sick and tired of tea (no pun intended) then add some peppermint extract to some hot chocolate made with hot water and a tiny bit of milk or cream. 20171129_152639

Peppermint and tea tree oils are great to use for a steam, being careful to make sure your eyes are closed when you have your face under the towel. Only a drop of each is good in a bowl of steaming hot water.

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Ginger and garlic are two great things for you and your immune system. Since I’m a picky one, this is what I’ve come up with that incorporates the two, tastes great and definitely has a good kick to it!

Pan fried Turkey scallopini with spices cayenne pepper, chili powder, dried red pepper flakes, garlic pepper, paprika, dried basil flakes, dried oregano in olive oil, basmati rice covered in some teriyaki sauce, pan-fried yellow onion, roasted garlic puree and minced ginger , take a bun hollow it out a bit and heat so soft, add rice then Turkey and veg and top with shredded Habanero cheddar cheese.

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Here’s my “death” photo, if only you could photograph the inside of your lungs to really show how much you feel like crap…

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Basically, take care of yourself. You only get one “you.” If you feel like it’s more than just a cold, never hesitate to see the doctor. Even if it only turns out to be a bit of being a hypochondriac, it’s still better to nip it in the bud if it does end up being a bit worse. Colds can turn into things like pneumonia or bronchitis, so it’s best to care for your cold, and, as much as it hurts the bank account, take that sick day. Taking one or two sick days is much better than being off for a month due to something worse.

That being said, they say not to use “Dr. Google,” but for home cold remedies it’s a great place to look, but do your research. You need to make sure what you’re putting into your body is in fact good for you and not going to make it worse.

You can get free health information by:

Health #’s in the U.S. https://health.gov/nhic/pubs/tollfreenumbers/

Access to a Nurse 24/7 in the U.S. 24 Hour Nurse

Clicking on Health Link BC 

Dialing 8-1-1 in Canada

Or Googling your area.

Don’t forget:

Keep warm, lots of blankets, hot showers, heat on just a tad, but make sure to get in some cold air as well, being too stuffy isn’t good for you. Make sure your tissue is stock piled. If you’re like me, you use an excess amount when you’re sick! Aside from the tea, make sure you’re getting your liquids and staying hydrated. For that little rash you get above your upper lip from blowing your nose more than usual, vaseline or an over the counter medicated cream will help. If you don’t have any Vicks Vapo-Rub for the chest and back, there are similar menthol rubs that are for muscle aches that work just as well. You can also try the onion in the sock as well. Before bed, take a couple of slices of onion, stick one on the bottom of each foot and cover with a sock, it’s supposed to help drain the toxins from your body and help you sleep. If you’re not comfortable with the onion, put vapo-rub on the bottom of your feet before bed and cover with a sock.  If you don’t want to get your steps in by going to the bathroom to frequently wash your hands, you can keep hand sanitizer handy.

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This is the time to veg out on the couch or in your bed, with either a book or Netflix faves, eating ice cream, spicy noodles, drinking tea and ginger ale and getting over your cold. Especially if you’re having troubles sleeping since you’ve been woken up at 3 a.m. due to a nasty coughing fit because a phlegm chunk is stuck at the back of your throat and it feels like/sounds like you’re hacking up a lung.

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Yes ladies, the man cold is not just for the man! In fact, I do believe that WOMEN get the “man-cold” worse than they do, especially since we’re the ones expected to do everything and we burn out a lot more easily! (My opinion, you can take that with a box of salt.)

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Take care of yourself and I hope you don’t see every color of the Phlegmbow!

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