Wednesday, January 30, 2008


As in fever.

Feverishness seems to be running rampant in this community as of late. It seems that just about everyone I know is either in the process of getting sick, being sick, or getting over being sick.

Myself included.

Part of me wants to hole up in my own domestic cave and not come back out into the public until this threat of gnarly sickness has passed.

But, of course, that is impossible as there is simply the mundane realities of work, groceries, and errands; as well as the ever-inviting realities of outdoor play--snow on the mountain, ice in the canyons, and walks everywhere in between.

My office recently became the breeding ground for a whole host of disgusting illnesses--pink eye, the flu, some excrutiatingly horrible strain of sore throat, bronchitis, colds with fevers, colds with chills, and just general colds. Oh yeah, and some sort of stomach bug too.

Considering I work with a mere 13 people in a farily decent sized building, this onslaught of nasties seemed downright terrifying. I started feeling like I had OCD as I wouldn't think of touching food nor face unless I'd scrubbed and rescrubbed my hands. Forget touching the water cooler, the coffee pot, or the bathroom door handles--I'd get a paper towel for that!

That's when I knew something had to be done. So, with bleach, bucket, gloves, sponge, and spray bottle, I went to work on the concrete and steel petrie dish my office had become.

For the time being, at least, I am not so paranoid about opening doors or turning on faucets at my workplace.

In general, there are some tips people can use towards staying healthy during cold and flu season. It doesn't seem like anyone I work with is taking these steps, but maybe if I share them again, people might begin to incorporate them into their day to day.

1) Avoid a diet high in sugar, caffeine, and processed foods. Whole grains, steamed or stir-fried greens, moderate amounts of high protein, will help nourish the body, and the mind.

2) Avoid excess alcohol consumption--a sort of no-brainer, that many choose to ignore.

3) Choose an immune stimulating supplement to incorporate into the diet--astragalus, reishi mushroom, and elderberry are all immune stimulating and won't trash the body. Echinacea can be helpful for some types of colds--hot colds where you're burning up inside, your eyes are on fire, and your throat feels like your saliva is made from lye.

4) Drink plenty of water each day.

5) Get plenty of exercise each week. Nothing like sweating to remove toxins from your body!

6) IMO, the most important one of all--wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your eyes unless you've washed your hands. (A bit of advice from a friend who grew up with a daycare facility in him home--apparently his mother enforced this, and he and his sisters rarely got sick.)

7) Carry around an arsenal of good luck!


keven said...

I seem to have the distinct honor of being your first "elucidator" (sp). Other than a ridiculously hard to spell blogger name I have fonud the posts quite enjoyable and look forward to more of the same. Now on to the subject at hand - my mom taught at a local preschool for years and since we helped out after our studies at LAHS my siblings and I knew full well the importance of thorough hand washing top keep the bugs at bay. I have found it intereesting in my new position, surrounded by intelligent, young technies, who have spent much of their life indoors glued to their screens that they are more germophobic than those of my generation that actually spent time out of doors breathing in non-recycled air and through sheer exhaustion expelling the bad air in gasps for breath. And on the upside a cold or even a mild case of the flu can provide some needed downtime to curl up, warm up and catch up because no one will want to be near enough to bother you.

Anonymous said...

Here a good one to watch out for:
Toilet Flushing.

Toilets are the perfect aerosolizing mechanism. When you flush, a fine mist of whatever biological agents are in there are spread through the room. There is concern that this is how the bird flu was spreading in Asian tenement houses. They tracked it down to Toilets.

My advise, hold your breath and run like hell after you flush.

Chrysanthemama said...

Thanks for stopping by, Keven, and hopefully I'll be able to offer up info that's both useful and entertaining!

Anonymous--I couldn't agree with you more! In fact, I've decided to leave those obnoxious little signs about handwashing in our bathrooms at work. Perhaps I should modify them to include the flush and run advice!

Jimbo said...

I am usually holding my breath before I flush!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to start selling "Flush and Run" T-Shirts as a public service to humanity!