Well it all started just days before Thanksgiving, I had begun to sneeze multiple times in a row and I remember asking myself, “What is that?!” Then Thanksgiving morning, I woke only to find a small annoying pain in my throat. Sad to say, that is just the beginning. The following day that pain was so overwhelming it felt as though knives were cutting my throat each time I swallowed, something I remember experiencing way back in the day as a child. Then the following day that annoying drip began down my throat (you know what I’m talking about) which of course led to going through boxes and boxes of Kleenex. If you’ve had a cold before you probably know what comes next: Sinus and chest congestion, clogged head and ears along with that nasty cough which although is unnerving, is actually a good thing to help you cough up the gunk in your chest. Well, because it had been such a long time that I had had a cold like this, I was thankful to find that the internet was full of information about what was going on in my body (most common colds are viral and do not need an antibiotic. Antibiotics are used for treating bacteria, they do not treat viral infections) and almost every article gave a list of what they call the “common cold” symptoms along with what one can do to help ease the discomfort (home remedies of course). And since I was unwillingly thrust upon this roller coaster ride, I wanted to know when I would be able to finally get off!! Of all the cold symptom articles I came across (there must be hundreds) almost all of them said that a cold can last from 7 to 15 days!
What Worked for Me:
Since you’re reading this, my guess is you or someone you love is experiencing these awful symptoms and to help ease your anxiety (as did mine) I am going to share with you a few things that REALLY helped me to be as comfortable as possible during this process. Please understand that some of these remedies are not for children (specifically over the counter (OTC) medications, in which I encourage you to consult your physician):
OTC Pain Medication: You may have already noticed that Tylenol no longer sells capsules or tablets. And since my doctor recommends for me to take only acetaminophen I had to opt for Wal-Mart and CVS brands. (check with your doctor regarding what OTC pain med’s are best for you)
Cough Syrup (Tussin DM): I use Wal-Marts brand “equate” it is less expensive as the name brand. It helped to relieve my cough and another active ingredient helps to break up the congestion in the chest and head so that when you blow your nose or cough, the goop can come out!
Saline Nasal Spray: Years ago I lived in Arizona and experienced some very bad allergies and my doctor an Otorhinolaryngologist (specializing in ear, nose and throat) strongly recommended me to make my own saline spray (said the store brands have preservatives in them) and instructed me to buy the bottle that has the solution in it and told me to open it up and pour it out and make my own by using 8oz of bottled water (I use natural spring water-sink water is not recommended) and a 1/4 tsp of salt. Mix well. Open and clean out your nose spray bottle ( I boil all the parts in water to kill any impurities) Pour in your made-at-home saline solution. Lean forward over your sink, hold one nostril closed, spray a good amount up into your other nostril, repeat with the other nostril, then take your Kleenex and blow! (Do this 3x a day) I cannot stress how much this has helped to nearly eliminate my allergies and helped to clear out my sinuses during a cold. I have also taught my older children to use it as well.
Hot Wash Cloth: In my extensive research over the last couple of days, I found this fantastic remedy for clogged sinuses. Take a hot wash cloth (I put mine in a pan of water on top of the stove and heated it up NOT too hot, but hot enough that you can handle it without burning yourself.) I wrung it out and folded it length wise and held it just under my eyes over the the nose and cheek bones (lot’s of nasal passages under there) and the first time I did it, my eyes watered and my nose immediately began to drain and it relieved the pressure as well. I repeated this a few times a day and it helped me to be able to breath through my nose. Ahhhh, relief!!
SLEEP PLEASE! Well I think everyone knows how important sleep is, especially when your body is working over-time to kill off that nasty virus. But most of us have experienced that sleeping during this time is NOT easy! So I will share with you something I have always done and recently found out that medical professionals suggest the same thing and that is: Sleep with your head elevated. Not just propped up on two pillows (which is said to make breathing more difficult) but your entire chest and head elevated (picture if you will a slanted slope like a hill where your head and shoulder is propped up on that slope) this method helps you to not cough so much, helps you to breath easier and most recently I found out it helps to drain your sinuses instead of the moucus pooling in your head creating great discomfort!) The way that works for me is I sleep on the couch: Why? I sleep on my right side with two pillows positioned (lengthwise supported by the arm of the couch) so that I’m up on a slant with my back being supported by the back cushion. You may have to wiggle around until you find it comfortable for you. I also put down a spare comforter underneath my body for more soft cushy feel.
WATER, WATER and MORE WATER! I remember going to the doctor in years past and they always said “drink lot’s of fluids” Well to be honest, I never understood why, until AGAIN while doing my extensive reading I found that lot’s of liquids (I prefer water) helps to thin out the mucous so that it will drain easier by blowing your nose and coughing up chest congestion, which again can help SPEED UP YOUR RECOVERY!
Last but surely not least. Prayer! While you’re practicing natural remedies, don’t forget there is a supernatural remedy and that is God, His son Jesus and the power of prayer. Speaking over your body, calling yourself well (even though it doesn’t feel like it) Asking your family and friends to pray for you and seeing yourself healthy, free from sickness and disease. I know it sounds silly but there are many, many scriptures in the Bible regarding health, healing, being healed…and the list goes on. Jesus himself went about doing “good and healing all…” Even some medical professionals are linking faith and wellness. And I say, “finally!!” what took them so long! If you want to read more about this, go to my blog “God’s Healing”