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Help – I have The Andromeda Strain

Okay, so it is not really the Andromeda Strain, the Dog’s blood is not crystallizing or anything like that; it is just this ass-kicker of a cold that is going around the office right now. Since the Ol’ hound is now at home, he thought he might write a little something to help those of you that have not gotten sick this winter avoid it. (Achhoooo! Aaaachhhooooo! Achooo!)

First off, a little advice from the Dog’s sister who is a nurse; wash your damn hands! Do it five or six times a day. The beasties that cause colds and flu’s get on the most unlikely surfaces and can live for ridiculously long times, so your best defense against them is clean hands. And just rinsing them is not enough. You want to wet them, turn off the water, soap them for about 25 seconds then, rinse them with hot water. Then be sure to get them completely dry. Yes, this is going to dry out your already dry skin, but which would you rather deal with, dry skin or the Andromeda Strain?

Another good tactic is to make sure that you are getting your vitamins. If getting fresh veggies down your throat is a problem, then be sure to take a multi-vitamin. It is not the same as fresh foods, but it goes a hell of a long way to helping your body be ready to fight off whatever it is that woman in the next cubical brings into the office off. For those of you that are fans of Echinacea or massive doses of Zinc or Vitamin C, the Dog is sorry to tell you that clinical trails have repeatedly shown that it really has no positive effect. However, if you like it and get a good placebo effect from it, go for it.

But if with the best will in the world you find yourself getting sick there are a few things that will help you get through it. First off a word about the difference between a cold and flu; influenza is viral. It is a lot worse than a cold. You will usually get it really fast (say you start to feel a little sluggish one afternoon then the next morning you wake up with a fever), while you will most often feel a cold coming on for a couple of days. Colds don’t have fevers with them very often, the flu does.

Now, once you have a cold you can treat it pretty much at home. The biggest step is to listen to your body as much as you can. Notice how thirsty you are? That is because you need lots of fluids to fight this off (Aaaaccccchhhhhoooo!, Damnb), you should have some kind of fluid with you all the time. Water is best. Yeah that tea is nice and warm, but if it has caffeine in it you are kind of defeating the purpose. If you want something hot and not dehydrating, try broth. Even those nasty little bullion cubes will work in a pinch. It is not like you are going to taste them that much anyway. Or you can try what the Dog’s mother gave him a as a kid. Get a can of Lemon aide concentrate; put it in a pan, with half the water and heat it until it is steaming but not boiling. It will have a lot of vitamin C and is really soothing on a sore throat.

If you can stay home from work, do it. Not only will you be back to full strength faster, you will have less of a chance of spreading the misery around. Be sure to sleep. Sleep as much as you can, this will help you body fight the beasties that are giving you all these wonderful symptoms. If your head is filled with mucus, you can try some of the over the counter meds like Sudafed. It will clear you up, but it might make you jumpy too, so be careful.

Finally, eat. You won’t want to, but if you not power you body, you are setting yourself up for a longer ordeal. Try to stay away from sugary stuff. You will want it because you will still be able to taste the sugar strongly, but it is not what you need. Load up on some carbos, pasta, potatoes and the like. These will not only make you sleepy, they will give your body the energy it needs to fight off this attack.

The Dog is not a Doc or a Nurse, so this should not be considered professional advice, it is just what the Dog is going through right now, so he thought he would share. One last thing, if you don’t get better in about a week, or you start to have high prolonged fever, go see a doctor! A cold can turn into bronchitis or pneumonia and then you are in a world of hurt.

So, there is the Dog’s drippy nosed advice, take care of yourselves.

The floor is yours.

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Bill Egnor

Bill Egnor

I am a life long Democrat from a political family. Work wise I am a Six Sigma Black Belt (process improvement project manager) and Freelance reporter for

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