Springtime Sniffles


I love the spring. It’s too bad that I’m always too sick to enjoy it. Among other family traits that I choose not to disclose here, I have also inherited a crappy immune system. Sure, the fact that I go out a lot, drink more than is healthy, smoke the occasional cigarette and have an irregular sleep cycle may have something to do with my susceptibility to illness. I do, however, think the weather is mostly to blame. Dressing for the mid- to high-40’s is an art form that New Yorkers with weak immune systems can’t afford to botch. One day you underestimate the temperatures and by the time you get to the subway, you’re sweating like a certain female Democratic hopeful in Pennsylvania. At that point, you think you’ve learned your lesson and leave your apartment the next day wearing nothing light fabrics and a smile. And then you freeze. The cycle repeats, with a certain amount of variation OF COURSE, and we all know how the story ends. Or at least I know how my story ends and it is inevitably with bronchitis and cold sweats. So, now that I have undermined any and all authority I may have had to give health tips, here are some suggestions on how to get better from someone who self-heals like its her job:

  1. When you feel yourself getting sick, start taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C once per day and 100 mg of Echinacea twice per day. 1000 mg is probably more Vitamin C than your body can absorb in one day — unless your diet would leave you with scurvy save for the supplements — but it does the trick for me.
  2. Sleep as much as possible. Don’t leave the apartment/house except in cases of emergency. For instance, you just want an organic pear, but know that Fresh Direct won’t get it to you in time. Forget about the pear. It’s just not worth it to walk to the natural food store. You can dream of organic pears while you’re sleeping and get one on your way to/from somewhere tomorrow.
  3. On your way to/from somewhere, go to Chinatown and pick up some Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa “oral demulcent”. Take a tablespoon in the morning and a tablespoon in the evening. Sit back and relax as your cough fades away. Seriously. My father is a man of western medicine, but ever since I put him on this stuff he’s had one of his Phillippino friends pick them for him by the half-dozen. Just get one bottle and call me in the morning.
  4. Always cover your neck. Try that woven scarf you bought in Prague that’s been sitting in the back of your closet for the past three years. It’s light, funky, fashionable, and fun. More importantly, it keeps out the cold/hot/cold.
  5. If you’re not feeling well, don’t walk. Cab it or bus it to the subway. No need to strain yourself, love.
  6. Don’t go out drinking. I am all-too-aware of the “alcohol is a depressant, so it will suppress my cough” rationalization. I am also aware of the “vodka/whiskey/Serbian moonshine will kill all the bacteria in my throat/lungs/system” rationalization. It just doesn’t work that way. I wish it did, but it doesn’t.
  7. Stay away from sick people. No matter what, it’s not rude. It’s self-preservation.
  8. Wash your hands incessantly and don’t touch your nose or your mouth.
  9. If you get really sick and staying with your parents is an option, do it. They won’t mind. They love bringing you tea and medicine and home-cooked food. They also love going to the store to get you things like vanilla Häagen-Dazs, which will “ice” your throat while not upsetting your stomach.
  10. Don’t do anything you don’t have to do. End of story.

One Response to “Springtime Sniffles”

  1. 1 Alexa-Lunchtime Explorer

    This is possibly the best “sick” remedy I’ve ever heard.

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