Monday, March 15, 2010

How to Beat the Common Cold

If you're at all like me, you're probably feeling one of two things this time of year: joy at the steadily increasing temperatures...and swollen sinuses.

You name it and I'm probably allergic to it...and it's probably always within a 3 ft. radius of me.  The beautiful Washington, DC Cherry Blossoms are actually harbingers of evil to me and my outdoor running.  That Cherry Blossom 10 Miler I've been so excited about?  Yeah, I'm bringing my inhaler and doing a double snort of afrin before I walk outside. 

Nothing like nature to ruin a good outside run.

So last Wednesday, late evening, I started to get those tale tell signs of an on-coming cold.  I am the disinfectant queen.  Anyone who was sick at my office (which was everyone) was asked to stay at the door of my cube while I rinsed off with my massive bottle of disinfectant.  I guess everyone has their breaking point because Wednesday, after living for 2 weeks around the infected, I started to get a scratchy throat.  Then the nasal swelling...

Thursday was tough cookies.  I had an important meeting that morning, then afterwords, it was like being hit in the head with a frying pan.  But, as of Saturday afternoon, I was feeling right as rain.  I have the secret to beating the common cold and/or allergies.

1) Buy a neti pot.  You can find one for like 10 bucks at CVS.  I know it looks weird, but trust me on this one.  Using a nasal cleanser (that isn't a drug) is amazingly helpful.  You get rid of the junk in your sinuses, keep the from getting dried out, and generally reduce swelling.  Apparently the Chicago Tribune did an article on their healing power:

I try to avoid nasal sprays because I know people who have lost a good part of their sense of smell because of them.  Avoid!  My doctor gave me some other oral medication (which I only use during serious allergy season) so I didn't have to use a spray...however...

2) Get the Afrin, don't use it longer than 4 days.  Afrin is ridiculous.  It's like snorting draino.  Then all of a sudden, boom you can breathe.  I have no idea what causes it or why, but it happens.  The only problem is that it's highly addictive.  Not like shoot it into my veins addicting, but wow I can't breathe without it addicting.  4 days is my max.  I use it 2x a day, one spray each side, right after the neti pot.

3) Sudafed in the morning.  While when I'm sick I can sleep through anything, I never want to take the chance, so I avoid sudafed at night, but in the morning, it goes a long way to keeping things dry.

And bingo.

Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the tri workshop on Sunday.  Our car is...well, broken.  The shop won't have it back to us until tomorrow, likely, so getting to Fairfax wasn't an option.

As a heads up, we'll still have Tuesday links tomorrow and likely another post that afternoon about my project with NYC J, but then I'll be on my way to CO to see my brother and spend time trying not to kill myself on the slopes of Copper Mountain!

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