Saturday, January 17, 2015

Lessons I have learned from my own experiences: some basic ways of fighting flu

At this time of the year, I warn you that there is a very bad flu hanging in the air waiting to fall upon anybody with weaker immune system. I have been engaged in a fierce war against the virus over the past one week or so and to be honest with you, I had a very terrible experience. Well, I guess I don’t have to describe the degree of pain and discomfort one experiences especially when the flu reaches its climax. Everybody must have gone through it at least a number of times. You may not believe me but I even wished if I had a supersonic jet to fly to the Poles because I have heard that in the polar region, you won’t catch cold since the virus cannot survive there. However, things are improving now and it seems I am ultimately winning the war. While I am about to declare victory over the virus now, I have learned a few lessons out of my own experience which I would like to share with you so that next time when you are challenged, you will have better weapons at hand to fight back. People say prevention is better than cure and it’s always important to be prepared well in advance so that you don’t have to panic at the last moment.

The worst thing about flu is that it’s a viral disease and hence, there is no specific treatment for it. When you go to hospital with the flu, the doctor will only give you some antibiotics to boost your immune system and painkillers to reduce your headache. So at the end of the day, it is only your own immune system that has to fight the virus. While the body immune system will do its duty, I think there are certain things we can do to help ourselves stay healthy so that our body will be in a better position to respond to the foreign invasion.

The most important thing about dealing with flu is to be able to recognize the initial symptoms of the virus so that we can take necessary measures on time. In my case, it noticeably began since Saturday evening (10th Jan., 2015). Something seemed to tease my throat suddenly and I started to cough. In a bad twist of circumstances, I suggested to my wife if we could have puri for dinner. On Sunday morning, I was the first person to get up after my two sons. I found that there was some leftover rice from the previous day’s lunch and decided to fry it for them. After I served them, there was some leftover and even I had it for my breakfast. Then again in the afternoon, my wife had brought some samosa which I also had for my lunch. By late evening that day, I began to experience some headache and immediately I realized I had taken oily foods for the past three consecutive meals. I even checked my blood-pressure with my self-monitoring BP instrument but my BP had not gone so high to cause such headaches. But I knew it was something to do with oily foods which I had taken before. I still did not take it seriously though.

I continued to go to office from Monday and although the virus was taking a toll on me day by day, I had a lot of things to do to meet the deadline that was closing in. During the lunch break in the office cafeteria on Tuesday, one of my former lecturers of the Royal Institute of Management advised me to take honey with ginger. I had heard before that honey provides instant energy to the body and enhances the immune system because since it’s already digested by bees, our body system can absorb it instantly. But until he advised me, I had not thought of trying it out. So when I got home that evening, I asked my wife to prepare the honey-ginger solution and I had it. It seemed to cleanse my throat and made me feel better for a while. I had it the next morning too, but I think, I started this treatment too late. It seemed that the virus had become so strong that even this traditionally tested treatment solution did not appear effective. So what I have realized is that if we take this treatment earlier on time, it can prevent the virus. I take it more as a precautionary measure than a cure. So the next time you begin to experience the symptoms of flu, this solution can certainly help you stay safe. I have tried it before and it had helped me, although it could not help me much this time because I started taking it very late. I have heard that if you can afford to have a spoon of honey every evening, you will never catch flu in your lifetime.

My flu began to get worse by Wednesday. I struggled to complete the quarterly progress report I was working on but I could not finish it. So, I had to take it home because the next day was the deadline for its submission. For dinner that evening, my wife had prepared tomato soup as an accompanying appetizer. My brother-in-law who had joined us for the dinner had advised me not to take tomatoes because he had heard that it makes the flu worse. But I ignored his advice and went ahead with the full course meal. I continued to work on my reports after dinner because I had planned to complete at least about 90% of the work before I went to bed. But by 11 o’clock that night, I began to shiver uncontrollably due to high fever and could not complete the work. I took two PCM tablets and squeezed under the heap of four blankets. Still I was feeling so cold that I had to put a blower inside the blanket for additional heat. When I woke up at around 1 a.m., my fever had subsided a bit but I was having quite a bad headache. I continued to work on my report for next few hours and dropped back to bed at around 4 a.m. The next day, I knew I needed to take rest but I had to drag myself to office to complete and submit the reports to the donor agency. Somehow by noon, I completed the entire reports and submitted them to my boss for her final opinions. She gave me a Sinarest tablet which seemed to calm me down to some extent. I came back home bit early that afternoon. My wife had got me some Sinarest tablets and cough syrup. I took leave yesterday to take rest. I know a good rest is important for us to fight the flu. A doctor advises us to take good rest when you have flu because I believe when you are at rest, there is no unnecessary loss of energy and that your body immune system can become stronger. For the first time in a week, I had a sound sleep last night. Now I am feeling better. I am still taking the medication though.

To conclude, I think we should try out the following and see if they really help us remain immune to flu:

  • Do not take oily foods;

  • Do not take tomatoes;

  • Take enough rest;

  • Take honey with ginger or Indian black pepper or turmeric;

  • Eat well;

  • Last but not least, take Sinarest or any medication that can re-stabilize your body fast.

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