Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When Mom Gets Sick

It was bound to happen.

Weather changes, small children everywhere, and a husband bringing home airplane germs...

I had my first cold of the season.

Remember when I posted about how my teaching career prepared me for motherhood?

This is another situation.

When I was teaching, it was more work to prepare sub plans, get coverage, and sort out what happened when I was gone, than it was to just take a swig of DayQuil and head in. Yes, being a music teacher with no voice wasn't the easiest thing in the world, but it was easier than trying to come up with plans that could be done by someone with no knowledge of music. Not to mention the fact that every absence was meticulously scrutinized and counted. I never even came close to my allotment of sick days, but I was always a little nervous when I was called into the principal's office (and I was, more often that I like to admit) to discuss why I needed to take sick days, given a full breakdown of how many times I had gotten sick, compared to how many times other staff members had, and other district members had. I must have missed the memo that instructed us that, despite being in close contact with small children who were sick, teachers were not supposed to be sick.

No, I am not kidding. My principal adored data. And loved perfect attendance awards. She LOVED me when Madison was going through her issues. We definitely did not see eye to eye on that one.

Well I think my girls sent that memo out as well. They could not care less that Mommy's nose is stuffed. In fact, they've been compensating by waking up earlier and being extra needy. Nothing says "please climb all over me and try to get in my face" like sniffle or cough. And the two little girls who were so happy to play together suddenly need Mommy to physically get up break up a scuffle over tea sets and baby dolls every time she gets situated on the couch with her tea and blanket.

Clearly, the answer is: Moms aren't allowed to get sick. Or if they are, they better not show it.

But like I told my principal, when you come into contact with hundreds of germy children a week, sometimes it's just going to happen.

And like my principal, the girls didn't buy it. DayQuil and Sudafed would keep my sniffles to a minimum, but I really didn't want to be popping them for a week while letting this cold really settle into my throat and sinuses.

So I scoured Pinterest and found a natural remedy to knock out a cold. I'd tried Zicam and Airborne, but they don't seem terribly effective for me. This one, I have to say, seems to live up to the hype. I wouldn't say I'm 100%, but I'm almost back to normal within two days. I read various recipes, but this is what I did with what I had in the house.

Here's what you need. Basically these are natural anti-virals.
  • Honey (local and raw is best - luckily I'd just picked some up at the orchard since my allergies kick up in the fall)
  • Cinnamon - sticks that you grate are best, I had ground, again, it worked fine.
  • Apple Cider vinegar (NOT regular vinegar. Most people made a push for brand name unfiltered vinegar with "the mother", but store brand filtered was all I had. When I replace it, I'll make sure to get the good stuff. But if it worked for food poisoning, it had to work for a cold).
And here's what you do.

A few times a day, mix a concoction of these three ingredients, and down it.

The first pin I found suggested mixing two tablespoons of vinegar into warm water with the honey and cinnamon. I thought that sounded fine, so I prepared it in the cup I used for tea. I thought the honey, cinnamon and water would mask the vinegar.

I was wrong. The vinegar was completely overpowering, and drinking the full cup was awful. I couldn't taste the honey or cinnamon at all. Every sip was like drinking directly from the vinegar bottle. I added more and more honey, but it wasn't doing a darn thing. When balancing drinking a full cup of hot vinegar with the idea of having a cold...I was leaning toward just dealing with the cold.

It seems I wasn't the only one to feel that way, because I found another pin that suggested just taking the vinegar alone (hold your nose and down it like a shot) and then mixing the honey and cinnamon into a sort of syrup.

That I could do. I still had to talk myself into taking that horrific shot (I used the medicine cup that came with the Children's Advil), but when followed by that delicious honey and cinnamon mixture (no precise measurements - I used two baby spoonfuls of honey and mixed in enough cinnamon to get the consistency I was looking for), it wasn't that bad. Certainly it was something I could convince myself to do twice a day.

Result: Success!

Three doses was all it took. I started feeling like it was definitely a cold and not allergies on Friday evening, found this remedy Saturday morning when I was feeling like garbage, and felt almost normal by Sunday afternoon. 

I'm a believer - this remedy means that I don't need to get sick. At least until the girls are old enough to understand the value in curling up under a blanket.
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