Monday, November 8, 2010

An epic battle. (勇壮な戦闘。)

Or, how Edo fights off a cold in rural not-so-urban Japan.

It's pretty epic from my end of things, I'll have you know.

I'm rather hoping that I'm not a special case, which would thus render this post's purpose as a sort of guide to my fellow expats rather useless...

But we'll just assume, for the sake of argument and today's topic, that I am as normal as it gets when we're talking about physical health and move on from there.

(... even though based on all evidence we know that that cannot possibly be true.)

It's pretty basic advice, anyway, so let's just go with it, eh?

1) Cheat Vitamins

Take as many vitamins as you can safely get down your gullet in a go.

I mean it. Multi-vitamins, Zinc supplements, acidophilius, calcium, vitamin D... you name it I take it.

... admittedly, I am more paranoid than your average citizen, and the vitamin D is actually for my thyroid issues, but hey.

I say "cheat" because I have most of these vitamins shipped to me from back home. I only take Japanese-made zinc supplements... because quite frankly they're only to fight off this cold and my multi-vitamin has me covered normally. However, even this one concession to the native pharmaceutical industry has me wary--my American multi-vitamin has 15mg of zinc, and calls that my 100% daily requirement. My Japanese zinc supplement has 14mg, and calls it 200%.

.... right.

Since it's on top of my multi-vitamin, I don't worry so much, but at the same time... someone's being misinformed here.

2) Eat.

If you're on a diet stop it. If you have no appetite, tough luck. You need food, and lots of it.

Good food, preferably, with lots of tasty protein.

Because I don't care how fat you whine about being, if you spend your illness starving yourself, I'm going to have a hard time feeling sorry for you when it takes you a month to get over that cold.

It's embarrassing how many people do this. It's even more embarrassing that a lot of them are women. I  blame the media.

Oh, and, of course, general stupidity. That's always a factor. Because, holy crap. Use your brain.

3) Drink.

Preferably water, or sports drinks of some kind. I have drunk lemon-lime gatorade when sick since very young, and so may be biased, but you do need to replace them electrolytes when you're feeling crummy. I prefer Lemon Water or Vitamin Water when in Japan, as Gatorade is not readily available, and being forced to drink Pocari Sweat and Aquarius non-stop during my bout with influenza in Kyoto has kind of put me off the stuff.

I've seen Glaceau Vitamin Water in some stores, which is my latest drink-of-choice when sick in America, but I can't help but think that it would be ridiculously overpriced. Not to mention the fact that it's much more difficult to find than I would like when ill.

Don't drink soda, unless your stomach is feeling raunchy--then some sort of carbonated lemon-lime beverage is in order.

Definitely don't drink diet soda. The crap already gives you cancer slowly, and by being diet, it removes the sugar, which is what (theoretically) is helping that upset stomach in the first place.

Try to avoid caffeinated things, as they only dehydrate you.

How do you know if you're drinking enough?

You have to pee every damn hour.

Inconvenient? Yes. Healthy? You betcha.

4) Sleep.

That's right. Easy, fun, and refreshing, and you get to do it as a cure!

Ever wonder why you always feel best first thing in the morning when sick? Because you just spent 8 or so hours fighting the nasties with no distractions. Sleep is important, and your body needs it.

5) Wash./Be Considerate.

This goes for those sick and those surrounded by sick people. Wash your hands, wash the things you touch, wash everything. Even better, try not to touch things so much. Pick things up with hands covered by sleeves. Touch objects with as few fingers as possible.

And for the love of god do not touch people unnecessarily. Don't high-five, don't hand-shake, don't hug. Don't hover over people, don't come within sneezing distance, don't pat people on the back, and don't get offended when they're unwilling to take something directly from your hand.

I should actually name this section THINK. Because that's really all you need to do.

And now we get into more... homeopathic stuff.

6) Garlic.

Swallowing garlic cloves is apparently popular nowadays. You're supposed to take three the day you first feel symptoms, then one or two every day afterward until you're the very picture of health.

Ideally you should swallow them whole, slightly crunched, but even I can't manage that,and go instead for chopping each up into little pieces.

It's rough going--I gagged on at least five bits when my water and size calculations weren't quite perfect--and I don't know yet if it works. I feel fairly decent today after getting three down yesterday, but... I threw up the one I popped this morning.

Advice? Don't take them on an empty stomach. Especially if you're me, woman-with-bitchy-stomach-that-enjoys-making-life-difficult.

7) Vitamin C/Echinacea

The former is for when you have the cold, and the latter for prevention. Both have been proven and disproven countless times, but... hey. Why not, am I right?

Also, this is pretty much the reason I originally picked up Lemon Water, way back during study abroad when feeling a bit of a tickle in my throat during a shopping trip--who can say no to a sports drink with 1000mg of Vitamin C smooshed in?

...admittedly, there is the fact that your body will only take so much, and then proceed to pee out the rest, but... hey.

Anyway. Due to the massive amount of lurgy going around at work currently, I knew it was only a matter of time before I started feeling a bit off--sure enough, I felt funny on Friday, and have continued on as such.

Here's hoping my battle plan proves successful, eh?

This is Edo, signing off and hoping that her health soon returns in spades, because it really sucks to be sick.

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