As a former psych major, I was very impressed with the concept that STRESS plays a part in one’s physical illnesses, as well as mental disorders. The good old Social Adjustment Rating Scale by Holmes and Rahe assigns points to every life event that can be seen as stressful, and of course I’ve racked up a few this past year, what with getting married, moving, retiring, many more that go along with those things. So I understand that I am justified in having more colds and illnesses at this time; it’s only natural. I remember that whenever I’d take my kids to a new daycare center, they’d all catch the local illness and be wiped out one by one. And then regenerate. Thank you, Lord.
Being the curious fellow of the human race that I am, I want to know how I can feel better.
You go to the family doctor here in this college town, and they dose you up with the antibiotic-du-jour. But only if you have additional symptoms that would indicate more than a cold: AN INFECTION. Yeah. If you happen to look receptive (?) to the health care professional, they might half-heartedly suggest using a neti pot. I understand, they want to boost you on your way to recovery, and I want to be boosted out of their office and on the way to recovery, as well. And, if you are coughing like an absolute screaming banshee, you must go pay the professional a visit to get some good cough elixir that’s not available to the poor sick slob over the counter.
But, what do the people do, who have no health insurance, who can’t afford to go straight to the doctor and pay 100 bucks per family member for the visit and who knows how much else for the antibiotic-du-jour and non-Mickey-Mouse cough medicine? I mean, you’re looking at hundreds of dollars of paycheck, just evaporating, just going out to people who don’t need your money as much as you do. No wonder people are walking around, coughing and sneezing all over the rest of us who have variably compromised immunity because they racked up one too many stressful events on the Social Adjustment Rating Scale, or worse: an autoimmune disease that just doesn’t ever go away. We are the world. We are the children.
And, even with the high-dollar meds under the belt, I still feel hagged-out and lousy.
I’m looking for other best bets in this scheme. The Word of Wisdom–some taboos like tobacco and alcohol, advice to go for mild food and herbs, and wheat for Man (whole wheat, the one with the big fiber content). If you don’t know what I’m referring to as the Word of Wisdom, I know some Mormon missionaries who will be happy to come and talk to you about it. Edgar Cayce’s castor oil pack. Chinese mustard plaster. Yoga. Hot oil massage. Salt water gargling. Meditation (OMMMMM hack, hack MMMMMMM). Or, as James says is the Army’s cure for everything from blisters to pneumonia: drink more water.
OK, rant about the common cold is over.