I used to accept sickness without struggle. When my throat got that scratch and my nose started to run, I curled up into a ball and prepared to endure as a victim. Viruses can’t be fought with medicine, I thought. Head colds just have to pass through in their own time. That’s how I lived for over twenty-four years. That might be how you live. Well, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way. You can fight. You can win.
For most of my life, I averaged two colds a year and they remained for weeks at a time. When I got sick, I drank a little more orange juice and got some more sleep. But no matter what I did, the cold lingered for too long and left me with a nagging cough. My old roommate in college even gave it a nickname, Mr. Cough. I felt helpless and frustrated. “Do I have a weak immune system?” I wondered. Is there anything I can do?
Have you ever heard the saying, necessity is the mother of invention? Oftentimes we need an external motivator to spur us into action. About two years ago I began to date a wonderful woman named Nicole. Nicole lived about six hours away from me, which meant that our meetings were usually separated by weeks, if not months. In that situation, you really don’t want to cancel a meeting, or have your time spoiled by feeling like death. So, when a time came that I was to drive to New York while I was coming down with a head cold, I finally decided to do everything I could to fight it.
Here is what I did.
- Took a regular Vitamin D supplement – I had started taking vitamin D earlier in the winter. There were two main reasons for this. The first was that I kept reading about the benefits of vitamin D (including immunity) and the second was that vitamin D is made when we stand in the sun, so I figured it must be important.
- Started on Zinc right away – I bought both a spray, Zicam, and a lozenge, Cold Eeze, right at the onset of symptoms. Zinc is shown to reduce the severity and duration of a cold when taken at the beginning. I went back and forth between these products for the three days I felt ill.
- Chewed on Airborne – Airborne is loaded with vitamin C and other vitamins, herbs, and minerals that are supposed to boost immunity. You take up to 4 at a time, and I did this at least twice a day.
- Shot my sinuses with saline solution – This is another method that has been shown to reduce the length and severity of the common cold. You mix a saline solution with water and shoot it up your nostrils. It flushes out the gunk and brings down some of the irritation to open up your nasal cavities.
- Drank plenty of fluids – This is obvious, and you hear it all of the time, but you have to drink a lot. I drank orange juice, water, Odwalla juice, and ginger ale.
- Used Thera-flu to help me sleep – I understood that as my cold progresses, it becomes more uncomfortable to sleep. So, I made an effort to get as much sleep as possible early in the illness. I bought Thera-flu in packet form that I mixed with hot water.
- Prayer – I prayed for myself, and others prayed for me as well to get over my illness quickly. After many years of suffering through the winters with coughs and colds, I was fed up. I asked God for help.
This is my regiment. I got better after only three days. That had never happened to me before. Most of my previous head colds lasted for one to three weeks. I share it with you so that you can have hope. There are things you can do to fight the common cold. There’s a way to win.
UPDATE: I got another head cold on 11/7/12 and applied this regiment. On 11/10/12 I am over it. It works.