By now you know I am a teacher and I am pregnant, or at least you should if you have been paying attention. So, one thing I didn’t realise when I signed up for this job is that there is a scientific formula proving the younger the age group you teach, the more likely you are to get sick.
It’s like all those young bodies haven’t developed enough of a hard shell to keep their germs to themselves. As an adult, generally speaking, unless something is compromising your immune system, your immunity gets built up enough that you rarely get sick. However, sad news flash: the more pregnant you are the more your immune system weakens because all your body’s focus is on cooking the baby. So, as you can probably deduce from the build up, I have been sick, for two months. I missed getting strep throat (knocking on wood over here) by a hair, but the plain old regular cold hit me right in the face – literally. Now, if I had had strep throat they could have given me antibiotics. But, for just a little old sinus infection and head cold, I was basically patted on the arm, told to rest, drink lots of liquids and ride it out. I could take very light over-the-counter remedies to combat the mucus suffocating me, but honestly it was like putting a Hello Kitty band-aid on a gaping head wound.
So, clever mama-to-be that I am, I devised my own remedies to medicate myself …since chugging codeine wasn’t an option.
1. Warm Laundry
Doing laundry when you are sick isn’t fun but if you just stick a couple towels or a blanket in your dryer for 20 minutes, the pleasure of those toasty threads is unbelievable. It’s even better if you can convince your partner in crime to warm them right before bedtime, then you can fall asleep with it on your ever-aching pregnant body.
2. The Magic Bullet
Yes, the one from the infomercial. I guess any blender will do but I found cold things tasted better to my sore, mucus-coated throat. Just popping in Vitamin C-packed fruit, and a splash of juice was the ticket to a sweet paradise for me. Adding a neon pink straw made it even better and reminded me of the twisty straw I got when I was sick as a kid.
3. Take and Bake Bread
This was actually something I told my husband about when I was coming back from my third (yes, three times) round of the stomach flu and was eating the BRAT (bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast) diet. They are rolls that are almost cooked but not quiet- 15 minutes in your oven and my goodness, it’s a tiny bite of heaven. It’s as close as I will ever come to fresh baked bread coming out of my oven.
4. Vicks VapoRub
Mock if you must but rubbing this gooey gel on my face, neck, and chest was orgasmic if I do say so myself. My god, the person who invented that stuff should be given a medal!
Not just any humidifier, but the kind that has the optional stars and moon night light on the top in different colours. I lay in my bed and watch it on the ceiling and breathe in Vicks VapoRub fumes. It’s like my little house is an over-the-counter crack house. It gave me something to do and now it’s one less thing I have to purchase for the baby! Woo Hoo!
6. Bathrobe and slippers
I tend to run warm but I have a husband that believes in head to toe blanketry when you are sick. I grew up in a house that tended toward arctic during the winter. So walking around in nothing but my nightie was fine for me, but gave my husband the heebie geebies. This is where the zipper robe and matching slippers (thank you, sainted partner teacher) came in handy. I could throw that on over my nightie and he felt like I was covered up and I felt like I wasn’t!
When I got tired of trying to sleep upright in our bed, I shuffled downstairs to the recliner – best of both worlds. There I was, laying back enough to sleep but not so much that I became a mouth breather.
8. Hamburgers – Comfort Food
Any kind of comfort food would do, but as the week wore on and I felt like I was going to climb the walls from all the bed rest, my comfort food of choice was a burger. To be exact a hamburger from a local joint, brought in by friends. Not only did I get to do a little socializing from my recliner, but I got fed something greasy, warm and delicious. Now if that doesn’t cure a head cold I don’t know what will.
9. Hot showers
The steamier the bathroom the better. Just bend forward and let it all go. It’s gross even for me to write about but it works.
I discovered “21 Jump Street”. (Yeah, yeah, I know. I said discovered. I was too young to watch it the first time around.) But now I know why so many people think Johnny Depp is so hot. Not that he isn’t attractive now, but there was something so cute and boy next door about him back them. I watched the first two seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy” having missed those too. Man, that show makes way more sense now. A little asinine television watching will always cure what ails you. Next in my queue is “Little House on the Prairie”.
11. Sweet Messages
Ok, I know this sounds cheesy but honestly, when you are home sick for as long as I have been texts from my husband warmed my heart and eased my aches and pains. Or a little laughter delivered in the form of video clips from one of my favourite movies (“All the Real Girls” – see it, you’ll thank me) from my sister helped me to forget that I couldn’t breathe. She always went for the beefier Peter DeLuise character in 21 Jump Street, so our tastes run in comforting parallel.
12. Understanding Family
I wanted company but what I really needed was a little help with the everyday chores like laundry and dishes – ahhh, Mama’s. Even at 31 it’s nice to have a mum that will come and bail you out every once in awhile. Wait, “especially” at 31, it’s nice.
13. Fancy Hands
Yeah, those plastic things you see at the Bed Bath and Beyond check out. Those things you mock and say “Who BUYS this crap?” You know not what you are missing: buy. They are fabulous and do the trick to rub out tired muscles for the pregnant kind and for the not pregnant husband, who is picking up all the loose ends while you rest, drink lots of fluids, and tough it out through the cold.
So folks, there you have it, 13 things I did to make myself feel better. I am sure you have plenty to add and since I know I will be sick again before my March 14th due date, I’d love to hear about your “non-medicinal” remedies.