has arrived early to this neighborhood. I'm the fourth person in my immediate
area to contract the annual virus. It never fails. I get through the worst of
winter, then just as the weather is full of sunshine, my house is full of
tissues and the sound of sneezing.
Every mother has a personal arsenal of weapons to fight these ailments: most
learned during childhood, some acquired through happenstance, and a precious few
transmitted by other wise women. Yes, I know that last sounded rather sexist.
Okay, there is probably a man somewhere who knows how to comfort a cold, and
didn't learn that information from a woman, but I haven't met him. Medical
science is fairly helpless when dealing with colds, which last the same length
of time whether treated or not. My son, the physician, may be brilliant when
dealing with more complex conditions, but when it comes to a cold, he must
resort to the same homely measures I taught him.
Here are a few helpful hints for you. Naturally, some readers may disagree with
my notions, and certainly all of you will have many more. However, since
Springtime colds are rampant, and I have the balabusta bully pulpit, so
to speak, it is hoped that some of these ideas will make the sniffles easier for
you. Obviously, I have no medical qualifications, and strongly suggest that you
check any ideas with your physician before trying them.
The greatest modern invention for dealing with colds is the coated or
lubricant-treated tissue. There are several brands of these, and they're worth
every penny. Any tissue seems soft for the first few sneezes, but after a while
the silkiest of them feel like sandpaper on a tired nose. Using one of the
treated types really helps. As an added measure, dab a tiny bit of petroleum
jelly on your nose every so often, for extra protection.
The greatest old invention for easing sore throats is Slivovitz. No, I'm not a
lush, and don't recommend anyone try to chug-a-lug the stuff. However, when
discussing the use of spirits for medicinal purposes, Slivovitz definitely
belongs in the hall of fame, so I'm going to tell you how to use it. Pour a
small shot glass, which should be enough to last for an entire day. Once every
hour or two, dip your tongue in the glass, then allow the vapors to clear your
head, and slightly numb your throat. You don't need to actually sip it; a very
small amount works just fine. It's very aromatic, and much more pleasant than
either eucalyptus or menthol.
Hot spiced orangeade is a very nice way to get your Vitamin C. This is
especially so, because although tea with lemon is tasty, everyone likes a bit of
variety. To make the orangeade, boil a quart of water with eight whole cloves
and three cinnamon sticks. Add one cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and
sweeten or not, as you prefer. Using honey as a sweetener may be yummy, but
won't help your cold.
The most effective way to treat a fever is with a cool bath, which will lower
your body temperature almost immediately. Too many people bundle up and perspire
heavily when they have a cold. This makes life very unpleasant for others who
must be around them, and serves no healing purpose. Keeping clean and changing
pajamas frequently, makes the viral experience easier on all who are involved.
Although chicken soup is wonderful stuff, and generally referred to as Jewish
Penicillin, there is only so much which can be gracefully consumed by anyone.
Since tomato soup is another great source for Vitamin C, I highly recommend it
as at least an occasional substitute. Variety is important for those who have
nothing to do save eat, drink, and blow their noses. Make sure you have plenty
of ways to make forcing fluids as enjoyable as can be.