Tuesday, September 20, 2022

No, I am not really a nurse, but after being under the weather last week, I felt it might be good to share some thoughts. I started with the tiniest touch of a sore throat that never amounted to anything, that led to sinus headache and congestion, and a tiny bit of a cough. I think it was all due to the ragweed pollen that was very high last week. I get sick every year mid-September! I try to prevent this by showering and washing my hair after being outside. You don’t want to sleep with pollen in your hair and you breathing it in all night long. Well, it usually catches up with me at some point.

I am a big fan of homeopathic remedies. I even avoid taking over the counter stuff unless I really need it. When I take ibuprofen, I take just one.

At the start of a sore throat, I put about a teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water and gargle. This has helped in the past to clear it up and stave off a full blown sore throat for me.

Tom and I are obsessed – and I don’t use that word lightly – with the neti pot. We have been using it for probably 15 years. We each have our own and we run it through the dishwasher to sanitize it well. We only use distilled water in ours because we don’t want to catch a brain amoeba. I’ve heard those are bad. Our kids can be talked into doing it sometimes when they are congested, but they think we are over the top about the neti.

I swear that I think this little contraption cuts my congestion in half. If I would have been congested for 4 days, I am only congested for 2 days. We do it in the shower because it is less messy that way. You put a saline packet in the pot and then pour in warmed up distilled water. You pour the teapot into one nostril and then the other back and forth until your pot is empty. Sorry I said “we” so much. We definitely do not neti together; this is a solitary endeavor when one of us is sick.

I also like to drink tea when I am sick.

This soup makes me feel better. We used to call this Clifford the Big Red Dog soup when our kids were little because the box had his picture on it. They loved it.

I tried Lindsay’s Hot Toddy and I will do that again! It soothed my throat, chest, and helped me sleep like a drunk baby.

I am low key obsessed with Vick’s Vapo Rub. I put a dab under each nostril during the day and when I go to bed. I sometimes use it when I’m not sick. I also did this while wearing a mask to help me breathe. Don’t judge!

If I have a sinus headache, I put ice packs on my cheeks or forehead. I also have a little lavender pillow that you put in the microwave and I can put that on my head.

I am so thankful that I only felt poorly for 5 days or so!

What about you? What are your go-tos when you are sick?


24 thoughts on “Nurse Amy

  1. I have never used the neti pot – but it sounds like it would be wonderful for congestion. Brain amoebas not so much so definitely the distilled water!
    We had Hot Toddy’s last year while vacationing in Boston and tried to make them when we got home. Ours did not turn out so great so I will try Lindsay’s recipe. We used Earl Grey tea and I am wondering if that was the problem!
    Glad you feel better!


    1. You should try it! Brain amoebas would be bad, right? But, we have award winning water in my city and a filter on our tap so Tom says we are probably good. I would be up all night looking for amoeba symptoms, though. So, the price of the distilled water is worth it to me. I don’t think you need tea at all – just an add on that Lindsey does. But, I imagine that Earl Grey could have affected it.


  2. Your title made me laugh. I feel like I am always giving medical advice to people in my family, because most people don’t know what to do or what to take (if need be) when they’re sick. I will take two ibuprofen and one suphedrine if my sinus problem is bad enough- I know this is the case when I have a headache, an earache and if my stomach also hurts. When I’m to that point, the only thing I can do is take medicine. We also use Mucinex when we have a cough…it’s good at breaking it up and helping it to be more productive. These are things we do when we’re seriously sick, like when we all had covid. All of this helped and we were diligent in taking it everyday. We use generic brands for everything and have learned which generic products are good and which are not.

    That being said, I also attribute most ailments to the fact that most of us are dehydrated. Drinking water is my solution to EVERYTHING. I have done something similar to the neti pot before and it did work really well. We don’t have one anymore, but I will take a hot shower and use the steam for that purpose. I’ve been using essential oils lately and am still experimenting with them, but I’ve learned that peppermint oil on my pillow (or under my nose) gets rid of nausea and helps with headaches. I just bought two more scents- ginger and lemon, to take with me when I go out of town to help prevent being seasick. I love Vick’s vapor rub! We have some and use it often. Have you heard the trick about rubbing it on the bottoms of your feet when you’re sick and then sleeping in socks? I’ve never tried it, but I know people who say it works!


    1. I,too, like to tell everyone what to do when they are sick. Let me guess – you are a 2 on the Enneagram like me? We like to help people. We just come by it naturally! I hate to swallow pills, but I have heard Mucinex is the bomb. I want to get more into oils, too. I thought those jars were oils for your carsickness and nausea. Do you also have the little wrist bands called Sea Bands? You should get those. They sit on your pressure points and I have heard they really work!
      I used to do that foot trick for me kids when they were younger, but I hate to sleep in socks!


    2. I’ve done vicks on the bottom of my son’s feet especially when he was little to help with his cough and I swear it helped soothe it and get him some more rest. Could be all in my head but I would still try it!


  3. I think I do everything you do when I feel a bug coming on. The only thing I haven’t tried is Lindsey’s hot toddy. I will definitely try that in the future! I love my neti pot but I have the square bottle version. That Lipton noodle soup has been a family favorite for years!


  4. Oh no, you got it too! I and my family had a really bad cold (yes, it was I that brought it home from school…). Mine lasted for 16 days! So, what do I do? Vitamins of course! Since I’m also prone to uti:s I’ve found a great pill with cranberries and D-vitamin. D-vitamin is a must in this dark country! This time I used a lot of nose spray (no, is that really what it’s called in English!?) because I was scared that the congestion would spread to my ears… my teeth ached! Otherwise: lots of water and lots of sleep!
    I hope you feel better now!


    1. Yup! 16 days is horrible! I forgot about vitamins but I take a multi extra D. Nasal spray is what we usually say. You aren’t supposed to use that for too long. That is the worst when your sinuses make your teeth ache. Many go to the dentist because they think it is a dental problem. Yes, lots of water is true!


  5. My mom swears the Vicks vapo kept covid away for 2.5 years. LOL! I have to say that I like it too and am a bit obsessed with it. I am ok with using medicines so I love NasalCort for congestion and I swear by using Vicks on my chest and feet (with socks of course!) to help with coughs.


  6. I’m glad you are feeling better. Great tips. If I have a headache coming on or feel anxious, I use my jade roller from the fridge and it helps. I love that soup…haven’t had it in ages


    1. Thank you! I hate being sick! Oh, the jade roller is a great idea! I don’t know where mine is since I moved bathrooms, but I bet I could find it and put mine in there, too! That soup is so simple and good!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This past winter was probably as sick as I’d ever been. Since I was pregnant, I couldn’t medicate. The doctors kept telling me I didn’t have a sinus infection. I finally gave in and bought a neti pot. It worked the first time? Then it just didn’t help anymore. I used that thing so much and it never really helped! Ugh. Horrible memories, I don’t think I slept for weeks, and the cough took forever to go away.


    1. I think I remember this. I felt so bad for you! Now, not all neti pots are created equally. I like the style of mine but we have also had the one that looks more like a teapot with a lid. You must get in shower and let your sinuses soften up. Then, do it. If your sinuses are really clogged, it may not work until they loosen up a bit. I usually do this very early in my congestion. Try it again! I am the worst sick person and I am a big baby, so I avoid sick people as much as possible but still won’t go the mask route unless someone forces me.


  8. I am a huge fan of Vick’s! My family makes fun of me a little since I love it so much. A little under my nose is a good way to chase away a headache, and I also put it on every night before bed. Great tips – loved this post.


    1. It is amazing! My little jar has lasted for years, too. I never throw it out! I can’t believe how many comments I received from this post. I guess a lot of us like to store away tips!


  9. Glad you’re feeling better, all good tips! Honestly the thing that helps most for me is sleep. If possible, I know that’s not always the case but it’s what helps me the most. That and keeping hydrated so even if I don’t feel like eating much at least I won’t get dehydrated.


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