Coming down off a rare occurrence of my catching a nasty cold several weeks ago, I realized it has been so long since I’ve been sick that I’d forgotten how much I really don’t like it. One of my relatives and I spent extended time visiting a patient in the health care system where likely we both came down with the same cold that was being innocently passed around in that building. Attempting to be so careful not to spread it to others, I was washing my hands often and disposing of the used tissues from the waste baskets. I was also keen in keeping countertops, common work areas, light switch plates, and door knobs dis-infected.
When our bodies are fighting a battle with a naughty virus, we must also be careful not to think we can continue to work at the same pace as normal. The average amount of energy spent in a normal day’s work must be divided so that it may be used towards the fight against infection. As much as we think we can go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time with a bug running around in our systems, we really must also give our bodies more downtime with extended rest. My relative who came down with it is almost completely back to normal with the exception of an occasional cough.
In these past two weeks I have encountered so terribly many people who’ve come down with a cold. I’m staying a bit more guarded until I’m back to 100% before I get to much out in the crowded stores just in case I should catch a mutated version of what is currently on its way out of my system. I’ve likely consumed gallons of hot green tea with honey and lemon these past weeks and find it to be about the best remedy for keeping the my fluids up. I think it really even helps with the little aches and pains that accompany the other annoyances. Some people use Tea Tree Oil boiled with water to create a mist to help keep the sinuses clear and flowing as well as a salt water solution to help clear their sinus passages.
Several of my clients swear by these natural remedies. What most people don’t consider is the likelihood of re-infection from fabrics we come in contact with during our illnesses. It is also important to make sure all clothing we wore gets washed, including all our sheets and pillow cases, rugs, curtains, and anything else that’s washable. My grandmother used to go to the extent of hanging coats that couldn’t be washed along with bed coverlets out on her clotheslines in freezing temperatures to ensure again there being something that would cause a re-occurrence of a cold or flu. She was a wise woman who lived to be at an exceptionally ripe old age.
Taking a little extra time to rid our surroundings of possible mutated viruses helps to not only guard against someone else becoming sick, but providing an added precaution against our possible re-infection.
These past two weeks I’ve been finding myself eating far too much fast food simply because of my attempting to crunch time. Indeed fast food has its place in our hurried up world, but making a daily routine of it is not to my liking. Today, I was waiting for someone to arrive and struck up a conversation with several employees behind a service counter. We found ourselves on the subject of natural foods and began talking about how people have become acclimated to eating things that are no longer tasty or healthy for us. One woman said that if you put a dish of butter outside with a dish of margarine, the birds will eat the butter but won’t touch the margarine. She also went on to say that the chemical makeup of margarine is one molecule different than plastic. Oh Mercy! If that’s correct, I’m glad I never had a hankering for oleo margarine. I don’t even like drinking beverages from plastic or styrofoam cups. Whatever liquid that’s in those types of containers always taste different to me.
One of the gentlemen that was there joined in by saying that as chance would have it, there was a half loaf of bread left in a camper for several months and when discovered, there was no mould or de-composition of the bread other than it was pretty stiff. I haven’t left any bread long enough to become old, but many years ago I found a partial loaf of bread in a refrigerator that was indeed moldy. The types of preservatives that are placed in food products must be more complex and state-of-the art to give the products a longer shelf life. There are a handful of people who are very sensitive to MSG, a.k.a. monosodium glutemate. What they claim it does to them is either upset their stomachs, give headaches, or develop a feeling of being bloated. I watched a program several years ago on PBS about how the Greeks and Romans made their form of MSG from decaying minnow-sized fish. I guess it was considered a primitive form of a taste enhancer.
Just before my customer arrived, I suggested to the employees an idea regarding how people could start becoming more “Blue Zone” in their diets. If people would use their days off to really work at making their main meal of the day from as much natural produce they can find, they would become standardized in their awareness of eating healthy. Those meals, from the appetizers, to the main courses, and including the desserts, would be created as much from scratch as possible and using as many all natural ingredients they could find. I assured them that if they would do it long enough, it would become a habit within the family unit and likely more days added in the future. Unless someone’s taste buds are dead, they will be able to tell the differences in taste. Someone told me not too many months ago that she would rather eat less quantity due to the cost of eating natural, rather than eating more of something that costs less simply because mass production has lowered the cost of quantity. I thought about that concept and fully agreed. For a country that is facing increased health problems with over-weight people, it would only make sense to consider the “less is more” idea regarding our food. Now, thinking about it, my mouth is watering and my taste buds are screaming, “Let’s all cry for stir fry!”
Seems our community is being over-loaded with the seasonal colds and flu. At least over half of the people I’ve encountered these past days are either coming down with something, sweating thru something, or getting over something. I think part of it was the early arrival of the bitter cold and then in later days, it started warming up to above normal temperatures. They say that there are generally more people catching something contagious when the winter temps are above normal rather than being normal for the time. Likely the freezing temperatures help to keep the germs from spreading.
I spent some time last week with a client of mine in a large building with a giant centralized heating and cooling system, and to my surprise both of us came down with colds. I’m wondering if these centralized systems help in the spread of colds and flu. There was a home that I had listed some years ago that had an attachment on the furnace where every time the furnace would kick on, the machine would start running. I believe it was an ultra-violet air purifier that was created to help kill any and all germs that moved thru the airflow. I asked the owners about it and they said they believed it really worked because they rarely came down with anything contagious.
I’ve also noticed yet again how people who are not feeling well are just a bit more trying than normal and find myself having to accommodate for it when working with them. I spoke with a younger gentleman several days ago about his second bout with severe pneumonia. He was to the point where one of his lungs collapsed and needed surgery. I insisted he be extra careful so to keep up his resistance as well as become more precautionary with his health. I had a chat with a worker tonight who is likely coming down with something and asked that she take it a bit easier with work in order to keep up the strength to fight off infection. One of the ageless tonics for getting well faster is simply making sure you get enough rest. I’m not saying we should make ourselves bedridden, but to cut back on trying to work as if there is nothing wrong with our bodies.
I’ve noticed one of the big culprits in getting oneself down either mentally or physically is stress. I remember too well a woman with whom I worked with many years ago who had an overwhelmingly time sensitive job and did the work of likely two people. She appeared to be sick more than well. I can’t imagine allowing a job to have that great an effect one’s overall health. I asked a young man this evening about how his new job is doing and he said it was getting better now that he started realizing that he can’t please everyone all the time. I mentioned in a light way a favorite that someone once told me and it went something like this, “I finally got over being paranoid when I came the the realization that the world really is out to get me.” So cute yet it places a bit of perspective on how we react to the workings and movements of the world around us.
If we don’t take care of the most important person in our lives, then who will? I don’t think anyone really likes being sick other than those who have a few mental issues. The title of this piece is German for “Being in the state of sickness”. If I would’ve used “illness” as the title, likely no one would have read it. Right?
I had the unfortunate opportunity to do a walk-thru on a home today that was quite the shocker.
The resident has recently been moved to a nursing home. I was asked to do a valuation on the property for the fiduciary. I picked up the key and pulled up to the house which looked relatively normal on the outside. I walked up the front steps, unlocked the door and walked inside. I can’t begin to describe what I saw and above all smelled when I stepped inside. If you could just take a moment and let your mind wander and envision your reaction if someone had numerous cat litter boxes that had not been cleaned for perhaps months. Then I want you to pretend in your mind that you were the world’s smallest person just tall enough to peek over the boxes and take a real good whiff. Oh Mercy! I thought I was going to drop to my knees. I didn’t make it completely through the home because I was beginning to feel woozy from the smell and my eyes were starting to burn. The animals that lived with that person must have had free reign of the house and sprayed and dirtied anywhere and everywhere.
This made me think of how many people there are living in the United States that don’t have relatives, friends or neighbors that do welfare checks. Older people who are living alone tend to draw inward due to the fears of being taken advantage of by all the “terrible” people out there that they read about and see on the television. The more they draw inward, the more the justify the condition of their surroundings. It is a trade off for them. They either live with the status quo as they believe it to be or take their chances with the “evil” outside world. I do hope more and more people will learn to take the time to step out of their own personal circles and check to see what’s happening in the world around them. Perhaps there is someone under the radar close to them that really does need help.