Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sick Ramblings

Some sonnabitches are making a whole pile of cash off of common illnesses...

I woke up Sunday morning with a spectacular cough and a fever. Clearly, the whiskey consumed between 12 and 4am hadn't killed that lil' flu bug off at first sign of symptoms, as I had hoped it may. When I finally rolled out of bed, the first stop was the drug store, to stock up on all those anti-illness remedies one requires in such a situation: Tylenol for the fever and chest congestion, NyQuil for sleeping, Emergen-C and zinc lozenges for sore throats and immunity boosting. Wow. We're already at $30...

Although I stopped there, it would've been very easy to continue. How about a decongestant for when it moves into the nose? Some pseudoephedrine so I don't spend the entire day on the couch? A bag of lozenges for when the timing is wrong for zinc? Too late, I just heard about Sambucol and the wonders of elderberry extract. Luckily, I already had the bottle of 500mg Vitamin C supplements at home. And garlic, but garlic is cheap. Come to think of it, so is fresh ginger and lemon. Hmm. I'm beginning to see a trend here.

This time, the remedy cocktail is a blend of natural and pharmaceutical elements, with the cost being shared quite unequally between the two. For the sake of science — and ONLY for the sake of science — it would be interesting to get sick again a couple times, just so I could experiment remedies, using only naturals one time around, and only pharmaceuticals the next. Rate the experience on aspects such as duration, severity, relative comfort, etc. Which would be better?

I have to wonder about the effectiveness of some of these pills and bottles. Like NyQuil. Although it's initial knockout is pleasant, it does nothing for quality of sleep. Two nights ago, I took a full dose of the stuff around 10. Out by 10:30. But I heard voices outside around 12:30 and woke up. From then until about 4 or so, I don't really remember sleeping. So I have to deal with the NyQuil hangover without the benefit of sleep? Don't think so. NyQuil no more.

And then there are certain things that one must question just based on how they are presented, especially with the flu-and-cold cures du jour. Like Airborne. Their tag-line, I believe, is something like, "Created by a schoolteacher." This is supposed to be a selling point!? We can't even trust all teachers to teach, much less concoct some mystery goo you put in a water bottle then drink for invincibility. I'd rather see the creation credited to an alchemist: drink for invincibility, or mix with iron to get gold. That's how to sell the stuff.

For now, I'm happy to stick with ginger tea, oranges, and garlic cloves. Movies, too. I hear they have very potent anti-viral properties.

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