If you’ve hung around here for a while you’ll know I refer to myself as an “allergy queen”. This was because I have suffered from sinusitis and bad allergic reactions all of my life – and when I say all my life, I MEAN all my life – from when I was an infant all the way through to this “ripe” old age I’ve reached.
I was known when I was a child to constantly be sneezing and to constantly have a runny nose – and, grossly enough, to always have stains at the collars of my shirts cause I was constantly wiping my nose there when I was playing (hey, I was a kid, I didn’t want to miss out on the fun!). To this day, my older sister who I’m very close to, can still predict my pattern and number of sneezes at a time. It has become a huge joke in my family. As soon as Serena sneezes, they start the guessing….even my husband does it now. I take it with as much grace as I can, but as you can imagine, the amount of grace that I have on a particular day is directly proportional to how bad my sinus attack/allergy attack/cold/flu is.
As I hit puberty, that’s when my allergies decided to take over. I remember my first serious allergy attack – I was eleven years old, had just gone to a parent-teacher meeting with my parents and we had decided to go to lunch at a nearby restaurant. The restaurant was under renovation, and before we finished appetizers, my eyes had both swollen up, my nose was running and I was sneezing like a crazy person. My head felt woozy and too heavy for my neck. My parents panicked and we left immediately. I went home and lay down, my parents called our doctor and left me to sleep, while anxiously checking in on me. That led to my teen years of taking steroid pills monthly with every allergy attack, which we later realized were related to my monthly menses.
You have to remember I grew up in a country where, to this day, there is not a single allergy specialist (seriously) – so the GPs do their best to prevent you from dying (basically), hence the steroids to stop the swelling. I remember I was find until my darling older sister (yes the sneeze predictor) went to church and told a friend that I was “swollen like a frog” and “taking the same pills as the dog” (which at the time I was – we were both on the same steriod) to explain why I was not present.
Anyways, today I’ve been to allergist and take daily allergy pills, am allergic to every single environmental allergy (seriously I’ve done the tests) and have several food allergies. All these problems still exist today, but I’ve figured out what to avoid and how and when, so I no longer swell up monthly, and I also now know how to deal with these attacks myself – and no, I have never been rushed to the hospital for this reason. What my tendency towards allergic reactions and sinusitis causes, however, are really, really horrid colds and flus.
My husband would get a cold/flu and sniffle and be able to go to work (albeit feeling crappy) – but once it passes to me (and that’s the way it tends to go), I am down for three or four weeks. Yes, I’m the gross person in the office with a bin full of tissues, runny eyes, red nose and sneezing like crazy. Why? Because I cannot miss three weeks of work – who can?! What I tend to do is judge my worst days and stay home on those days. Otherwise, I have a “cold box” that I keep at work – with lozenges, tissues, a small Vicks Vaporub (to breathe in at least), alcohol wipes, alcohol hand sanitizer, teabags and finally, the necessary cold medicine! I usually don’t have to quarantine myself since most people avoid me at that time anyways! And I do actually make my best effort to not make anyone else sick – I stay in my cubicle, speak on the phone or via email to my co-workers, sanitize EVERYTHING I touch as much as possible.
The one thing that makes my working days possible while I have a cold is my cold medicine. And believe me I’ve tried EVERYTHING under the sun. What I’ve noticed is that I start on one drug but then my body seems to get used to it and it doesn’t work after a while. The one drug that has not done that is Dayquil and Nyquil. Seriously, this stuff is the ONLY thing that helps me feel remotely normal on those bleary, snotty days – so needless to say, I have Dayquil at work and the mixed pack of Dayquil/Nyquil at home. No I do not do liquids – trust me there is no need to make your life worse.
In case you haven’t used these, they are seriously potent – in fact, my little sister (yes I have a second one) and one of my besties both hallucinate when they take these (but they hallucinate with everything pah!) – so be careful, they are, after all, narcotics (in the end!). However, if you are anything like me, I completely advise you to try these. Dayquil, that magic little orange pill, helps clear up my head and keeps my fever down so that I can function on a daily basis. Nyquil definitely knocks me out and quiets my runny nose effectively so that I have a good night’s sleep to allow my body to heal as I rest.
Of course, I am not a medical professional, but in my opinion, if you find yourself with a horrid cold/flu and nothing is working, try Dayquil/Nyquil for some relief. You don’t have to go as hardcore as I have with multiple packs within reach everywhere, but keep one in your purse/medicine cabinet. It works efficiently (hallucinations or not), are easy to swallow in their little capsules and are definitely at the top of my “go-to” list when I’m feeling unwell.
What do you use when you are ill?
Lastly, I just wanted to stress that I am not a medical professional and do not give out medical advice - I only give out my layman’s advice so please only take it as such and speak with your medical professional to ensure that this (and any) medication is correct for you!
I received compensation in the form of products for this post, but regardless, everything you read on Bewildered Bug is my honest opinion.