Last Wedesday, I spent the day with a tickle in the throat and the faint "you're getting sick" feeling that kicks off every common cold. On Thursday, my throat felt like I had been gargling glass, which wasn't helped by the fact that I spent all day sharply coughing up green phlegm. I woke up feeling like absolute shit on Friday, but I bounced back in the late morning and had a fairly normal "you're starting to get better" kind of day.
Just kidding. On Saturday afternoon my face exploded and I spent all day with my eyes and nose running, still coughing up boogers, my face now red and raw from blowing my nose and wiping my eyes so much. This nightmarish congestion continued throughout Sunday. On Monday, my sinuses cleared out a little bit, but I woke up in the middle of the night freezing, and spent all day with a fever and a pounding headache. I have no idea what Tuesday is going to bring me, but I'm on the brink of insanity.
If you don't already have this nightmare of a flu, you're going to get it, because this year's strain doesn't respond well to vaccines, and everyone else already has it. I've spent roughly 80% of the last week on my couch or in bed, and you will too. You're going to want to do some preparation as you're going to have no desire to leave the house in the state you'll soon find yourself in. Here's what I've been using to mitigate the misery.
By the end of your first day of congestion, it's going to feel like someone sand blasted your face from all the blowing of your nose you're going to be doing. I've kept a tub of Vaseline nearby all weekend, dabbing my nose and face with it every so often to protect my chapped nostrils and dried out cheeks. You're going to want to do the same.
This almost goes without saying, but if you use toilet paper or, God forbid, paper towels as your snot rag of choice, you are making a grave mistake. Do yourself a favor and get some fancy tissues, because you're going to spend a lot of time carefully rolling up little squares of paper into plugs and delicately inserting them into your nostrils, and you're going to want the material you're working with to be as smooth as possible.
The key word here is "Severe," because, if it isn't already clear yet, this shit is serious. You're probably going to doze off during the day as you stare bleary-eyed at the ceiling for hours on end, which is going to make getting to bed at night even harder than it already is with your nose leaking into your mouth. I got a bottle of store brand NyQuil and took some last night, and it kept me asleep until 4am when I woke up with the fucking shivers. Better than the night before, where I woke up at 1 am and spent the next seven hours in hallucinating half-sleep while I could barely breathe.
And if for some reason you just absolutely cannot get off work (God help you), DayQuil isn't going to make your day better, but it'll hopefully help you not collapse on the job!
If you don't already have a gignatic bottle of generic brand ibuprofin (that's the drug in Advil) in your cabinet, you should, because the anti-inflammatory is wonderful for all kinds of everyday aches and pains. I've been chowing about five of these pills down per day for the last week, which help a lot with the excruciating head and neck aches you're going to get from all of the stress put on your head and face muscles from blowing your nose, coughing and sneezing non-stop.
This morning (Monday), I woke up with a fever and a splitting headache, and I felt so deleriously shitty that I almost burst into tears. As I spent two hours in a darkened room staring into space, a cold pack to soothe my searing forehead was the only thing that helped me keep it together. Reusable ice packs are also a great thing to keep in the freezer in general, because when you aren't cripplingly ill, they're great for treating minor aches and sprains from exercize.
You're going to need something to do while you lay on your couch all day, and there's no better way to spend that time than on some prestige television. I've been making my way through The Sopranos and Insecure over the weekend, and you should too, for free. If you have Amazon Prime, you can sign up for a free 7-day trial for their HBO channel, which rolls over to $15 a month afterwards. And if you don't have Prime, you can sign up for that for free for 30 days. NOTE: I don't know if a "double free trial" works, and I don't care to find out.
Good luck with the flu everyone, if you've got any tips or tricks you want to share for getting through it, sound off in the comments!
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