The plague has hit our house.
That may be an overstatement, seeing as how the plague typically kills people and requires quarantine Our sickness is as simple as a few kids down with fevers and tummy issues.
Having sick kiddos gives parenting a whole new perspective, because, as any parent can tell you, there’s a difference between the need your child has for you when they are healthy than when they are sick.
For example, the need of a healthy child when you are, perhaps, trying to complete the ignominious-feeling job of milk extraction. It’s a job that makes the most secure women feel like Bessie the Cow.
When you’re in this situation, nothing gives you a feeling of indispensability like your child alternately banging on, then collapsing against the other side of the locked bathroom door while you wrestle with tubing, shields and motors that make strange slurping/sucking noises.
This circumstance has been known to make some mothers (who shall, of course, remain nameless) break out into a sweat and curse whomever had the bright idea of ever reproducing at all.
Alternately, when your child is sporting a 103 degree temperature, dark circles under their eyes, and skin that feels like fire they can ask you to hand feed them applesauce and wave palm fronds and you’ll be tempted to ask if they also need help swallowing their water or wiggling their toes because you’re ready and able to provide assistance.
All this to say, we have a fever bug in our house. It’s cramping our style because, while we haven’t been quarantined I think it’s kind of mean to take your kids out of their already infected home space to mingle with the masses and spread germs to others. I’m praying we might wake up tomorrow fever-free and resume normal activities but I have a sinking suspicion we’re going to be fighting this for a few days as it circles through our home.
Just in case you, too, have sickness in your ventilation system, here are a few tips written by health places like Mayo Clinic and Health Careers Journal about how to keep from recycling the sick bug:
1. Stay Clean. Viruses and bacteria usually spread through human contact, so make sure to wash your hands frequently. Don’t share drinking glasses, towels, soap and so on. Sterilize your toothbrush after the cold has run its course so you don’t catch it again.
2. Proper nutrition. A varied, balanced diet with large quantities of fruit and vegetables does wonders for your immune system. Remember to drink a lot of water as well.
3. Exercise. Swim, ride a bike, walk. Any form of aerobic exercise, if done on a regular basis, will greatly improve your immune system.
4. Sanitize shared items. Whether in the office, at home or in a bar, be careful with surfaces and shared items such as telephones, keyboards, doorknobs, and pens. Viruses are getting stronger every day, and some of them can survive up to 20 hours on hard surfaces.
5. Wear adequate clothes. If it’s cold outside wear warm clothes. It is a good idea to wear several layers of lighter clothing, so that you can adjust it to different places and temperatures though out the day. Remember to keep yourself dry as well.
6. Humidify your room. If your region gets very low humidity levels during the winter, you should humidify your bedroom during the night. The first level of defense in your body is found on the nose and throat mucus. If the mucus dries up, germs and viruses will find their way through easily.
7. Get enough rest. Getting sound sleep and rest is essential to keep the viruses away. A couple of nights of poor sleep can reduce your immune system capabilities by 50%!
8. Take a multi-vitamin. A multivitamin is perhaps the most effective nutritional supplement to take to improve your immune system. It will ensure that your body has all the minerals and vitamins it needs to perform its daily activities.
9. Eat special food. There are many food, herbs and spices that you eat to protect yourself from bacteria and improve your immune system. Among them are yogurt, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, oregano and green tea.
10. Relax. Stress can play an important role in undermining your immune system, so try to keep it a tolerable levels. Secondly, do not becoming paranoid about not getting a cold or flu. As stated in the introduction, we are all humans, and as such susceptible to getting sick once in a while. Apply the tips we covered, but do not get obsessed with them, your body is stronger than what you think.
May your time with the flu season be short and unnoticeable!