by Karen Health Parenting

What to do about the flu

A visit to the ocean fights the flu like nothing else!

The good

Last month I spent a week in the beautiful late summer weather of South Carolina. It’s the perfect time of year to hit the beach. School keeps the riffraff away. The water is still bath temperature. And the smell of the sea is a perfume like no other.  So I ventured forth, with two of my grandgirls. The only reason the trip came about was a major surgery my son-in-law faced. We arrived in time to babysit the little ones during the surgery, and then kept them occupied for a week with all kinds of fun activities which landed us at the beach. Christiana spent the whole time at the hospital with her hubby as he recovered.

The bad

A day after I reached home, I felt that tickly feeling in my nose and throat. Then the sneezing started. I had a super busy week of catching up to do as well as home schooling and didn’t want to spend it by dragging a sick body around. I went full steam into germ prevention mode.

My little granddaughters caught the flu and one even ended up with croup. My son-in-law’s surgery involved his lungs and having a cold would have caused incredible pain. He had prepared well for his surgery, boosting his immune system and building his muscles by training and competing in a triathlon. My daughter started giving him Airborn, and we prayed. We thank our gracious heavenly Father Curt didn’t catch anything.

Then Christiana texted me. She woke up feeling ill. She was carrying the load of nursing her husband, parenting her children, and managing the house all by herself. She sent a desperate email to me and I thought, “I better pack my bags and get back down there,” but she said, no, she just wanted help to think straight so she could get well.

My prescription

Stop being super woman. Let yourself be sick so you can get better.

Take Airborn (knock-off types exist and work just as well for a cheaper price) or get Shaklee’s Vitalized Immunity which works really great. Take every allowable dose.

Chewable tablets are great, but I think the fizzy powder works faster.

Let the children have a video/DVD  day. Nap while they watch. (Since my daughter restricts their screen time, this was a treat that they wouldn’t turn down.)

Increase your liquid intake. Drink hot tea as much as you can.

Echinacea really helps, especially if you take it early–before the bad symptoms set in.

Don’t do anything you absolutely can get out of doing. No housework, no chores, no laundry, no cooking, no answering emails.

When the girls need something to do, ask them to wipe down the door handles to kill germs.

Camp out in the girls’ room tonight (one of the problems she was having was the girls being up multiple times in the night because of illness. Sleeping with them would keep them from waking her as often so she could get better and longer rest.)

Eat chicken soup. It’s proven to be healing.

Cancel home school till you are better.

Take Ibuprofin or Tylenol now! Take it every eight hours. Keep up with the dull background pain so it doesn’t take over.

If you dry up your sinus drip, it is less apt to move down into your chest. It still might, but it’s worth a try to nip it in the nose. Take Sudafed or a head decongestant.  It’s a requirement at bedtime.

Take the day off. Cancel everything you can cancel. Almost everything except the girls can wait one day. One day of pampering could get you to the other side. No guarantee, but so worth the try.

Take a warm bath before bed. Do you have any essential oils for the tub? A warm shower if you can’t do the bath, but a soak would moisten your lungs and nasal passages.

My daughter had some essential oils she added to the tub. Bliss!

If you can’t sleep, read Dostoyevsky or some super boring book to put you to sleep.

If the girls need a stretch and some activity, a balloon for each and the rule “keep it off the floor” makes a great active game. Laughing is good medicine and this could help you laugh.

Tell the girls that if they behave super well, you will take them for an ice cream at McDonald’s in a day or two. $2 is worth good behavior. Or substitute some freebie activity coming up soon.

If the sun is shining, get outside and soak in some vitamin D. Expose as much skin as you can to the sun, but don’t get a burn.

Finding the sun can be difficult in Michigan anyway.

Turn on some soothing music.

Then I prayed throughout the day and night. That’s the real healer, right there!

Sadly, my husband succumbed to it, too. Somehow I kept him alive!



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