It takes more than chicken soup to cure the "Summit Crud’
On Monday morning I had the luxury of waking up feeling like someone had replaced the back of my throat with 40-grit sandpaper. It was not a pleasant experience.
The rest of the day wasn’t much better, as I scrapped plans to go skiing and went to City Market instead. There, I spent over $70 on teas, supplements, soups, orange juice and various items I might need this week (such as three bags of potato chips and two pounds of angel hair pasta).
By 1:30 that afternoon, I felt like I had a two-ton weight sitting on my shoulders in the form of my congested head. It was all I could do to tolerate being conscious as I labored through the pages of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Fellowship of the Ring” and dug into my CD collection, listening to jazz and bluegrass and other things I forgot I owned.
Eventually I knew I had to eat. At one point in my life I had a fair girlfriend to bring me sustenance when I was sneezing holes in tissues, a favor I would gladly return if I had a fair lass now.
But I don’t, nor do I even have a roommate, so it was up to me to fix some chicken soup before I felt any worse. Monday night came and went as I chilled in front of the television watching the Donkeys play Monday Night Football. I was drinking echinacea tea instead of beer.
And such was my first encounter in nearly two years of that grand tradition so affectionately dubbed by locals as “the Summit Crud.”
With the help of several local physicians, here’s what you can do to avoid it, and if you do get it, how to deal with it.
n Wash your hands: “Keep washing your hands frequently and avoid touching your nose and mouth as much as possible,” said Dr. Ed Noordewier, medical director of emergency services at the Summit Medical Center. “Those are the two most effective things at avoiding the viral illnesses that show up this time of year.”
n Get a flu shot: “Getting an influenza immunization is a good idea,” Noordewier said. “It will not prevent all viral syndromes, but it can help prevent the most common forms of influenza that are prevalent this season.”
Flu shots are still available for $15 at the Summit Medical Center, according to Kathy Cuthbertson, a registered nurse on the E.R. staff at the center.
“This is the ideal time to get them,” she said.
n If you do get sick: Obviously, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest.
Noordewier added: “Symptomatic medications can help people feel better, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.”
And while the benefits of consuming copious amounts of Vitamin C or echinacea have not been proven, “They may help, and they’re not likely to hurt,” Noordewier said.
Echinacea is an herbal supplement reputed to boost the immune system. It is available in pill form at health foods stores such as Alpine Natural Foods in Frisco. It is also available as an herbal tea in most supermarkets.
n Don’t get a massage: According to Sean Holt with Essential Touch Massage Therapy in Silverthorne, a deep tissue massage in a healthy person has a tendency to release toxins into the system that are then filtered out by the body.
“What happens is that your body is already overpowered by whatever it is that’s attacking,” Holt said.
“When you release all these other toxins into the body, you’re overwhelming the system and the virus multiplies easier.”
So as I expected, by Thursday afternoon the bug had settled down for a couple of days in my lungs.
No doubt it will be on its way by Saturday morning, but only after making mincemeat of my voicebox on its way out.
Don’t let it happen to you. Follow these tips and have a great winter.
Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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