Sick of It

So it’s only October 12th and I already have a horrible cold.  This has caused me to do some reflection on the approaching winter months, because the truth is that I have the worst immune system of anyone I know. Erik will come home with mild sniffles that he picks  up in his office, or someone will come to visit, or I’ll get on a plane, and a week later I am struck with the Plague of Satan, and I am just well and truly tired of it. I am a nursing mother with two kids.  On a GOOD day when I feel EXCELLENT I can barely keep my head above water.  I simply do not have the time or energy to have a cold every three weeks all winter long.  Therefore I am going to conduct a science experiment on myself where I apply every crack pot theory I can find on the internet to myself in the hopes of boosting my immune system.  So far I am planning on:

1. Getting lots of sleep (as much as I can considering I still have to nurse a four month old every 12 minutes

2. drinking lots of lemon juice.  I have a lemon tree outside my door.  This is god’s way of telling me to drink lemon juice.

3.  taking whatever weird herbal conconction I can find at Target that claims to reduce colds and boost immunity.

4. Eating less sugar.

5. Pounding vitamin C and taking a multi vitamin.

6.  Exercising.

7.  Eating lots of protein and raw fruits and veggies.

8.  Washing my hands all the time and slathering on that weird disinfectant stuff at every turn.

And that’s all I’ve got so far.  Anyone else have any tried and true trips?  Because seriously, this cannot cannot go on.  I am pissed off enough about the approach of winter and the fact that no one in this house can put away folded laundry, I can’t also be sick for the next four months, I’ll lose my mind.  And no one wants that, obvs.


21 Responses

  1. Well, I can’t say I’ve tried it, but Oprah swears by the Netti-pot. You’ll have to look it up, because if I describe it to you I don’t think you’ll believe me.

  2. oh god, I don’t have any magic ideas but I have a ton of sympathy.

    I do think chicken soup has some medicinal properties. I made this recently and it was easy and good. and it has garlic, unlike my other chicken soup recipe. I think garlic is supposed to be good?

    other than that…sleep, hydration, low stress (ha!)

  3. My mom SWEARS by Zicam. She used to use the nasal things, but now they took them off the market (apparently they were ruining people’s sense of smell? she says it was worth it). I think they key is the zinc, so you could just take some extra zinc. I would advise against the chewable zicam things, though. Unless you like to eat clay. I am too lazy to do anything preventative about getting sick, so I’ve never tried it (you have to catch it at the very beginning of getting sick, or it only reduces the symptoms, not prevents the cold, so I hear).

  4. I know you didn’t ask for advice (and I hate the term ‘assvice’ but attach the word ass to anything and I’ll hate it) but I am just going to agree with one of your suggestions, vitamin C! It’s the best. My whole family takes the gummy ones (the adult ones) and it’s really helped. I used to have the immune system from hell, like you, and was sick pretty much every other week from Oct-Feb, it friggen sucks! But since May I’ve been taking them every day and more often throughout the day when I feel like I’m getting sick and it always works!
    Why is it whenever I talk about NOT getting sick I’m going to jinx myself?

  5. wash your hands and the kids hands A LOT, and especially before you eat.

    also, I really like Emergen-C, the raspberry is good and so is the pomegranate.

  6. Flu shot, netti pot, Brassica tea.

  7. If you can’t find Brassica tea locally & have to order it, I highly recommend getting it from Baltimore Coffee & Tea Co.

  8. Cold-eze zinc tablets help. They make me a bit nauseated, so I usually choose to have the cold, but they help. (I’m not sure if they’re officially safe for nursing moms, though, so check. Which obviously you would have done anyway.) The neti-pot is a good idea also.

  9. Totally agree with the neti. Also, avoiding touching my eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible to avoid spreading, it really helps.

    I also got a flu shot (and have the past two years which has seemed to help) plus I drink ayurvedic tea with local raw honey.

  10. – don’t touch mouth, nose, or any mucus membranes
    – drink elderberry tea! I buy dried elderberries in bulk and make tea out of them, but they also sell it as a tincture
    – finally, would it make you feel better to know that the fact that you get lots of bad colds means you have an AWESOME immune system? because apparently, it does:

  11. Echinacea ( is very helpful with a cold. Elderberry is also awesome… I have a cough syrup for Gavin that is Elderberry and Echinacea (echo-nay-zia), and while it’ll stain anything it lands on, it’s some good stuff; soothes the throat and keeps the coughing at bay while cutting the duration of the cold. Since it’s homeopathic, it’s also safe to use while breastfeeding.

    I used to use the Zicam nasal swabs and they were amazing. However. I was told not to take the tablets or use the swabs while pregnant and/or breastfeeding. Just an fyi to check with your doc or pedi about what is safe while breastfeeding. Check into Coldeeze cough drops; my hubs swears by them.

    I have also heard rumors about squeezing breastmilk through a dropper into a stuffed up nose, ears, whatever, and having it make everything right as rain. Don’t ask me, I never tried it…. but it’s something I have heard about.

  12. I don’t know, but I’m totally the same way. My husband brought home a cold a couple of weeks ago. It slowed him down for like two hours, but it knocked me on my butt for a solid week! I still can’t swallow like a normal person. Sometimes I say my immune system is Super Immune System because it kicks into high gear and just wants to get rid of every little bug, but I’m really just fooling myself. My immune system sucks.

  13. Pro-biotics vitamin and Vitamin D (helps with immunity)

    I give both kids each of these daily through the school year.

    SO SORRY. Nothing is worse. NOTHING.

  14. I just got over a cold as well – I thought I could outrun it if I just kept moving, but it still caught up to me. I thought my sinuses were going to explode and I was just. so. tired. I couldn’t get out of bed. So I mainlined the Vitamin C, did the Neti pot so I could breathe, and slept for 2 days straight. I sent my toddler to stay with grandma just so I could rest.

    I think it would have dragged on longer if I hadn’t slept. I don’t know what I would have done if I were still nursing. Sorry. I hope you feel better soon.

  15. I am swearing by the vitamin D as well! I have no doubt I’ll regret saying this, but I’ve been taking it daily for over a year, and NO SICKNESS. Well, until now of course. 😉

  16. I have several friends who love their Neti-Pots. The idea freaks me out a bit, but hey, desperate times. I also have another friend who swears by those 5-Hour Energy Shots – they are just a giant dose of vitamin B, etc. and he uses it each time he feels himself getting worn down. Totally swears by it.

  17. I have nothing earth-shattering to add to these suggestions (my husband also swears by Cold-Eze, but I hate the taste of the cough drops… and he was a huge Zicam user before he couldn’t find it anymore). So I will just empathize. I work at home, and my husband works in a germy, disease-infested hospital, so he brings home lovely bugs for me all year long. Not fun for a non-mom – so I can only imagine how yucky it is for you. Hopefully your regimen of crack-pot and non-crack-pot remedies works!

  18. No tips on keeping a cold away. Just a warning not to drink too much lemon juice because you may end up with a bladder infection. Which to me is way worse than just a cold. Good luck!

  19. The netti pot changed my life. It is a super creepy experience and whatever you do, DO NOT tip your head backwards when you are using it! However, it really works.

  20. Delurking with what has kept me (mostly) cold/flu free for the last 10 years:

    Vitamin C
    Used to take echinecea, have since started taking Pau D’Arco (also an herbal supplement) which you can buy at health food stores or Vitamin Shop
    Multivitamin called Wellmax that we order online in bulk… entire family and many friends have been taking for about 3 years now whenever anyone gets sick

    The trick is to mainline the three ASAP when you start feeling sick, if you start before you even get sick, take each daily (1 vitamin c, 2 pau d’arco 3 times a day, 2 wellmax 3 times a day) then you won’t get sick. If you start taking it all once you are sick, it’ll take longer to take effect but you will get better much faster

    Hot tea, wearing socks on cold floors and during sleep, and layering always help

    I’m only 22 but my mom has been super into homeopathic and herbal treatments and I’ve learned a lot from her. Used to be very skeptical but we have all managed to kick everything with relative ease with the above.

    Feel free to email if you want any specific info. I hope it helps! Sorry for the novel 🙂

  21. Vitamin D and zinc! Seriously. They’re both excellent for the immune system. 1000IU of Vit D daily, my GP recommended to me this past (southern hemisphere) winter, after I kept coming down with colds. And I added in the zinc supplements because I took those for more than a year when I was a few years younger (pre-children) and DID NOT GET SICK ONCE in that time.

    You can actually get a blood test to check if you’re low in Vit D.

    As for more sleep – sure it helps, but ha ha. My two (3yo twins) rarely wake during the night now, thankfully, but they’re up super-early each morning. And the only way I get any time to myself is by staying up after their bedtime at night, and without that time I’d be less of a mother. One of my biggest struggles is over more sleep vs me-time.

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