Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Cold Season Again...

Our whole family has been battling the same freaking head cold now for going on two weeks. It started out as a minor sniffle here and there, just enough to use up all the tissues and super-easy meals in the house, before it got serious. Kiddo now randomly runs a really low fever, but only long enough for me or another adult to become aware of it and then it goes away. This is getting old. Here are a few of my observations.

Some stuff just works.
  • A hot shower or bath in the morning really clears the head of gunk.
  • Vicks is fabulous, and whover thought of putting the stuff in Puffs Plus should be sainted.
  • Burt's Bees lip balm is addicting. And they make "lip shimmers" now, so us ladies can still look our best even when we feel miserable.
  • Red tea with a touch of honey is great on the throat.
  • Everyone should own a heated mattress pad.
  • Chicken soup makes a great chaser to a cough drop.
Do you notice anything? All of these are little comforts, non-medicated soothers. They make no claim to eradicate the problem. They just help you deal with the symptoms so that you can rest and your little white blood cells can go to war against those big bad bugs.

I've tried zinc, Mucinex DM, decongestants, and cold medicines made for people with high blood pressure. I couldn't tell that the zinc or the Mucinex did a blessed thing, the decongestant dried me out so bad it made my nose bleed, and the HBP stuff just made me loopy. Nothing works the way they say it will. I think it's all a conspiracy by the drug manufacturers to make money.

Remember the big hullabaloo about a year ago over baby decongestants and cold medicines? The doctors said there wasn't enough evidence that the stuff worked to make the risk of drug overdose worthwhile. Now you can't even find an OTC cold medicine that says you can use it on a child under 2, and even those are a rarity. Most of the medicines say they start at age 4 or 6. Considering my track record with cold medicines so far, my guess is that cold medicines are available for older kids and adults only because the risk of overdose is lower, not because there's any evidence that they work better in people over 2 (or 4, or 6). And have you seen the retail price on some of these things? They're astronomical! Just more evidence that they're out to make money, not help us get over our colds faster.

So, if you have a recommendation on a cold medicine that kicks butt, especially for a 19-month-old, let me know. Otherwise I'm sticking to my Vicks and chicken soup.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Allen has introduced me to the wonders of matzo ball soup. We ate tons of it this winter! I do have to say, though, that that stupid Mucinex DM actually does make me able to get through the day without coughing every 30 seconds like I need to get rid of my lung (you remember that, don't ya?). AND - did I tell you a nurse finally prescribed an inhaler for me for bronchial asthma?! Oh my gosh! It was life changing!