Saga of The Winter Chest Cold of 2007
In December, shortly after Christmas all the McCraw clan came down with a cold. I noticed that uncomfortable feeling in the back of my throat as air passed over a tender spot. I thought to myself, “I remember that feeling—it usually means I am getting a cold—do I have anything (in my vitamin/herb arsenal) that could fight this off?
Zicam! I have Zicam. I have it and EVEN know where it is. So before I fell off to sleep I took a Zicam. One didn’t quite seem to do the trick—so I took another. Ah-h. The throat was coated in zinc—I could breathe comfortably now, and I went to sleep.
Next morning, my throat felt OK, but a still little tickle. I took several more Zicam and went on my way feeling pretty good.
Meanwhile, Ron and Kelsey were coming down hard. Kelsey’s little lungs were filling with clear fluid to cart away this new viral infection. Ron was developing a hacking cough. I started the vitamin C Rosehip routine with Kelsey and made sure she got plenty of fluids. Ron was taking lots of vitamins—but I knew this was a virus. A virus will play its game until it is finished—and play its game it did.
Kelsey’s breathing grew very shallow—and gurgly. She didn’t/wouldn’t cough. It seemed to hurt. Two different times in several days, Ron was getting fluid down her and her body involuntarily coughed up lots of clear fluid. Once I panicked when Kelsey was having difficulty breathing, and Sean (my EMT trained son-in-law) looked at her. He noticed her nails were still deep pink, and good color around her eyes and nose. He explained when any of these areas started turning blue—Kelsey was not getting enough oxygen. I calmed down and kept taking care of Kelsey.
Finally Kelsey’s appetite returned. She was still coughing with lots of phlegm —but she was feeling better. Ron was gradually getting better. I was feeling a very slight cold—but nothing of any consequence……..UNTIL I overdid.
Evidently, my cold was held at bay. Then I had a busy week and forced through several things that were probably too much (I wanted to cancel--but thought, "Oh, I can do it." On top of that I had two sleepless nights. After the second sleepless night my body could no longer "hold the fort" and gave in to a miserable chest cold. My first day of the cold I spent getting ready for company that night--cleaning, planning, cooking etc. (what was I thinking?). After company left that night--I collapsed in a pile and announced, "Ron I can't do anything for anybody--I am too sick." I was correct. The next couple of days, ALL I did for anybody was change Kelsey's diapers. The rest of the time I spent soaking in a hot tub, sleeping in bed, or sizzling in the sauna. I just couldn't seem to get warm enough. All I wanted was to curl up and be warm.
Meanwhile, --the same time I was doing poorly, Kelsey took a downturn, lost her appetite and started coughing unmercifully. She had already been sick close to two weeks. In another two weeks she was due her week of seizures. How can she survive being sick and eating so little? (When Kelsey gets sick--food basically goes to liquid diet of water and juices until her appetite returns. Her body just doesn't seem able to handle digesting heavier food while she is trying to get well.) I started getting concerned with those red flags that go up when mothers feel that their child's health may be out of control.
I gathered enough energy to go to see my nutritional counselor about Kelsey first, and then myself. He recommended Echnicea/Goldenseal for several days. (I had run out or I would probably have been using it). Within the next couple of days, Kelsey and I both started pulling out of it. My energy was returning and so was Kelsey's appetite. At night I perspired so heavily, I had to move over to a dry place on the bed where I could get warm.
So, now I had a Kleenex box and a trash bag with me everywhere I went. With each productive cough...well, you know.
Oriental medicine understands colds and flu to be opportunities for the body to cleanse and detoxify. That makes sense to me. Between the night sweats and the coughing up phlegm I was certainly cleaning out all kinds of toxins. I surrendered to letting the virus take it's course, while I did everything I could on my part to encourage my body to get well.
It is now about one month later--and that uncontrollable cough is mostly gone. This has been quite a journey for all of us.
What did I learn?
1. Zicam works--just don't push the body.
2. This particular virus has a long life. Be patient with the process of getting well.
3. If regular stuff (Rose hip vitamin C, drink fluids, etc.) isn't working--consult a professional. They are helping others (everybody was getting this cold) and they know what is working. Echnicea/goldenseal was working. (I go to see Dr. Alan Prebilsky @ Health Unlimited. He does not charge except for the supplements).
4. Look on the bright side. This was definitely a detox for my body--and maybe a healing crisis of some kind. Since I was all cleaned out--it was a great opportunity to make healthy choices.
5. God heals. When I got scared about Kelsey's health, I emailed friends and family to pray for her. I thought this might be too much for her--and I was preparing to let her go. (This has become routine in her 20 years). My friends and family prayed--and it pleased God for Kelsey to stay with us.