The Sniffles

Sick. Ever since I both got the flu and triggered my body into loathing gluten in one shot, I detest being sick. My body is a temple and in the words of Gandalf, YOU [evil pathogens] SHALL NOT PASS. Usually this deters most of the sniffles and sneezes that come my way.

But, sometimes even my mental Gandalf isn’t enough. Like right now. I am in the throes of my first cold this year. Luckily, I am prepared. And I’m going to share the wisdom with you, so you too are ready to throw the germs into Mordor.

Sick Gaby is Sad Gaby

A young Gaby bundled up to hide from the germs

Drink lots of water. Then more water. Make an entire pot of tea and share it with no one. Make sure to drink it when it still feels like liquid fire, to burn the nasties out of your sinuses and back to hell where they came from. And then there’s the secret weapon, which takes three steps:

1. Squeeze a lemon into a giant mug
2. Pour in hot water
3. Sprinkle in some cayenne pepper
4. Drink up, and pretend each burning flake of pepper is a bomb dropped on the germs

Raw Garlic
Okay. I see most of you cringing. BUT THIS WORKS. Or it’s the placebo effect. Idk. But apparently, aside from keeping away vampires (and anyone who might want to kiss you), raw garlic is antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-BEING SICK panacea. Smash a clove or two. Chop it up all finely, scatter it on your veggies or rice or protein source. I’ll warn you, raw garlic burns. But that’s the magical fires of garlic on its way to incinerate your cold. 

Stay in bed
For those of us whose brains don’t have an off-switch, this is the hardest part. If you don’t have a job to get to, spend a day burrowing into your blankets. Don’t work out, don’t drag yourself out into the cold. Keep your body put, so that it can focus on getting better. This leads into my next point…

Watch TV. Binge on it
I actually have trouble watching tv. I get bored. Reading is more stimulating, but when I’m sick, my brain shuts down and refuses to do any heavy lifting. Last year, I watched the first two seasons of New Girl during my annual horrible cold. This year, I’ve got my eyes on Parks and Recreation. Make sure it’s silly and not too taxing. (I totally recommend My Mad Fat Diary!) 

Alright. Time to bring out the big guns. Reacquaint yourself with your friends, Sudafed, Benadryl, and Mr. NyQuil. Maybe even invite EmergenC. It’s a cocktail party and everyone’s welcome. A drug cocktail party. 

Eh. Sometimes you just need to bemoan your faith like the trapped four-year-old we all have inside us. This often results in me making “why me” and “alas, my body has betrayed me” and other various noises at my dogs (or whichever unfortunate member of my family happens to be around). This usually only lasts til the drugs kick in, but is quite cathartic, all the same. 

Of course, prevention is always the best. If you exercise regularly, you reduce your chances of getting sick. Eat your veggies. Wash those hands, keep Purell handy. Subtly edge away from any sick folks near your sacred bubble. And you know, secretly plot to move far away to a tropical island where winter and getting colds are both myths.

Love always,


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