Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Prudent Prepping: Fighting a Cold When It's Hot Outside

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

Getting sick any time of year is not fun, but getting sick during the summer is even less fun. Let me explain why.

The Summer Cold
When I catch a cold in the winter, it seems to last about a week and a half, maybe a little longer. I can feel the start of the usual symptoms sneaking up on me: runny nose, sneezing, a scratchy throat and maybe a cough. When any of those things start, I'm prepared with vitamins, minerals and a special anti-viral that I take which knocks a cold down in four days, every time. 

During the Summer, things are a lot more complicated because I have allergies through most of the spring and summer, with short breaks between whatever is blooming, pollinating or spreading spores. My allergies start out with all the same indications as a cold: runny nose, sneezing, scratchy throat and sometimes a cough. The only difference between the two is that my allergies produce clear nasal drips and not so clear for colds. And I caught a cold a little over two weeks ago. I was late in figuring out that this was an actual cold until it was very, very obviously not allergies. (I won't go into details, but I'm sure you all can imagine.)

Cold Fighters
When I know I'm fighting a cold, I add one of these packets to a bottle of water, let it fizz up, shake it a bit and drink. I didn't put Emergen-C vitamin packs in my lunch box during summer, even though there are some in my GHB; this is something I fixed last week.
  • Supports your immune system, enhances energy naturally and replaces electrolytes post-workout
  • Available in delicious super orange, raspberry and tangerine
  • Just add to water and feel good with no crash

The last part of my cold fighting supplies is is a No Joke, Over-The-Counter anti-viral that works: Ecological Formulas Black Elderberry Extract 8 oz
This is exactly what it says on the bottle: Black Elderberry Extract, with some honey added to smooth out the somewhat tangy, sharp taste of natural, unsweetened Elderberries.

When I know I'm catching a cold, I start with Emergen-C and one oz of the  black elderberry extract four times a day for four days. This means I have to keep two bottles on hand at all times which, this being Summer, I didn't have. I had to go to a real vitamin store (not a body building supplement store) to get the fancy label national brand at (of course) a higher price.

Since I didn't realize I had a cold until symptoms were well developed, taking everything like I normally do didn't knock things down quite as fast as I'd like. I had to go back for a third bottle and double the dose to kill my cold, which took two weeks to finally go away.

But now my allergies are kicking up and my nose has a slow drip, like a bad faucet. I can't seem to win.

Hand Sanitizer
Of course, the best way to fight a cold is never catch one to begin with. Hand sanitizer is part of my work gear, carried in my jacket pocket, next to a pocket pack of kleenex in the same pocket. From where I work, keeping my hands washed can be a problem, so the sanitizer gets a real workout. 

The hand sanitizer I used to buy had unscented Jojoba oil in it. Unfortunately it was discontinued in favor of a lavender scented product that smelled like cheap perfume. My workaround to this was making my own unscented, Jojoba oil product!
What I did is buy a large bottle of sanitizer, refill my two small bottles and add my own oil, using Sam's Club Member's Mark Hand Sanitizer as a base.
  • Kills 99.99% of common germs and bacteria
  • Contains moisturizing vitamin E
  • Large pump bottle for easy dispensing and refilling
  • Perfect for high-traffic areas
  • Great for businesses, retail shops, schools and daycares

    Even though it says 'contains vitamin E', there is not enough to keep my hands from drying out and splitting and cracking from the constant use I make of this stuff. I have to add extra oil and what I use is Trader Joe's 100% Pure Jojoba Oil.

    From the Amazon listing:
    • Trader Joe's Spa 100% Pure Jojoba Oil
    • Pure and natural plant extract
    • Pure Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed oil.
    • Produced without an animal testing or animal by-products.
    I have had a bottle of this in my lunch box for years that I've used after washing my hands. It is thicker than any olive oil I've seen, and a very small amount rubbed on my hands goes a long way!

    I put 5-6 pumps of the large jug into my 2 oz squeeze bottle, add 3-4 drops of oil, shake well and I have a reasonable replica of what I used to buy!

    The Takeaway
    • I must make sure I've got ALL necessary supplies on hand, even if I don't see an immediate need or use for them.
    • Making your own supplies can be easier and much cheaper that first imagined.
    • Buying supplies at the last minute and when in desperate need, costs.

    The Recap

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    NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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