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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Down Home: Unfortunately, the flu bug made me do it

  • I may have jinxed myself thinking I was smarter than the flu bug. After patting myself on the back for not getting sick, I ended up having coughing fits, laryngitis and cold feet.
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  • I may have jinxed myself thinking I was smarter than the flu bug. After patting myself on the back for not getting sick, I ended up having coughing fits, laryngitis and cold feet.
    The faster the medical world advances in fixing body functions that go haywire, the more pills are produced, promising to fix any and all ailments. Medicines are available for every symptom imaginable, and when you've been bitten by the flu bug, it's hard to resist rows of pills and syrups that guarantee to provide relief. Colds, sore throats and the stomach flu really don't care what pills you pop, they will make themselves at home, until they run their course.
    As much as I try to avoid medicines, I'm just as neurotic about home remedies. If it worked for my parents and grandparents, I figure it should work for me. I even went so far as to experiment on my kids when they were young enough to believe my quirky treatments would make them feel better. I'm not sure if they really did work or they just said they felt better so they wouldn't have to drink odd concoctions or to avoid the mini karate chops I'd perform on their stomachs when they had a bellyache.
    Hiccups were cured with a teaspoon of peanut butter and headaches were forgotten with a quick slap to the middle of the forehead. As a single mom, I didn't just come up with these "cures" on my own, relying on books to give me solutions that didn't come with a price tag seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
    All kinds of home remedies are now just a few clicks away, thanks to the internet. When I started coughing I knew something had to be done quickly since I'm scheduled to babysit one of the grandsons this weekend. With no time to waste, I decided to try another home remedy.
    This particular old time remedy, which now has a fancy name of hydrotherapy, helps pull congestion out of the chest and nose by forcing increased circulation down to the feet, when going to bed with wet socks. After taking a hot shower I soaked white cotton socks in cold water, wrung them out, put them on and then covered those with dry wool socks.
    Having coughed all day I was convinced sleep wasn't going to be an option and figured if the wet socks kept me awake it really wouldn't matter much since there was a battle going on in my chest. The cold socks were a bit of a shock – but even more shocking - I didn't cough all night.
    For three nights I've slept with wet socks, which were completely dry in the morning. The congestion is gone, although something may have backfired, since now I've lost my voice.
    Page 2 of 2 - The boyfriend's not complaining he can't hear anything I'm saying. In fact, he suggested I wear wet socks every night.
    Sandy Turner lives in the Kansas City area and writes this column for GateHouse Media.

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