March 17, 2009


I woke up on Sunday morning feeling iffy. Not about life or the prospects of a swift economic recovery (but I'm curious about those too) but iffy healthwise. Like hey, jumpback, body, you're about to run out of steam on me, aren't you? By evening, it was less iffy and more whenny. At 9:30 I hit some sort of wall. I went to bed with the thought that I'd be much better the next morning. I had to be. I felt awful. Very important Monday afternoon meeting, don't you know.

I spent the evening rolling around - chilled to the bone and achy - in a fever-induced sleep into which I managed to sneak in some lucid fever-dreams. I was on a tropical island taken by rebels, leading the counterattack against them. Then I was a space cowboy. And I seem to recall that I might have been a parrot as well. Though that's less clear.

When I woke up every hour on the hour feeling worse than I had before, it became abundantly clear that my heroic attempt at returning to work would not be happening. I rolled out of bed, exhausted, at 6:30. I went down to the kitchen, opened up my email and typed out a very simple, succinct note. And then I went back to bed.

I rolled around in bed for fifteen or twenty minutes, trying to get warm and comfortable, when the door opened and in walked Mia, having just woken up herself.

Mia: Daddy, what are you doing in bed?
Me: I don't feel very good today, sweetheart. I'm just trying to get a little rest.
Mia: Oh, okay. I'll keep you company!

She climbed right into bed with me, curled up, stroked my head and then proceeded to ask me every question on every topic known to man. It was adorable. But not restful.

Mia: Daddy, why do you get sick?
Me: Germs. Germs get in your body and make it sick. So you have to rest and let your body fight the germs.
Mia: Are you resting now?
Me: I'm trying.
Mia: But daddy, do the Backyardigans really have the whole wide world to explore in their backyard?
Me: That's a figure of speech. Using their imaginations they do.
Mia: Like the Great Wall of China?
Me: What about it?
Mia: They have it in their backyards.
Me: Sure, in their imaginations.
Mia: Let's sing a song.
Me: Oh, sweetheart, daddy really wants to rest.
Mia: Singing is resting
Mia + Me: We've got the whole wide world in our yards to explore....
Mia: Okay, now I'll be Princess Aurora and you be Maleficent.
Me: How about playing a game of Mia Gets Breakfast and Lets Daddy Sleep?
Mia: Nah. Aurora and Maleficent.
Me: Okay, but how about you be Maleficent and I'll be Aurora?
Mia: Why?
Me: Because that way I can play and be asleep at the same time.
Mia: No. Let's sing another song.
Me + Mia: God bless America, land that I love...

And that's how I found myself cuddled up with my daughter singing patriotic anthems, slightly out of my head with a 103 degree fever yesterday morning. All I needed was a furry dog a my feet and a couple of American flags and it would have been the perfect Norman Rockwell moment. Eventually, Mia got hungry and wanted breakfast. She went downstairs and I slept.

Unfortunately, I fought the good fight the remainder of the day...and night. So I've mounted Operation Fuck My Fucking Fever (Day Two) and called in sick. With any luck, I'll be planting my ass (and the rest of me) in bed soon. I expect visitors.

Since modern medical science and a health dose of bitching haven't cured me, I turn to you, oh internet. What are your best, time-tested home remedies?

Posted by Chris at March 17, 2009 8:30 AM

Hey Chris,
Don't have any...but hope you get some rest and feel better soon.

Posted by: Tera at March 17, 2009 8:51 AM

A combination of zinc and Screwdrivers.
Works every time.

Posted by: fauve at March 17, 2009 8:59 AM

Sleeeeeeep, and plenty of fluids. Also, painkillers if you need them. Feel better soon.

Posted by: Fraulein N at March 17, 2009 9:06 AM

I'm sorry you're sick!

As for home remedies, I'm all about Emergen-C with orange juice. Even if I'm already sick, it usually gives me a little burst of energy. You can make homemade smoothies and stick it in there, too. I wholly believe in the healing properties of chicken soup, but I like something spicy like chicken tortilla. I made my own last week and it was just right for keeping the sniffles at bay!

Hope you're feeling better soon.

Posted by: Sam at March 17, 2009 9:12 AM

Sleep. Whenever I'm sick I just curl up in bed and sleep until I feel better. It may not actually speed the process up but at least I'm unconscious through most of it.

As demonstrated by your post, YMMV. Feel better soon!

Posted by: Garth at March 17, 2009 9:23 AM

sleep and cupious amounts of tv... not really helpful - sorry, I got nothing!

Posted by: Christina at March 17, 2009 9:32 AM

Theraflu, but there is a trick to it.

Do this before bed:

Empty the packet of Theraflu into a coffee mug, boil water like you would for tea, and when it whistles, pour it over the Theraflu.

Put two ice cubes into the top of the cup to allow you to drink it IMMEDIATELY without scalding yourself.

Drink that puppy down fast ( less than 2 minutes ) to let all the heated goodness ( or industrial waste, not really sure what is in it ) go through your body.

Sleep, and in the morning you will feel human again.

Best of luck, and this may also be the Universes way of saying "Take a break", so enjoy and expect to feel both refreshed and a little exhausted on the other side. Remember that even though you will start to feel better, you will still weaken quickly, so be careful not to over do it and pace yourself.

Posted by: metawizard at March 17, 2009 9:34 AM

A few fingers of apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of warm water and a spoon of honey will cure just about anything (we have the most experience with coughing -- it does wonders for coughing). Usually when I'm sick I drink lots of water (mixed with lemon because water tastes nasty when I'm sick) and take ibuprofin and sleep, if I can.

I hope you feel better soon!!

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at March 17, 2009 9:34 AM

Plenty of rest and OJ, and try to eat something spicy. Spicy foods always seem to knock the fever right out of me.

Posted by: Rebecca at March 17, 2009 9:43 AM

If it's the flu I suggest Oscillococcinum you can find it at CVS or most grocery stores. It's homeopathic and works awesome! Keep hydrated...lots of water, tea, juice.

Hope you feel better.

Posted by: Deirdre at March 17, 2009 9:52 AM

Tea, Honey, and a shot of brandy.. It at least makes you feel better about feeling miserable...

Hope you're feeling better soon!

Posted by: Molly at March 17, 2009 9:59 AM

No bright ideas, just best wishes to get well soon!!

Posted by: Heather at March 17, 2009 10:04 AM

Oh man. You can't fight this bug. You just have to succumb and let it take from you what it wants.

Posted by: Lora at March 17, 2009 10:12 AM

Oh lordy. Sorry to hear you're sick. Here's my clinical advice for ya--

Fever/aching = Tylenol (not ibuprofen)

Upset stomach/ GI upset = BRAT diet. (banana, rice, applesauce, tea/toast)

push fluids. (gatorade/powerade/tea. water is okay but has nothing in it)

lots of rest.

long hot shower/bath but drink something if you take a hot bath because you'll get dizzy if you're dehydrated.

when i was little my mom use to make this concoction, it was honey, butter, and hot tea and then i'd have to drink it. it was the "cure all" in our house.

hope ya feel better!

Posted by: kimmyk at March 17, 2009 10:23 AM

Umcka... I swear by it.

Posted by: Jess at March 17, 2009 10:35 AM

It's going around here too but we've missed it so far.

Get lots of sleep and take something for the fever. Other than that, I have no bright ideas.

Hope it leaves soon.

Posted by: Ann Adams at March 17, 2009 10:36 AM

If it's flu you need to get some of the flu medicine from your doctor...I just blanked on it's name. My children tried to kill me slowly over the past 4 weeks first with rounds of stomach flu taking us all out one by one then with a virus that has taken out our entire pediatrician's office...7 days of high fever and feeling awful. Both kids were miserable with it (and so was their mommy because I couldn't make them feel better.)

The one thing that helped bring the fevers down a bit is cycling Tylenol and Advil in alternating might give it a whirl- sounds like you don't have anything to loose. The other thing I like when I'm sick is Pho soup, Matzo ball soup, or better yet Hot and Sour soup from my favorite take out place. If you're dizzy in the shower steal one of your kid's plastic chairs or step stools to sit on in the shower. Head congestion = vicks vapo rub generously on your feet with cotton socks...sounds crazy but helps you feel better and you'll have soft heels (bonus!)

Feel better soon. The dialogue with you and Mia cracked me up. I should bring our giant malificent dragon over to your house!! :)

Posted by: MaryLea at March 17, 2009 10:38 AM

I think it would be cool to have a dream where I was a parrot.

Soup really does help! Also, sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. Feel better soon.

Posted by: bad penguin at March 17, 2009 10:40 AM

why didn't you play the game of quiet?

Posted by: La Petite Belle at March 17, 2009 10:42 AM

Snorting warm salt water through my nose and out my mouth. I usually do it in the shower. It greatly reduces the impact of a cold.

Posted by: Brad at March 17, 2009 10:55 AM

I hate to recommend this because it sounds like just one more marketing scam, but I tried it late last week and over the weekend, and I was FAR less sick than I had any right to be.

I used Zicam, which is essentially zinc gelatin on a stick that you put up your nose. I used one every 4 hours the first day I felt sick. Then I used one before bed the next few days. I still had a low grade fever and scratchy throat, but I felt pretty darn good.

Posted by: Gramps at March 17, 2009 11:03 AM

Get Well Soon.

Posted by: LaineyDid at March 17, 2009 11:15 AM

Overdose on vitamin C tablets (like, 2000 or 3000 milligrams a day) and, just before bed, suck down two fingers of Scotch (or whiskey, if that's all ye have). If you're not a Scotch fan (and who wouldn't be?), you can add a tablespoon of honey and a squeeze of lemon and, if need be, a bit of hot tea. Then you've got a hot toddy. I think that's just window dressing for the Scotch. You will sleep, you will dream, you will sweat it out.

Posted by: rebecca at March 17, 2009 11:22 AM

The last time I was sick in bed, I got a good knee drop from Sully who thought I was pretending to be asleep. Not a good way to wake up at all.

My remedy is zinc. Well, actually, my remedy is prevention but that won't do you any good now. I've evolved a practice of sanitizing myself at my schools with ridiculous regularity, touch a student computer, sanitize, rinse and repeat.

Hope you feel better soon!

Posted by: Erik at March 17, 2009 11:35 AM

Whiskey. Seriously.

Posted by: k8 at March 17, 2009 11:42 AM

Dump whiskey, honey, lemon and hot water into a mug. Drink the whole thing. Lock your bedroom door, put in some earplugs and let the booze knock you out. Wake up 10 hours later.

Posted by: tutugirl1345 at March 17, 2009 12:22 PM

I don't get sick leave at work so we're always coming in here sick- my at desk cure-all for a bad cold is Odwalla Mo' Beta juice and Red Bull (yeah, I know...). If I'm sick enough to miss work, orange juice and hot and sour soup (not together).

Posted by: Judy at March 17, 2009 12:31 PM

Mom. I totally feel your pain, having been stuck with our version of The Great Plague of 2009 for a week now, and I can definitely state that having my mom close by made it infinitely better. Especially since my 2 kids still require love and nurturing, and my husband had back surgery 2 weeks ago and isn't allowed to do anything.
I hope you feel better soon! *Raises mug of nice hot beverage in cheers*

Posted by: Karen at March 17, 2009 12:50 PM

I got my diploma in the mail yesterday. I read it outloud and I inserted "very important degree" in place of "Bachelors in Business Management" while reading it out loud. Your "self-important title" made me grin.

Posted by: Kristy at March 17, 2009 12:51 PM

Vicks Vapo Rub slathered on your chest. If you get the stuff in a tube it's far less greasy. Hope you're feeling better tomorrow. But hey, at least you got out of that Monday meeting.

Posted by: Dianna at March 17, 2009 12:58 PM

Sleep and fluids, like someone else said. I don't do meds for the flu.

Get well, Chris.

Posted by: Brooke Habecker at March 17, 2009 1:00 PM

Mainly, for me, while sick, it's about being fashionable. So - I wear a stocking cap. Keeps my head warm and my sinuses clearer and I'm slightly better able to breath. Then, I smear Vicks all over my FEET and pull on my thickest socks. Normally, my snowboarding socks with the bright orange band around the shin. Because that right there is dead sexy. Then, sweats. The kind that gather around the ankle and bag in the butt.

When I eat - I eat tons of super spicy food. The hotter, the more loaded with things like horseradish, wasabe or cerrano peppers, the better. And I force myself to eat alot while I'm sick. Especially hot and sour soup and hot tea with honey.

And then, I shove zicam sticks up my nose and drink a glass of Airborne every 4 hours. I don't care about the naysayers that say it doesn't work. 24 hours after all this stuff - I normally feel better.

Here is hoping you do, too.

Posted by: Mindy at March 17, 2009 1:28 PM

No remedies here, just wanted to say...

"I hope you feel better soon!"

Posted by: Kelly M. at March 17, 2009 1:42 PM

Feel better soon, Sweetie!
I have my first job interview in like, forever on Saturday morning. Wish me luck!

Posted by: Maribeth at March 17, 2009 1:45 PM

Hot baths for the aches, along with steady doses of Motrin. Extra vitamin C, chicken soup and saline nose spray if I'm stuffed up.

Feel better soon!

Posted by: Jean at March 17, 2009 2:04 PM

Sorry to hear that you're sick... I have three kids, but no Mama advice on getting better. Go figure.

Just had to say that the f'ing theme song from Backyardigans is eating away at my soul. That and one recurring song from an episode that my kids watched about 7,000 times while it was in the 'On Demand' cache a month back. I hate those damn songs-- they're like parasites in my brain!!

Posted by: morninglight mama at March 17, 2009 2:23 PM

Singing is resting.

That bit you guys in the ass, didn't it? :)

It's St Patrick's Day. Jameson. Add some lemon if you need to call it "healthy".

Posted by: Mr Lady at March 17, 2009 2:27 PM


Posted by: Loth at March 17, 2009 5:15 PM

Not so sure on the remedies but this might make you feel better...or any case...

I went and saw Coldplay a few nights ago for their Viva La Vida concert which was fanfuckingtastic. They were brilliant. I sang my little heart out. Then the second last song Chris sang his heart out (and so to did I) to the scientist and they let out a gazillion paper butterflies over the crowd. We were in the standing section so they were all over us. It was awesome. You would have loved it. As would have Mia. I took them all home and Daisy made a little coldplay craft project!

Posted by: Beth at March 17, 2009 6:12 PM

Cute kid. It's like you want to hug them and kill them at once. (The Boy still comes and tucks me in when I'm sick usually sticks something in there about wanting a INSERT INAPPROPRIATE PET HERE.)

Cures: I am all over modern pharmaceutical. Nyquil, sleep and a fuckton of tequila.

Posted by: Nat at March 17, 2009 8:07 PM

2 tablespoons water + 2 oz. whiskey in a mug. Microwave it on HIGH and drink it as hot as you can stand it. That is if it doesn't burn your nose hair first. That'll knock you out so you get some rest!

Posted by: Holly at March 17, 2009 8:25 PM

If there is a God, he will sooooo not let Mia catch your germs! Feel better soon. That flu stuff is really going around down here.

Posted by: coolchick at March 17, 2009 8:43 PM

I'm sorry you're sick, Chris.

I don't have any home remedies other than rest and lots of fluids. Have you tried Airborne? It works wonders.

I hope you are feeling better today.

When I started reading this I thought you had hit your exhaustion wall, which can be just as bad.

Posted by: MariaV at March 18, 2009 5:41 AM

Apple juice and bad TV. Works every time.

Posted by: Stephanie at March 18, 2009 7:03 AM

lots of fluids (tea, water and ginger ale), lots of rest (good luck), and I know you don't eat meat but chicken soup is a great cure...and soft kleenex.

Posted by: Sue R at March 18, 2009 5:29 PM

Chris, I need to say, that while your post was very good, my favorite part was the realization that you use the BEST of the potential color schemes in Windows, Olive Green. Thank you very much.


Posted by: geminigirl of old at March 19, 2009 11:56 PM