Thursday, October 28, 2010

In praise of the Cold Sock Treatment

I have a cold. Perfect timing. I have a concert to sing, the first one in a year and a half (almost), and I got a cold a week before. The timing couldn't be better. Really. I hope you can hear the sarcasm... As a singer, a cold or flu or laryngitis is the worst thing that can happen to you. You can't do hardly anything about it and it makes it, if not impossible, at least difficult to do your job. For me, my voice usually starts suffering about 3 or 4 days into a cold, so getting a cold more than 3 days before a concert usually means I'm in for it.

But this time, the moment I started feeling it coming on, I started taking care of myself. I canceled my teaching on Monday afternoon and tried hard to lay low. I started doing "nose showers" (which is a direct translation of the German "Nasendusche", or nasal irrigation. This is the best thing for clearing out sinuses. And is a boon for anyone who is prone to sinus infections or has allergies (me!). If this sounds like you and you don't have one of these contraptions - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?! I started drugging myself. Out of habit, from almost 2 years either being pregnant or nursing, with mild stuff (Sinupret) especially for sinus infections. Also drinking lots of Sage tea and inhaling with a special Eucalyptus oil mix (Bronchoforton) and contraption that I got here at the pharmacy. I also got some enzyme tablets from the pharmacy to help the swelling in my nasal passages.

However, I decided drastic measures were in order and I really needed my voice not to suffer and be mostly better by Sunday, 31 October. So, I looked it up in the Schiltz family recipe book (my Aunt and cousins are Schiltzes) for the Cold Sock Treatment procedure. This is it in a nutshell: Take a bath or a hot shower or soak your feet in hot water to get yourself really warm. Dress warmly for bed. Wet cotton socks in cold water (just the foot part) and wring out well. Put them on your feet (truly heinous, but not as bad as you might think!) and put on a thick pair of wool socks over them. Jump into bed and go to sleep. The idea, is that your circulatory system is so busy getting your feet warm again that all the fluids drain from your head and upper respiratory system. IT WORKS!!!! I am truly amazed.

To be honest, I also took an Actigrip tablet (An Italian medicine something like Vick's Medinight in a pill), so I can't be sure to what extent either measure did the job, BUT Tuesday evening I had a low-grade fever and my sinuses and nasal passages were almost completely blocked. I slept well, was able to breathe and the next morning I felt so much better! Magnus predicted that I would feel worse again once the Actigrip wore off, but that never happened. last night (Wednesday) I did the Treatment again and forgot to take another Actigrip. I feel even better today. And the best part is, that I seem to still have a voice... Pray, cross your fingers or press your thumbs for me please that the improvement continues and I don't have to cancel or be terribly disappointed with my performance on Sunday.

Thank you Colleen!!!


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