Tis the Season to be ……..Sneezing?

SneezingEach year, as November rolls around, I enter my danger period for colds, and respiratory infections. I suspect it’s a mix of things that makes me vulnerable. In addition to having lots of extra things to do with the holidays, it’s always a busy time for me at work, meaning I sleep less than usual, and get pretty run-down. Add into the mix the sudden cold temperatures, being exposed to lots of other people who seem to be sick, and before you know it, I’m sniffling.

Over the years, I’ve adopted a number of preventive behaviors in an attempt to ward off illness. Some have passed by the wayside, but others have been added to my daily routine. After years of doctors’ encouragements, I now get a flu shot every year (which absolutely will not prevent colds or sinus infections, but hopefully will fight off the flu).

I have a huge container of hand sanitizer sitting on my desk, and clean my hands multiple times over the course of the day. I’ve recently brought in some cleanser to my office and wipe down my keyboard, mouse, door knob, and desk at least once a day (sensing a bit of paranoia here?).

Then there are the daily multi-vitamins. I have no idea if they do any good, but I take them regularly. For most of the year I try to eat fairly healthy, including lots of fruits and vegetables in my daily diet. That good eating can go out the window as Thanksgiving roles around and I’m tempted by more and more goodies, and have less and less time to prepare meals. This year, I’m trying to really focus on maintaining healthy eating. We’ll see how long that lasts.

And then there’s my neti pot, which now that I think of it, is worth a blog post of its own. I use this every morning when I wake up, and every evening when I come home from work. For an interesting, more biological/scientific explanation of what neti pots do, check out webmd.

All of this seemed to be working fairly well, until a couple days ago, when the people in the offices on either side of mine began sniffling, coughing, and generally displaying sick behaviors. Whether out of sympathy, or true illness, sure enough, I started sniffling a bit in turn.

So far, I’m managing to fight off a cold, but I keep feeling that others are conspiring against me. Hopefully, with a bit of sleep (thank goodness it’s the weekend), I can ward off the evil germs.

How about you? Do you have any great preventive tips for warding off colds? Or are you one of the lucky ones with a healthy immune system?


9 thoughts on “Tis the Season to be ……..Sneezing?

  1. AAR Sandy

    Like you, I always get a flu shot. I missed last year since I was sniffling and coughing on a day when they were being offered near me and I missed my chance — and, wouldn’t you know it, I got the flu in January. This year, I’m back on schedule and protected.

    I stand by Airborne. Some mornings I wake up feeling a little chesty and I’ll drink a few and I don’t get sick nearly as often as those around me.

    There’s been some stuff written about the dangers of over sanitizing. Be careful you don’t go that path, LG.

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  2. Tee

    AAR Sandy: There’s been some stuff written about the dangers of over sanitizing.Be careful you don’t go that path, LG.

    Heard that, too. Our skin offers its own protection of sorts, so wiping clean constantly is not necessarily an advantage. And I’ve found that the older I get, the less colds I seem to get. Must be the built-up immunity to the many germs we’re exposed to all thru our life. I too get the flu shot, but that doesn’t help colds, as you said.

    LinnieGayl, I used to take a daily all-in-one vitamin, but read recently that we may be harming ourselves by doing this. I’ll try to scout down that article and send it to you. So what I’ve done is cut it down to every other day. I think it’s been said many times that Americans have the most vitaminated (a word?) urine in the world. Most of the time we just lose these vitamins from our body that way. But some vitamins accumulate in the system and that’s the danger.

    Here appears to be the cure. Live to a good long age and you’ll eventually be immune to most nasty germs and viruses flying around. Plus you won’t be around that many kids, usually, and colds will be a memory. Mothers whose kids are just beginning school appear to get sick a lot, as well as the kids. New teachers, especially, are prone to colds and other such nasty stuff, just because they have to work up that immunity.

    But I would definitely try to stay away from coughing and sneezing individuals, is that’s a possibility. Those sneezes throw the germs quite a distance and we inhale them.

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  3. LinnieGayl

    Thanks, Sandy and Tee. I’m definitely going to have to be careful about the over-sanitizing, because I suspect I’m going way overboard in my office.

    Tee, very interesting article. I’m going to have to think about this one, because it would seem that there are now serious questions about daily vitamins…hmmm..

    Sandy, I’ve never tried Airborne. I’ll have to look into it. That’s really unfortunate about getting the flu when you couldn’t get the shot.

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  4. LeeB.

    Tee: That was an interesting article. I’ll have discuss it at my checkup next month.

    As for keeping colds away, I definitely wash my hands a lot but I don’t use hand sanitizers. If someone touches my computer (for fixing something), as soon as they leave, I take out the cleaner and wipe it down. Other than that, I drink lots of liquids and exercise, and try to stay away from co-workers who are sick.

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  5. Shanna

    For me, the minute I start to feel the tickle in the throat and headache I go for the orange juice, at least 2 glasses a day. When I was in college and seemed to get sick all the time I started drinking orange juice everyday and it seemed to help me. Now every winter I start with a glass every morning. Not sure if it works but it makes me feel better.

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  6. CindyS

    I do use hand sanitizer when I can’t wash my hands – I use the keyboard at my local bookstore and you better believe I have that hand sanitizer whipped out! Also, money and keypads for interac – I will sanitize my hands. I have heard about the good bacteria I’m killing and I’m fine with it – it will grow back in under an hour with the amount of stuff we all touch. I’m just more aware of touching things that others touch constantly.

    I get my flu shot every year and I’m healthier all round. Okay, I have to knock on wood here, I don’t get sick nearly as often as I used to before the flu shot.

    Since I started using Hand sanitizer, getting my annual flu shot and adding vitamins I have been much healthier than those around me. Bob went down hard earlier in the year and I was just dreading getting it and instead, it passed me by. That would have been unheard of in previous years.

    So I would say stick with it – and yell at people who come to work and cough all over the place. Like seriously, take a few sick days so I don’t get sick.

    Bob’s co-worker used to walk in just hacking up an lung and Bob would then get sick and then I would so one day while feeling way too blue about the situation I told Bob to tell his co-worker to stay the f*ck home when he’s sick. Sure enough the next year Bob sent the guy home and we’re once again healthier.

    Stay Healthy!

    Oh, when I get a tickle or start to feel sick I take NyQuil immediately – sometimes I get lucky and it knocks it right out of me.


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  7. xina

    I have never gotten a flu shot and for the most part, I stay healthy through the flu season. I take a multi vitamin, fish oil pills and extra vitamin D. I also eat a lot of citrus…grapefruit, oranges. Drink fresh orange juice daily. I’m a very healthy eater, so I get my share of veggies and fruit daily. Also, try to get enough sleep and I think excercise really helps maintain health and keeps those colds away. Also, hand washing. Not overly so, but enough to keep the germs away that we all share with one another. :)

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  8. Blythe

    I’ve also never gotten a flu shot. I’m lucky in that I don’t get sick that often (yes, I’m knocking on wood), and when I do get sick, I often get the milder version of the bug that has other people a lot sicker. Although I got really sick at work a couple of weeks ago (which everyone commented on, because they never see me sick).

    I don’t do anything special to ward off illness, but I do exercise every day. I also will get a jamba juice with an immunity boost if I feel a cold coming on or if others around me are sick. I have no idea if it’s any help at all, but it can’t hurt.

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