For the THIRD time in the last 5 months, I’m sick. I’m pretty sure it’s just a cold, but this particular one has lasted 6 days and isn’t showing any signs of going away. My last cold was a mere 3 weeks ago. The first one was during my last week at Bloomberg (but went away after a day or so).
I haven’t gotten a flu shot, and I don’t intend to. When I was buying cold medicine at Duane Reade, they tried to upsell me with a flu shot. Seriously?! That’s really weird to me. You upsell donating a dollar to a charity, not injecting a virus into your body. I’m not one of those people who think immunizations are a big conspiracy/cause autism/make you sicker than you would have been without them. I haven’t read enough research to back up an opinion on that either way. I just don’t do needles/shots unless it’s absolutely necessary.
It was necessary when I was in the hospital when I was 17 and needed an IV so that I wouldn’t die. They had to draw my blood every 4 hours to make sure it was rebuilding itself, and I think that experience made me develop a really, really strong hatred for needles. A few years later, when I was getting my wisdom teeth out and kept gagging from the laughing gas, the only option was to do anesthesia. It was after 40 minutes of laughing gas, so I barely felt it. But I remember warning the oral surgeon that “Needles are a really bad idea with me…” He asked why, and my response was “Because I don’t like them.” Then I fell asleep and woke up missing three wisdom teeth.)
Needles make me squeamish. I’ve never donated blood or plasma (or even toyed with the idea). I can’t watch medical shows that might even show a needle. I can’t even read a question in an advice column about drawing blood without grabbing my arms to protect them from the thought of a needle. Oddly, I have two tattoos (well, the bigger one as pretty squiggly lines from my squirming), have had my ears pierced 8 times (none of them lasted…), and had my belly butt0n pierced while standing up without passing out (I took it out 3 years ago). None of that really phased me too much, but for some reason, I just can’t easily handle getting shots or having my blood drawn at the doctor’s office. But I digress.
So, living in a big city like this, I’m exposed to a lot more germs than I was in Indianapolis. Last year, I could keep my exposure to others at a minimum- I had a car for transportation, a cubicle at work (with my own hand sanitizer dispenser that I used several times a day), and lived in a very clean apartment with a very clean roommate. But now- My office has an open setting. I use public transportation. I have a much smaller, less clean apartment in a building with a lot more people. Amazingly, Andy hasn’t gotten sick from me lately. But he’s been sleeping on the couch since I’ve been sick.
Possible culprits of my current cold:
- The Subway- holding on to the bar, being thisclose to countless strangers of questionable health
- Touching the ballet barre at class- Spending over an hour twice a week holding onto a ballet barre that was previously held onto by other people, (who were also exposed to the dirty subway), and possibly even… children!
- Work- Where to begin? We have a kitchen. We have an open setting, and everyone sits fairly close together. There’s a mysterious mug-washer who takes our coffee mugs off of our desks and washes them over the weekend. I shouldn’t complain about this, but i find it weird. Maybe it’s the abundance of unhealthy food choices that I can’t seem to resist (so. much. candy.) Maybe it’s the mold that I just noticed growing at the bottom of the plastic straw in my reusable Starbucks* cup (I think that appeared over the weekend. At least, I hope that’s what happened.). Maybe it’s that there are so many guys in this office, and guys generally don’t wash their hands nearly as much as girls.
- The weather change- It’s been colder. That’s never good for my health.
- Shopping- I went to anthropologie last week. Whenever I’m there, I feel the need to touch and smell everything in the store. Bad choice, but I doubt I will change my ways.
- Touching doors just about anywhere in the city, which unfortunately happens more than I’d like.
- Touching my Kindle last week. I had taken a break from it for a few weeks to re-read an actual printed book, and then started reading a book on it last week. Maybe my sick germs from the previous cold were still on it?
- Stress. I think it’s mostly the faster-paced lifestyle/new annoyances (train delays, people walking in front of me and smoking, dirty people everywhere, etc). But I have been a bit on edge. Planning travel arrangements for Christmas was kind of stressful, and so were a few particular days at work (like when our product crashed for almost a full day..). Or maybe I’m stressed because my hair dryer blew a fuse in our bathroom, and we haven’t had electricity in our bathroom (or in the part of the kitchen that has the only outlet the microwave can reach) in a week. We’ve notified the landlord, but it’s taking longer to fix than I’m okay with. Stressful!
So what’s a girl to do? Here’s how I’ve been dealing with it:
- Puffs Plus tissues infused with Vick’s vapor-rub. Oh my. Amazing. I could sit and hold one of them up to my nose and just inhale all day. But that would be weird.
- Orange juice
- Jamba Juice with the immunity boost (which I think might just be orange juice..)
- Vampire sneezes/coughs on the subway (not really helping me, but I’m sure the people around me hate me slightly less because of it)
- Going to bed at 10:30 (or at least trying to…)
- Tylenol Daytime/Nighttime cold- I’ve been popping Tylenol Day/Night like it’s my job. Well, sort of. I keep my daytime pills at work so that I can convince myself to come in to the office, and I feel better once I’ve taken one. I only take one nighttime pill because any more than that will leave me totally knocked out for the next 16 hours at least. I can’t even handle Nyquil.
- Tea. Lots and lots of tea. Earl grey at work, green tea with honey and lemon at home. Yummy!
I suppose I could just go to a doctor, but I don’t even know what they’d be able to do. It’s just a cold. I don’t want to be on antibiotics unless it’s absolutely necessary (due to the way they interact with birth control..), and I’m not getting a flu shot. I tend to try to ignore that I’m sick unless I physically can’t.
Despite how I’ve been feeling lately, I went to ballet yesterday and Wednesday. I’ve now used up all 10 of my classes from the groupon, so next time I’ll have to buy a 10-class card for more than twice what I paid for the groupon. I’m probably going to just go once a week for a while (at least until I start feeling better). Who am I kidding? I say that, but it won’t happen. I love it too much. I’m getting better at it each week, and it’s a lot of fun. My body’s starting to look noticeably better. I’m sure the exercise is a good thing, even if I’ve become a lot more aware of certain bones in my feet and muscles in my legs.
Now, I just need to build up a NYC-worthy immune system. Any suggestions on how to do that?
*Holy crap, these are selling for a lot. Mine was a gift last year, but when they were $12. Mine’s also a Venti size. And apparently has mold on the inside of the straw. Ew.