Being Sick Is For The Birds

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I mean, they're the ones you're always hearing about getting the flu. Fortunately, I'm not a bird so you're unlikely to find me gizzard-up in a ditch somewhere. You can replace the word "fortunately" with "unfortunately" if you don't like me.

I have had the sniffles lately, and I'm trying desperately not to get sick again. This means taking a cocktail of drugs without considering the possible interactions, because none of them actually have any "active" ingredients, according to the FDA. Deep down I don't really believe that alternative medicines will benefit me at all, unless I happen to own stock in the drug-making companies, and then only very slightly. But when you're feeling terrible you're often willing to go to extreme measures, even abandon your beliefs or take on new ones, in order to get back to normal. It's worth a shot, right ? I think if I can just let myself believe a little bit, the placebo effect will give my immune system the push it needs.

Being sick is one of the most uncomfortable and miserable states you can be in. A cure would be worth a fortune to me and most everyone else, with the possible exception of those people who enjoy being miserable. You know someone like that, admit it.

If someone came up to me and told me they would trade with me, say, my car in exchange for either a pill that would instantly make me well or what's behind door #1, I would seriously consider the mysterious door, and then I would even more seriously consider the pill.

As far as I know, no such miracle pill exists for curing the common cold, so I'm forced to resort to more primitive measures. Currently I've been taking Centrum multivitamins, high doses of Vitamin-C, Echinacea, and a new one: Zicam.

Zicam is labeled as a homeopathic medicine, not because it actually has anything to do with homeopathy, but because it's a trendy word and it will increase sales to nutty people. We should review the idea behind homeopathic medicine real quick.

The homeopathic doctrine extends from the same line of reasoning as vaccines: take a little bit of what causes the symptoms, and it will stimulate your immune system to combat the illness. That's where the similarities end. Whereas modern medicines are given in doses as large as possible without side-effects (such as death), homeopathy states that the less of the original ingredient there is in a remedy, the more powerful it becomes. The less you use, the better it works ! Which would lead one to conclude that it works best if you don't use any at all.

Zicam doesn't fit in here because it has very measurable amounts of its active ingredient, zinc, in the recommended dose. The jury is still out on whether zinc is actually effective at curing the common cold, but I've heard enough real-life testimonials (one) to give it a shot myself.

The good news is, at the time I'm publishing this, I'm actually feeling much better. Even still, you never know if the drug actually worked, or if you got better on your own. I guess in the end, it doesn't really matter.

2 Comments

I hope you get better soon, mister, because you have a lot to do this weekend! ;)

Scientists have discovered that Echinacea does not really work. You forgot to try rest.