Weighty Matters

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Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever?

on December 2, 2012

Show of hands — which is it?  Feed a cold, starve a fever or starve a cold, feed a fever?  Who thinks that either is total claptrap and has nothing whatsover to do with making us feel better when we’re sick?

I have a cold.  I’ve been battling getting sick since last week and thought that I successfully kept illness at bay by boosting my immune system with Vitamin C dosing.  After a week of the cold coming in and receding like some germy tide, I honestly thought I’d won.  Then I woke up this morning, started sneezing and felt the cold symptoms progressing through my nose, into my head.  I’m made of tough stuff, however, and don’t easily give in.  I had plans today, damnit, fun plans.  Fun, going to swim with dolphins while wearing a Santa hat for my holiday photos, plans.  I went, had a great time, got adorable photos (Yes, I will share them when I finish my photo holiday card.) and then came home and wanted to melt into bed like a rag doll.

Ordinarily, I have a powerful immune system and, thankfully, do not often get sick.  I think all of the travel and running around finally undermined me and left me susceptible.  I’m sure this was not helped by the woman two seats over in my row on the flight to Jersey who hacked, coughed and wheezed for two hours.

The few times that I do get sick, I usually crave specific foods:  extra crisp bacon, tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches.  I figured that a couple slices of extra crisp bacon would not throw me off track too badly, so I made some for breakfast.  I then fed at least half of it to the dogs.   The hot cup of tea, however, was excellent!

I went off to the dolphin swim and was gone for a few hours.  When I returned, I still wasn’t hungry after my shower  but knew that my body needed sustenance.  I don’t have bread in the house, so grilled cheese was not an option, and defrosting some homemade tomato soup was beyond my ability.  I took out two small stalks of celery, dipped one in a scoop of hummus and the other in some soft Brie and called it lunch.  Followed by another cup of tea.

At that point I really wanted to collapse in the chair, so I did for an hour or two.  Then I remembered that I had an assignment due tonight!  Yikes.  I brewed more tea and forced my brain to concentrate.  This is a little more difficult with a low grade fever and frequent bouts of sneezing, but I kept going.

A few more hours passed.  Dinner time came.  And went.  Totally not hungry, darn it, and I had really been looking forward to some deliciously grilled tri-tip beef!  Finally, I got up out of the chair and grilled the meat with a zuccini side dish.  Next to chocolate, I love really good beef more than any other food.  Do you have any idea how frustrating and annoying it was to lose all appetite after three bites?  I couldn’t force another forkful down on a bet.  Nat and Pyxi were quite pleased to receive the remainder of my paltry serving.

So, here I sit, forcing fluids like a good patient.  I’m not going to say that I’m starving.  One would actually need to be hungry and deprived for that condition.  I know this condition won’t last long.  For now, I guess I’ll just be satisfied to have fed by need to whine.

Thanks for listening.

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5 responses to “Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever?

  1. Nan says:

    Mary, you have my every sympathy. I have a dreadful cold, complete with aches, cough, stuff nose, chest congestion, and fever. Yuck! I tried fighting it all weekend because we were up at some friends’ house visiting and I hated not feeling well. Today, it’s the sofa and orange juice with Pellegrino because that is the only things that tastes good and I too, have zero appetite. Not going to worry, just going to veg until this thing subsides.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  2. Chicken soup – egg drop is good, just broth with extra garlic and a bit of soy sauce and then the egg – and zinc lozenges.

    Feel better soon!!

  3. Skye says:

    Bummer on the cold and the lack of appetite. I am on the side of “this is all claptrap” because you should try to eat in either case to have the energy to fight off the damned bug. Glad you were able to eat a little, but too bad Nat and Pyxi got the lion’s share (or doggy’s share) of your beef.

    Get better soon! And boo-yah for you, swimming with dolphins when you felt like crap! Am I a total wuss to say that I find the concept of swimming with dolphins to be scarier than bungee jumping?

    • Mary Stella says:

      No, you aren’t a total wuss. I’m interested in hearing what about it frightens you. Maybe I can help reduce the fear.

      I am amazed you bungee jumped. That’s definitely on my “never ever” list. I really do want to zipline however.

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