Losing our Grippe?

I gotta go back to work tomorrow after having been off since Thursday evening. The time off was not voluntary — I’ve been sick. And then Sarah got whatever I had after that. We’re not sure if it’s another case of Hamthrax (though that would be an interesting coincidence, nearly six months after the initial entry into Germany from Mexico here in Regensburg — which was not our fault!).

I’m not sure how I contracted the illness. I was working from our Nürnberg office on Thursday, which meant mass transit and plenty of shared airspace and handgrips, but I would not have expected such a short timespan between contraction and symptom manifestation. By the time I got home from that trip, I was exhausted and had a cough-causing tickle in my lungs. I didn’t know I was sick then. I didn’t figure I was anything more than tired from a long work day when I went to bed early (around 8pm) until I woke up sweaty around 1am.

I pretty much didn’t get out of bed until 36 hours later. Incredible weakness and dizziness and dull joint pain throughout, which didn’t subside until the onset of the deep, raspy, waterchestnutty (squish-crunch!) slimelogged bronchial coughs. I requested a doctor appointment right away on Friday morning, but didn’t get one until Monday evening. I got the doctor’s note for the time missed (Friday and Monday) plus today. I’m pretty much better, but Sarah’s a couple days behind me in the cycle.

If you get whatever’s going around — Aporkalypse or not — good luck. Until then, here’re some friendly pre-infection tips from my mom. These sound like good tips especially for the traveling sort:

  1. Frequent hand-washing.

  2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face.

  3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

  4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

  5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

  6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

11 thoughts on “Losing our Grippe?”

  1. Tammy

    The Jala Neti can be done with the Nasen Dusche (can get one in Mueller or DM in Germany). I highly recommend it. If anyone ends up cleaning out their nasal passages with a string, I’d like to hear all about it!

    The Neti exercises are not actually asana, but they are traditional cleansing techniques.

  2. tqe | Adam


    I hope both of you get fully functional soon!

  3. Michelle

    Ugh, if it’s the one many of us in Munich have, beware…the bug comes, goes… and then strikes again a few days later with persistent slimy throat and cough. Hope you guys feel better soon!

    1. cliff1976

      Tammy: OK. I believe you. The tips came from an email someone forwarded my mom, and are supposedly from an Indian specialist. It might all be bogus forwarded email stuff, but none of it looked like nonsense.

      Adam: Thanks!

      Michelle: Thanks for the warning. My slimy throat phase has been here pretty much since I decided I could remain out of bed for more than an hour at a time. At least the only thing hurting anymore are my abs, from coughing so much so far.

  4. Tammy

    The cleansing techniques you mentioned are from traditional Indian medicine, they are just something called Kriya in Sanskrit rather than asana. People really do clean their noses out with a thread – I’d like to watch out of morbid curiosity. I’m not sure how well I’d do trying it myself even if it does prevent the flu!

    One tip with the Nase Dusche, make sure that you really dry your nose out afterward. I didn’t do that very well yesterday morning, and I had a super stuffy nose until I figured out what was going on. Actually, your post is what made me think of it! Thanks.

    It sounds like it’s been rough. If you need any more packages dropped on your windowsill, let me know.

  5. Kathy

    Sorry you and your daughter have been sick. My daughter has had some sort of illness for six weeks she is finally getting back to normal. Great tips and hope you both feel better soon.

  6. Sarah

    @Tammy: I think we’re finally functional again. Cliff’s back at work and I was able to scrape myself out of bed at a single-digit hour. Haven’t tried leaving the house yet, though. I’m still a little squirrelly about that.

    @Kathy: Thanks for the well-wishes. Just to clarify, though, I’m the wife. We don’t have any kids.

  7. Tammy

    :-) If anything, Cliff would be the child in the house…….

    Glad you are on the mend.

  8. Sarah

    @Tammy: Well, I am the dependent, so the case could be made for me, as well!

  9. Tammy

    Well, our house is full of three kids and only two of us our dependents at the moment. One of us is bound to grow up at some point, and I suspect Clair has a good chance of being the one.

  10. Matt M.


    Hadn’t heard from you in a while. Hope that you are feeling better.

    Kick me off any email if you get the chance.

    Matt Miller

What's your take on it?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.