When I’m Sick

when I'm sick

I hate when I’m sick.  I realize not many people like it but some definitely cope better than others, more content (the advantage of being introverted, I guess) to lounge around day after day.  Not me, it’s driving me crazy!

A Cold or RSV but not Covid?

These past two weeks I have been feeling miserable, with a hacking cough and sinus infection.  Hubby caught whatever it is a few days after me.  His coughing is worse (chestier) than mine as his lungs are weakened by allergies. He typically suffers much longer than I do too.

It hit me the day we were scheduled to host Christmas dinner, a mere week after we arrived home from Florida. I woke up with a scratchy throat, assuming it was from a poor sleep. I performed a rapid antigen test, the kind we have available at our local grocers, just to be sure it was not Covid related, so I could warn family members (before they arrived) if it was.

I have repeatedly tested myself for Covid since then with negative results.  Who knows though, if rapid tests are capable of detecting the current variants.

Immune Systems

My immune system used to be much stronger, in fact, at one point in my life its over-reaction was the final verdict (after thousands of tests) in the saga of my stillbirths.  

Within the past (almost) three years that hasn’t been the case.  Instead, I seem to catch everything that goes around. I know I’m (aren’t we all?) getting older but this seems drastic to me, considering otherwise I’m in good shape and health. I guess that’s why they have an over 60 category in vaccination availability, I just keep forgetting that this category refers to me.

My immune system has definitely been significantly weaker since I was sick with a brutal cold in February of 2020, the worse one I’ve ever experienced.   I now believe that the virus that struck me down back then was Covid-19, before Covid was a household name here.  At least here in Canada. Suspicious theories have it lurking long before we reacted to it (shut down) in mid-March, 2020.

Due to our weakened immune systems, and the desire to travel and spend time with our six rapidly-growing, active grandchildren, we obligingly rolled up our sleeves for four rounds of Covid vaccinations over the past two and a half years, and one flu shot most recently. I hate to think how sick we would be without all those shots; it sure does make you wonder about their efficacy. But that’s a whole other story, one I’m quite happy to let the scientists rule on.

Limited Accomplishments When I’m Sick

I’ve been getting lots of rest, in fact wake up in the mornings thinking I’m better, only to be frustrated with a return of coughing fits and green-filled (gross) sinuses around 2 pm. I did the same that other time I was so sick, thought I had recuperated when I had in fact not. Passing out in the shower was the rude awakening then, so this time I am trying to be more patient. Pun intended.

I’ve managed little things around the house, like (lovingly) banishing Christmas decorations to the garage for another year.  And sprouting and potting up new plant babies that were meant to be birthday gifts for my two late-December-celebrating daughters-in-law.  I figured with no human babies due this year (that I know of) some plant babies would be appropriate.  If you two are reading this, your (plant) babies are still here waiting for me to be healthy enough to drop them off.  And, I cannot wait to spend time with your real babies!  And you and your husbands of course. That is the worst part when I’m sick. Hands down, this extrovert misses her family.

Spending time chatting with my youngest son has also been a bonus as he’s been home from Victoria for a month over the holidays.  Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to go out much; lunches at new (to us) spots are our favourite. We did go check out the outdoor Christmas lights in our neighborhood and downtown one evening though. And cheered on the Canadian hockey team as it competed in the World Juniors tournament, emerging as the champions in the final game. Some of the games, including the final, were a little too nail-bitingly exciting, with the winning goal delayed until 3-on-3 overtime. Despite my cold, I was able to hold my breath (both in fear and anticipation) as well as yell and cheer loudly, joining many other hockey fans across this hockey-loving country.

That’s about the extent of my excitement though, so far this year…Cheers to a happy and healthy 2023!

photo credit

Cold Weather, can one be Allergic to it?

cold weather

This is an old post that I was reminded of this morning with the frigid weather forecast. The walls of our house were actually creaking (more like loud bangs) in protest the night before, warning us that the cold is coming. The post is still relevant, except for the hockey arena part. I miss the hockey games, but not the cold bleachers we had to park our butts on….

Allergy to Cold Weather

I am seriously starting to wonder if I am allergic to the cold weather we (too) often experience here in Ottawa, Canada.  As soon as I go outside my nose starts to drip. Seriously. December, January, and February are the worst, but I don’t mind saying I get tired of it. Fast. Usually, as soon as Christmas is over.

My body is not coping well with the cold, so it makes it difficult to want to go outside for anything that is not absolutely necessary. The cold is wreaking havoc with a perennial New Year’s resolution to get more exercise since walking is usually my main form of exercise between November and March when my gardens are covered in snow. To remedy this, I have taken up doing planks which are great for my muscles, especially the core muscles, but don’t contribute to the cardiovascular exercise I need. 

Conditions Aggravated by Cold Weather

I know cold can aggravate conditions like Raynaud’s Phenomenon where blood flow is restricted to the body’s extremities when they get cold.  Cold can also aggravate arthritis causing joint pain

My problem is neither of these conditions.  My whole body seems to ache when I get cold.  If my feet get cold, the aching pain starts in my feet and ankles, but then moves up my legs to my hips too.  The pain actually feels like my bones are aching.  Sitting in a cold car or cold hockey arena watching my son play can easily set the aching off.  When this happens I find heat and Advil are the only remedies. 

Heating Pads to Treat Symptoms

I purchased a click heat pad recently; it works great…

Click Heat, a cold weather buster
Click Heat

Simply press the small metal disc that is floating inside the heating pad to activate it.  As soon as the disc is pressed, the pad heats up and gets firm.  It stays warm for hours, so you can move it around to heat all of your achy body parts.  When it cools off, all you have to do is place the pad in boiling water to return it to its liquid state. 

 Click Heat comes in many shapes, colors, and sizes. If you think you may be allergic to cold weather too, pick up your heat pad, they do help.

Or head south to enjoy some warmer temperatures. I hear Mexico is nice this time of year!

photo credit: Ruvim Miksanskiy, pexels.com

Final garden chores

Well, our beautiful fall weather has come to an end here in Ottawa, so I am closing out my GARDENS4U season with some final garden chores:

  • cut back any perennials that get mushy or moldy (hostas, peonies, tall phlox)  Leave the rest for the birds, rabbits, squirrels etc.
  • mound clean soil (just plain, new soil,  no fertilizer) around the crowns of roses and any other less hardy plants.
  • mulch leaves and spread them around the plants in my gardens.  I will probably have to borrow some leaves from my neighbours or clients to do this as the trees in my yard are predominantly evergreens.
  • take any frost tender potted plants indoors (there are a few I overwinter)
  • put containers that are not cold hardy into the garage (those without drainage holes are especially susceptible to cracking) Store them on a shelf or other spot off the floor.
  • remove any cold sensitive decorations from the garden and store them (not on the floor) in the garage
  • pick any blooms still thriving; the frosty nights will kill them fast

That will probably end my garden posts for a while, I will have to look elsewhere for inspiration…

Cold Weather, can one be Allergic to it?

cold weather

This is an old post, but still relevant, except for the hockey arena part.

I am seriously starting to wonder if I am allergic to the cold weather we (too) often experience here in Ottawa, Canada.  As soon as I go outside my nose starts to drip. Seriously. December, January, and February are the worst, but I don’t mind saying I get tired of it. Fast. Usually, as soon as Christmas is over.

My body is not coping well with the cold, so it makes it difficult to want to go outside for anything that is not absolutely necessary. The cold is wreaking havoc with a perennial New Year’s resolution to get more exercise since walking is usually my main form of exercise between November and March when my gardens are covered in snow. To remedy this, I have taken up doing planks which are great for my muscles, especially the core muscles, but don’t contribute to the cardiovascular exercise I need. 

I know cold can aggravate conditions like Raynaud’s Phenomenon where blood flow is restricted to the body’s extremities when they get cold.  Cold can also aggravate arthritis causing joint painMy problem is neither of these conditions.  My whole body seems to ache when I get cold.  If my feet get cold, the aching pain starts in my feet and ankles, but then moves up my legs to my hips too.  The pain actually feels like my bones are aching.  Sitting in a cold car or cold hockey arena watching my son play can easily set the aching off.  When this happens I find heat and Advil are the only remedies.  I purchased a click heat pad recently; it works great…

You simply press the small metal disc that is floating inside the heating pad to activate it.  As soon as the disc is pressed, the pad heats up and gets firm.  It stays warm for hours, so you can move it around to heat all of your achy body parts.  When it cools off, all you have to do is place the pad in boiling water to return it to its liquid state. 

 Click Heat comes in many shapes, colors, and sizes. If you think you may be allergic to cold weather too, pick up your heat pad.

photo credit: Ruvim Miksanskiy, pexels.com