Thursday, January 19, 2006

Colds--what is with Korean colds??

Well, as luck would have it, I've gotten another Korean cold. Or, with my symptoms, I'd say by now I have the flu, or part-Bronchitis.

Last week, I think it was Monday or Tuesday, I slept until nearly 12:30 pm. As I think about it, I must have slept about 12 hours that day. I had the keys to open the school; and though our school classes don't start until 2pm, I had expected one of our Korean teachers, Cindy, to show up by 12:40. Lucky for me, it was up to me to get going and open the doors for her.

That morning, I woke up feeling terrible; my whole body ached, I couldn't keep down water or anything solid, and all I wanted to do was get back into bed and hope whatever was going on in my body would pass. I was able to get up and do my usual 8:30 am phone tutoring with a student or two, but afterward, it was back to bed for me. I'm usually not one to miss work or better, go to the doctor unless I'm on my near-death bed---and I was hoping that if I slept enough, whatever I had would pass and sleeping would refresh me: otherwise, remain passive and hope my body would take care of itself.

Now, that's the approach you SHOULDN'T take! As it turns out, my Korean co-workers talked me into seeing an eye/ear/nose/throat doctor just down the street from the school, and get some medicine by all means, to get rid of the infection in my lungs. I looked into the mirror passing the bathroom before heading out to the doc's, and I swore I never looked so terrible in my life!

Sure enough, I found the doctor's office. 40 minutes of waiting, and only 10 minutes in and out, I think by now I'm on the road to recovery again. But the visit to the doctor was interesting; I understood just about 10% of what the doctor was telling me. The rest I guessed. Afterall, I had given the ladies at the reception desk a list of what I was feeling (like headache, chills, stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, coughing, whole body-aches, etc.) and after a quick inspection of my nose, ears and throat, he gestered my 'symptoms' and that's really all I can tell you. He said "Yak," which means Pharmacy in Korean, and said thank you--thereafter the Nurse led me into a small room and told me to breath into a respirator (I believe after finding out later, it's a nebulizer geared to opened up the lungs and break apart the mucous, which made (and still makes) it difficult to breath.

Well, my Korean pills are all used up, including the sore-throat medicine, so lately I've been drinking loads of Korean tea (including Citron Quinscene Tea, which is supposed to be loaded with tons of Vitamin C). I also picked up some Ginger tea, which I hear helps the body to build antibodies and defend itself against sickness. Ahhh.. and I've read tons more; like eating Kimchi,
drinking tea combinations (ginger, quince, jujube), including ... boiling deer antler jelly? Hmmm.

I still have a terrible smoker's cough, though it's getting better (ah, believe me, I'm far from a smoker!), and I have a tension headache constantly. I don't have the usual infection, yellow-color stuff, so I think I have some allergies that I'm also dealing with simultaneously. Tomorrow I promised myself that I would head over to Homeplus in Chilgok and see if they have any over-the-counter medicine for headaches---and ready-made Kimchi! Being sick really bites; and I'm bound to find the cure to remedy getting sick again---or, at least, all too often!

So far, this is the semi-natural remedy I've come up with: And this has been my own Korean cold/flu/sickness remedy from trial and tribulation! I'm getting better, day by day, and it's not just from the Korean medicine I took from a doctor's prescription: It takes several factors to keep from getting sick, and a commitment to stick with it! (of course, they're not in order...)

1. Eat Kimchi regularly~ supposedly the hot/spicy properties in the cabbage and frequency of eating Kimchi helps the body to ward off sickness (follow the link and read more).

2. Drink at least 3 or more cups of hot tea: Forget Coffee---pick up Ginger, Soon-Citron/Quince Tea, JuJube and/or Black Tea, drinking with or without meals (check out the link).

3. Get some vitamin C pill tablets as soon as you think you're getting sick.

4. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables daily (not just Kimchi, or those side-dishes they give you when you eat out; I'm talking about a good home-made salad with nuts, olive oil and cider vinegar/basalmic vinegar!

5. Get lots of sleep, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly (easier than done, believe me!)

6. Last but not least, going to the doctor's and getting bonafied medicine can often cut the sick-time in half. I usually wait before I 'get the shot'---and I'd sure like to know what's in it---because I'm usually back to normall within 1 or 2 days!

Best of luck--to my own sickness and yours during this flu/cold season!

~ Chelsea


spark said...

i can send you some neo citron if you like.


Chelsea said...

Hehe.. thanks! Yeah, I need to find some of that. I hear it works wonders. I wonder if Homeplus or Costco sells that?? :)