Monday, May 5

flu squared


I messaged my also unwell friend and told her that after a couple of hours of being in a cold indoor environment {dressed in many layers and coat}, I now had swollen tonsils and glands again. She replied, ‘winter is an ugly time for cfs’. I basked in her empathy.

During winter I never really know if I have a virus, cold, flu or just cfs. The symptoms are permanent, and vary according to how warm and rested I am. It’s almost like a reward system - Go in the cold, and you will receive tongue ulcers in ten minutes. Eat chicken soup and sit by the heater, and your throat pain will ease. Because of this highly interactive/interfering system, I find myself eating three hot meals a day, numerous hot drinks, and wearing an unflattering number of garments.

The unrelenting succession of ulcers, glands swelling, tonsil swelling and mucus is a melancholic reality – which just got more melancholic as I realised it’s not officially Winter yet. The very best way to describe winter with a pre-existing illness is ‘flu squared’. My brother coined the term.

Melancholy countering points:

1.       I may be fighting harder than during the summer, but I am not as ill as I was in 2011, 12 and 13. It feels very good to be able to look to the past, and look at the present and see differences. 

2.       Woodfire smokes makes for wonderful night time walks.

3.       Each year I learn about another alternative health philosophy or two. This year I am discovering the Indian Ayurvedic thoughts about the main types of people, and how to counter their imbalances. When I read the description for ‘vata’ people, I felt like they were writing about me, exactly, and my version of cfs. I am introducing some very warming, grounding food into my life.

4.       Earthing or Grounding is a newish, rather wacky, possibly unscientific, and very hippy thing. I don’t tell my dentist that I oil pull, and I won’t tell my doctor if I begin ‘Earthing’, but when hydrocortisone and other drugs have failed, you find yourself rather open minded and experiment friendly. A friend is going to lend me her Earthing mat, and I will be sure to let you know if the earth’s free electrons benefit me in any way whatsoever.    

The sharing of any winter-combating ideas will be welcomed. I have already figured out tea and hugs.



  1. Yup, winter is bad! So many layers that we waddle.

    Sorry to hear the hydrocortisone didn't work :( well done for getting a doc to prescibe it, though... mine won't believe me when I suggest (saliva) cortisol testing

    1. Comforted that I'm not alone in winter miseries!

      My docs didn't like my cortisol testing either ;)