27 Mar 2013

Vitamin C is My Drug

The plan was to not get ill in Paris because I'm petrified of the healthcare system.  I've been here now for a grand total of 7 months (I could technically finish my year abroad in two days' time ya know!), and I haven't - hadn't - been ill once. Which is surprising given the number of people who have coughed and breathed on me on the metro.  And for the record, I give the scariest 'evils' to those who do.  I always carry hand sanitizer around (that's the half-American in me) but it's sometimes too late when my grumbling stomach forgets about germs and I nom on a pain au chocolat before squirting the pungent liquid onto my palms.  But I was taught that a few germs never hurt anyone...

I've also had plenty of long nights due to my social habits, which means I've felt pretty run down and experienced plenty of occasions where my bed just doesn't seem to want to release me at the sound of my alarm.  But despite drinking my body weight in caffeine for the past three weeks (new job, longer hours), I've been a happy and healthy little bunny!  Until now, that is.  

You know when you wake up in the morning and your throat feels a little sore?  And then as the day goes on your throat isn't just sore, but it's burning?  You feel phlegm (vile word I know!) starting to build in your mouth and you try to stop yourself from making weird noises in your throat to relieve the pain and spit out the unpleasant gunge which is suffocating you.  Your ears start popping and you become slightly deaf.  In fact, your whole head feels like it's been stuffed with cotton wool and repeatedly wacked with a tennis racket.  You keep swallowing to check you can still breathe.  The all too familiar symptoms of the common cold.  Until it turns into tonsillitis and you're on your deathbed for two weeks.  Been there, done that, cried to the Doctor. 

So it was a couple days ago that I woke up and had more than one alarm bell ringing.  Sore throat.  Sore realisation.  So what did I do?  I did what any desperate-to-be-healthy person would do in my situation and ran to the supermarket to stock up on ridiculous quantities of Vitamin C.  After drinking about a gallon of water and hoping that would 'flush out' my cold.

Breakfast this morning consisted of half a grapefruit and half a cantaloupe melon while dinner right now consisted of the other half of melon, some rather large glugs of Tropicana OJ and a tangerine.  Plus cheese, hummous and crackers of course.  Please don't mistake conscious Vitamin C overdose for 'dieting'.  Although talking of dieting, I managed to have about seven slices of cake last night for a friend's birthday since he kindly treated us to some delicacies from 'Paul'.  That, plus hot cross buns galore, smothered with butter (this was just dessert).  I'm definitely on a seafood diet right now.  I see food, and then I eat it.  Yea, yea, I know that was lame.

So in short of eating an orange tree, I think I'm just going to have to wade this one out.  Although I'm currently harking back to when I had tonsillitis back in December 2011 and I remember being so fed up that I decided to console myself with a vodka orange or two.  I think the effects of Vitamin C plus alcohol are pretty profound because the next morning I was starting to feel back to my normal self again.  I see what they mean when they say alcohol's a drug.

1 comment:

  1. A friend suggested to me before that when you're starting to feel that you're going to be sick, you have to overdose yourself with Vitamin C, like 2000mg-3000mg (higher dose if you're taking it everyday), which is pretty effective and I can attest to that! I've been doing this ever since she told me how it works and it has never failed me since then. Juliana Vanslyke