3/28 The Swamp Monster

Although I’ve never been one to hit the sack particularly early, lately I’ve been dreading going to bed, because I don’t want to confront the swamp monster. The swamp monster doesn’t lurk under my bed or in my closet; no, the swamp monster has taken up residence in my lungs. If I’m not completely vertical, each breath reveals a hoarse, murky, wet sound that must belong to a creature with green scales and bleary eyes. This wretched interloper sneaked aboard while I was short-terming in a hermetically sealed newsroom—a great gig with fabulous people, but for this uninvited guest who came home with me. It’s been about ten years since I was last sick (lucky me!), so I’m going to share what I learned this time out.

1. Get enough sleep! It doesn’t matter what you need to do to get sleep, but it’s the number one priority.
2. Give up on the gym, except for the steam room, for a while. Exercise only exacerbates the condition.
3. Drink lots of fresh lemon juice to restore your body’s appropriate acid/alkaline balance and fight inflammation.
4. Forget inhalers and cough medicine with codeine (which about destroyed my stomach lining).
5. Minimize stress. Yeah, this one is tough and I’m sure it kept that smarmy monster around longer than I would have hoped.
6. If you’re not getting better, get antibiotics. I really dislike them, but sometimes it’s silly not to take advantage of modern medicine.