I’ve been in bed since Tuesday morning and am in bed now. I have the flu or a cold. Or, virus or a bacteria. I never know the difference between any of them. I will record here some of what I’ve been thinking, while sick.

I’m tired of reading.

I’m tired of staring at the ceiling.

I’m tired of my iPhone.

I think I got this thing from hugging and kissing mom on Monday. She was sick. But I was not going to not hug or not kiss her.

Here are my symptoms.

Body temperature off. I’m hot then cold then hot then cold. And clammy. I put covers on. Then I get too hot. I take them off to cool myself. Then I get too cold. Three days of this. On, off, on, off.

Lungs hurt. Only when I cough. They feel tender. And I feel that tenderness often because every minute or two I cough, suddenly and uncontrollably. It’s a dry cough. No phlegm. (I didn’t know how to spell phlegm. I spelled it phlem but spell check corrected it.)

Lethargic. I feel bored. Frustrated. Depressed a bit. Just getting out of bed is hard. 

When we get sick it never feels relaxing. I sit and think about all the things I should be getting done. Then I feel like I’m being held hostage by the flu or cold or virus or bacteria, or whatever this (damn) thing is.

And when we get sick, there are so many “remedies” you hear about. My Dad always makes a caldo, which is either Spanish for soup, or Spanish for the specific kind of soup he always makes (a kind with with ground beef mixed with rice, and cabbage and cumin and other vegetables). 

He swears by caldo.

He also swears by eating really hot chili peppers because it “burns it out of you.”

I’d rather be sick.

Some recommend chicken soup.

And you will always hear someone tell you about amazing supplements or herbs or over the counter cure-all amagalmations of god knows what.

And with google, you can click your way to countless supplements or herbs or over the counter cure-all amalgamations of god knows what. 

Usually for a fee.

I don’t buy any of them.

Quick fix society. Snake oil fads. Just add water remedies.

I do buy the trusted remedies that doctors recommend and that come from credible sources (mayo clinic, nih, etc.). Those remedies are not anecdotal. They usually reduce to lots of rest and drinking lots of fluid.

Many people buy the whole vitamin C/ascorbic acid or Emergen-C or zinc hoax. But if you’ve got the flu or cold or virus of bacteria, none of it helps, according to this article in The Huffington Post:

“…if participants started taking vitamin C after the cold had already started, the nutrient didn’t have any effect on the symptoms or the length of the illness, concluded the National Institute of Health.”

In my twenties, I bought into it all. I remember watching the Nobel laureate, Linus Pauling on 60 Minutes. He had concluded that vitamin C was the cure all and would lead, it sounded like at the time, to near immortality. It was the wonder drug. There he was in his amazing home somewhere in the woods overlooking the ocean (if I remember correctly). And he was scooping this powder and drinking it. And I think he had a blue oxford and a beard and looked like the quintessential (surprisingly I didn’t need spell check for that one) genius scientist.

So I was soon downing vitamin C whenever I could. I bought the tasty chewable tablets. I downed the pills with more milligrams. I drank lots of orange juice.

They later discovered that it was all BS. Pauling was wrong about the benefits of vitamin C.

But the remnant of his discovery is still around with the Emergen-C craze out there.

Somebody always has some homespun herb or soup or supplement but there’s no way to know if it worked or not because there’s no way to know how quickly you would have recovered without the homespun herb or soup or supplement.

Everyone needs to understand that logical fallacy of affirming the consequent to prevent against hoaxes and conspiracy theories.

It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. The rain gutters were filled with leaves from our three Elm trees. Last rainstorm I forgot to clean them out. And water was pouring down from everywhere. And there were plants growing out of the gutters.

Until the gardeners came this morning. And I didn’t want to ask them to clean them out because, well, I’m funny that way — their job is to trim things and blow leaves, but not compensate for my irresponsibility.

So I crawled out of bed. Shivering in the freezing morning air. No, not freezing, but 50 degrees when you have this felt like freezing.

I got out the ladder. Climbed. Then scraped them out by hand. Took about 20 minutes. And it was not merely leaves in the rain gutter; it was sludge. Decomposed Elm leaves with dirt and water.

Here’s the after shot.

There’s something that happens to our minds when we decide to get out of bed. Even when we have the flu or cold or virus or bacteria. Our mind does something different when we work with our hands in the cold on a ladder.

Manual labor is good for the soul. Sometimes even when you’re sick.

If I start feeling better today I’m going to recommend a new remedy for people with the flu or cold or virus or bacteria.

Clean out your rain gutters.

Or maybe rub mucky Elm leaf sludge all over your hands and arms to cure your flu or cold or virus or bacteria.

Yesterday, Gina did make me the most amazing organic chicken soup (with cloves I think) and she spent hours perfecting it.

Whether the organic chicken soup with cloves makes a difference or not the best thing about being sick is if you’re lucky enough to have someone care for you.

It almost makes getting sick worth it.

Then I have these thoughts.

Sometimes, there are no quick fixes in life. 

Everyone has an opinion on how to get rid of pain, but sometimes we just need to wait it out.