Yesterday, I woke up next to a pile of tissues, 3 mugs of hot water, and empty NyQuil capsules from the previous night. I knew it was going to be a long day.
I wouldn’t call what I had a “severe” cold. It was the kind that started off as a sore throat and just enough of a stuffy nose to keep me tossing at night. It was likely brought on by a change in weather, lack of sleep, and overloaded schedules with tight deadlines.
My immunity was whacked.
I knew there had to be a way for me to jumpstart my healing beyond the band-aid of pain medication before my long-haul flight from Hong Kong to Israel, which was quickly approaching. Because what’s worse than a cold in your own bed? A cold at 39,000 feet high in an airplane seat.
So, in my spare bed-ridden time, I started googling: “How to get over a cold in 24 hours.” I found all of the usual and obvious tips like: Sleep! Hydrate! Vitamin c! Chicken soup! Great. Thanks, Mom. Obviously.
When we get sick, most of us turn to pain medication to make us feel better. But the real way to get “un-sick” is to boost your immunity. That way, you’re strong enough to fight whatever is going on inside your mucus-filled body. Boosting your immunity also means you’ll become a powerhouse and get sick less often.
My Get-Better-Fast Plan
So here’s what I figured:
I needed deep rest, hydration, and immunity boosting vitamins beyond the 1000 mg of vitamin C that I was ingesting (out of which our bodies only absorb between 70%–90%). The below is a summary of my experiments and how I literally managed to get over a cold in 24 hours. I kid you not, as I sit and type this from miles high in my seat, I feel like a whole new human!
Rest and Hydrate
At peak sniffles, my husband suggested I pop a non-drowsy Sudafed so I would feel better enough to get up and do my thing. Nah, I decided not to merely mask my symptoms. Instead, I did what my body needed—I stayed in bed with tea all day. I wasn’t that sick and could have totally gotten up and pushed through my day. You know that kind of cold, right? It starts off naggingly annoying and if you don’t pause to rest then it just winds up turning into something bigger.
If you’re experiencing anything beyond the common cold (flu or virus symptoms), you’ll probably need meds and a doctor. I was sort of borderline. So I laid there all day. I drank around 20 cups of warm water and ate lightly but regularly. And I slept—a lot. Ooh, and I took two warm baths to clear my sinuses—one in the morning with Epsom salts and one later on with magnesium salts (highly recommended).
Vitamin and Immunity Boosting Intervention
I booked myself a vitamin IV infusion and a B12 shot as an experiment. My only prior experience with IV infusions was when I was pregnant and had shockingly low iron levels (I used to trip and fall—that’s how low my iron was). It was great by the way. Anyway, I had no idea if this would do anything other than cost a lot of money, but I was on a mission to find out. Many doctors and clinics offer IV infusions, but in the past several years, companies have popped up offering IV services to treat low energy, hangovers, help athletes recover, and cure migraines, jet lag, and skin problems.
Walking into the REVIV HK clinic, I felt instantly healthier. Complete with lounge chairs, big windows, and softly playing music, the vibe felt more like a day spa than a medical clinic. But I was about to have someone poke my butt with a needle and keep another in my arm for an hour, so I wasn’t fooled into a zen state quite yet. But the nurses managed to make me feel at ease with their medical protocols.
After completing a comprehensive medical form and a brief health check for vital signs, I managed through a rather annoying B12 shot in my behind. I was more desperate to get better than I was scared of the jab, so I bared it (haha, literally). I was prepped for the IV in my private checkup room and then moved to a lounge chair to rest and sip on some tea for 45 minutes as the megavitamin boost dripped in me. I opted for what they call the Royal Flush (infused with B12, B complex, magnesium, vitamin C, glutathione, anti-inflammatory properties, and saline). The extra B12 shot in my arm was meant to help fight fatigue and ease any muscle weakness I was experiencing.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I certainly didn’t dance out of REVIV HK feeling revived. My head was spinning from lying down and my arm hurt just a tad. I made my way to pick up my son from school and took it easy for the rest of the day. I did have to pee more than usual and kept sipping on my water all day.
However, by that same evening, I felt like a new person. For real. It was as if I had recovered from my cold in 24 hours! And now, as I type this from my airplane seat, I’m kind of amused at how great I feel. My sore throat is gone and my head feels lighter. I still have a little sniffle and a pack of tissues beside me, but I honestly feel great.
Did my plan to get better fast work? I’m rather surprised to say it did! It could have, of course, been a coincidence that my cold was on the way out. But how often do these things just disappear? If your experience is anything like mine then that nagging cold has a way of sticking around for a few days too long.
We live in a culture of quick fixes and immediate gratification. We get a cold and we want it gone now. We get wrinkles and freeze our foreheads with botox. We gain a few pounds and try crash diets to lose them overnight. Every convenience is readily available at our fingertips and this has reduced our ability to be patient, sensitive, and dedicated to long-term results.
Aging gracefully and dealing with inconveniences, like a cold, are just a part of life. The downside of getting hooked up to an IV to solve your problems is that, well, you get hooked. Drank too much last night? No problem, the hangover IV will make you feel like a new person within a few hours. This shouldn’t give us permission to act irresponsibly without consequence. Hangovers are meant to be so bad that you’ll think twice next time before downing a third old-fashioned.
There is a way to be responsible and use common sense around IV infusions or any other health-enhancements that are available today. I may consider doing one before another big flight or before a big week of meetings if I’m feeling run down. I’ve suggested that my husband do one after his marathon. As with all things in life, be moderate, researched, and thoughtful. Most of all, be resourceful and think of your life as one great laboratory. Don’t be afraid to conduct your own experiments.
Disclaimer: This blog post is based on my own research and experience and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing any health issues and considering IV therapy, consult with your doctor first.