It’s Friday and another weekend has arrived. School is out for the next three days but it seems to have followed me all the way to my room with my pending paperworks for the Lasallian student volunteers and homeworks for my academics. Yes, I still have academic subjects contrary to what others think since they see me doing nothing most of the time while hanging out at the volunteer’s workroom.
With this said, it seems that I would find it hard to get some rest this weekend. A break from blogging is out of the question, I’m still addicted and I too have a lot of drafts to finish and post so I’ll be hard pressed to manage and budget my time for the next two days. Add to this, the new books I’m hooked on reading right now; “Bones of contention: The Bonifacio lectures” by Ambeth Ocampo and Butch Dalisay’s “Man Overboard”, expect a review of these in the coming days if not week. 😉
My greatest concern however is to maintain my defense against the common cold or sipon in Filipino. The warm weather, coupled with sudden and sporadic downpours, exhausting school and volunteer workload, plus the habits of not bringing an umbrella and staying up late at night; all are taking its toll on my skinny form. Tell-tale signs of a grim future have already begun to show up which started two weeks ago.
Frequent sneezing, drying throat and an almost running nose indicate that my body has taken a heavy toll and my immune system is on the brink of being overwhelmed by foreign invaders. The common cold is amongst the first and the front line. It is not however to be confused nor interchanged with the common flu or influenza, which is more serious ailment.
It is caused by the common cold virus that enters our bodies via the nose and is carried to our throats where the adenoids are located by the circulation of mucus inside our nasal cavities. There, the virus does its worst; it attaches to nasal cells, gets inside, hijacks the cell, take over the control and use the cell to reproduce more viruses to infect other cells.
After this incubation period of say, about 8-12 hours, the infected cell ruptures and releases the new viruses and the cycle repeats itself all over again until the body’s immune system is overwhelmed and we contract the common cold. Of course our body puts up a fight before this happens and this occurs when the immune system responds to control and fight off the virus. The immune system releases inflammatory mediators which activate sneeze and cough reflexes and stimulate pain nerve fibers. Primarily, they induce dilation of vessels and leakage of blood and the production of more mucus. These events are the symptoms of the common cold.
Of course, the healthier the immune system you have, the better chances your body has in defeating the invading cold virus and prevents you from getting the common cold. You can boost your immune system by of course eating a healthy diet, resting well (read: getting the right amount of sleep), drinking lots of fluids, vitamin supplements, covering your nose and mouth when some one else coughs or sneezes nearby and of course by washing your hands before eating something or rubbing your eyes.
I’ve been doing everything I mentioned before except for the part about getting the right amount of sleep, because for the past weeks, no months, no years, I’ve become accustomed to sleeping late at night and often times less than the recommended 8 hours. Then again, I compensate with regular green tea, tai chi practice and citrus fruits.
So far, my immune system is able to stand its ground, preventing me from getting the common cold: running and clogged nose, headaches, loss of taste, and scratchy throats. I’ve said this before, I’d prefer to have other common illnesses like the common flu, cough etc than to have the common cold, and that is another story for another time.
Until then, please join me in staying healthy and cold-free.