I don't want to be famous for this bus trip . . .
March 14, 2013 4:29 PM   Subscribe

How to well fast/not get worse/stop making gross noises? Must travel.

I have a cold that is getting worse after 5-6 days. In a couple of days I have to spend the entire weekend on the bus and in a hotel with my classmates, all of whom are younger and more energetic than me. But it's that or lose the course for this term. So, how can I get well faster or at least avoid getting worse this weekend? Oh, and I don't want to disgust everyone by choking up slime every half hour during the 6 or more hours of bus ride either. Sawths post but he seems a lot sicker. Is there a way to get over a cold faster?
posted by Listener to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Before the trip: Neti pot 2x a day, lots of fluids, lots of sleep. Antihistamines and NSAIDs if you're really badly plugged up. On the trip: Sudafed, sudafed, sudafed. The real kind you have to provide a driver's license and a signature for, not the PE stuff -- I'm convinced the PE just stands for "Placebo Effect."
posted by KathrynT at 4:37 PM on March 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

Seconding everything KathrynT says, and adding spicy soups (like pho or tom yum--always seems to get things flowing and the garlic and other stuff in there is good for you). Also, last time I was sick I went sat in a sauna for about 20 minutes every day for a few days and it seemed to hasten the recovery process--I think the heat sort of mimics the effects of a fever (which, as I understand it, is your body's way of creating a hostile living environment for germs since many of them only thrive in a certain temperature range). If you don't have access to a sauna or steam room, I would think soaking in a hot bath would be helpful too.
posted by lovableiago at 4:44 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I always eat very spicy food and lots of fruit and fruit juice, which help a lot. I also use Buckleys (which I think tastes better than that fake cherry crap, though it doesn't taste good). When those totally fail, I take Tylenol Cold day/night versions, but those make me really thirsty and fuck with my sleep cycle.
posted by jeather at 4:44 PM on March 14, 2013

What everyone else said, but also Mucinex.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:52 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Extra-spicy rasam is the South Indian way to drive a cold right out of your head.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:52 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I agree with all of the above. Also -- Depending on the seat arrangement on the bus, you could also check and see if you can be next to an empty seat...that will make you feel less bad about being contagious/grossing people out.
posted by rainbowbrite at 4:59 PM on March 14, 2013

Dayquil and Nyquil could be your best friends. Also Mucinex as noted above.
posted by Cranberry at 5:03 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've had good luck with nasal irrigation: filling a bowl with water and a little salt, then snorting the water up my nose. Kind of gross, though.
posted by sninctown at 5:03 PM on March 14, 2013

Agreeing with the remarks above but if you can, stay home tomorrow and rest. Just sleep and drink LOTS of fluids and eat your spicy, brothy soup of choice. Repeat. Also take a multi vitamin in the morning and at night until you're over your cold.
posted by shoesietart at 5:08 PM on March 14, 2013

I did exactly what KathrynT recommends when I had The Thing in January and had to travel for work. I still sounded not-great, but it was much better than it could have been.

Also, drink all the tea in the world (like I did). Peppermint, ginger, hibiscus, and some kind of throat-coat herbal tea were very popular in my house as well and were very soothing, what with the steaminess and all. If you can get some decent candied ginger before your trip, bring a bag along to put in your tea of whatever flavor.
posted by rtha at 6:33 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Er, be careful with sinus rinsing when you have an ongoing sinus infection. Fluid can wind up in your eustachian tubes and if you're lucky it'll just be painful and irritating; unlucky, and they can get infected.
posted by curious nu at 7:09 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Gargle With Salt Water. It's surprising that something so simple really helps, but it does.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 8:39 PM on March 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

I successfully fought off a cold by taking a bowl of gazpacho every four hours for a few days. Homemade is best, and since it is a cold soup, it travels well.

If you are going to be sharing a hotel room with your fellow students, it would be a kindness if you brought each of them a set of ear plugs, because snoring can get crazy loud during a cold.
posted by Brody's chum at 9:04 PM on March 14, 2013

I swear by the TCM herbal formulas from Dr. Shen. Specifically, Yin Chiao when the first symptoms appear, switching to Zong Gan Ling if I'm still feeling symptoms after three days.
posted by Lexica at 9:46 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wait, what? You're going to get a busload of people sick? What do you mean "lose the course for this term"? You need to talk to the instructor and ask if you can travel separately and lodge separately, at least. Take an incomplete - is that what you mean by "lose the course"? Can you travel to the site on you own next weekend, with the instructor's notes, perhaps?

How do you know it's a cold and not the flu? The bug that's going around here is putting people down for 2 to 3 weeks!!
posted by at at 7:26 AM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I appreciated much of the other advice as well. Good to know I was doing the right things.
posted by Listener at 8:37 PM on March 17, 2013

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