Thursday, September 18, 2014

I hate to ask but are you ready for cold and flu season?

Michael Ancher, "The Sick Girl", 1882, Statens Museum for Kunst

I am not ready for the cold snap that has hit the Midwest. I will certainly not turn on the heat – it is just too early to do that – but I am cold. I am also feeling just a bit nasally. You know that feeling that you might be catching a cold. Just those little twinges…

This has me thinking about cold and flu season. Back when Silent Sam was diagnosed with diabetes, we were told that we should be prepared for when colds and the flu will strike so that we have supplies on hand. 

Just like everyone else who read or saw that instruction, we did not prepare. Although, I will admit that I do go through the over the counter medicine drawer (yes, we have it in a drawer) to check for expiration dates and see what supplies we need a couple times a year. And this is definitely that time of year. I have only done this for the last couple of years and it is not foolproof but it has helped. There is just something about feeling sick and going to the drawer and finding either nothing in there or finding out of date medicine. 

So, I think I will let this cold snap be my guide and I will take the time to check out the drawer and see that we are stocked for winter. If you have not discussed with your doctor what over the counter medicines you should use, then now is the time to ask. People with diabetes need to be careful about the ingredients in their over the counter medicines.  It is far better to ask than to find out that your blood sugar is spiking because of your cold medicine.  Your levels will be affected when you are sick and you don’t want to add to the problem with the medicines that you are taking. 

You might want to check your kitchen cabinets also. Are you prepared with food for when you are sick?  One of the hazards is dehydration. Make sure you have fluids that you will drink to help keep you from getting dehydrated. Soups are good but they also can be a source of lots of sodium.  Check those labels and select soups that the sodium levels are not as high. Once again, talk to your doctor and/or dietitian for their recommendations.   

I suggest that while you are getting out the sweaters, putting up the storm windows (does anyone do that anymore?), and getting your heating system serviced, you take a few minutes to make sure you are ready with a plan for if you get sick. You will appreciate your efforts if you wake up feeling awful one morning. 

Thanks for reading!

I have to say, I love the colors of fall
Happy Fall!