Daily Archives: June 10, 2014

Summer Cold Have You Down?

Standard

Image

AHHHH-CHOOOOO!!!

Are colds really worse in summer?  Seems like it.  My handsome husband woke all droopy-eyed with a cold  this morning, poor thing, and he looks terrible, but I’ve been taking good care of him.  My cure-all potato soup is on the stove and hot ginger tea is in the pot.  I put clean sheets on the bed and have him all tucked in.  No work for John at all today.

john sleep

Summer colds are caused by different viruses than winter colds and tend to last longer than the winter variety.  In fact, colds in summertime can last for weeks, at times seemingly going away and then suddenly storming back with a vengeance, infectious disease experts say. A winter cold, by contrast, is typically gone in a few days.  Why is this?

Image

Some of the things people commonly do in the summer can prolong the illness, like being physically active and going in and out of air-conditioned buildings.  Do this for awhile and before you know it, you have “clothespin nose”!

Image

Summer colds, which can hit between June and October, occur only about 25% as often as the winter variety. But summer colds can have more severe, flu-like symptoms, in addition to sneezing and coughing. Many people also mistake a summer cold for allergies, because it just doesn’t seem to leave.

Image

My cousin is still trying to shake off a cold she developed in early May. It began with the sniffles, so she didn’t pay much attention to it at first.   She continued to exercise  and play tennis.   However, she soon developed a fever—uncommon for her, —and a cough and she became overly exhausted.    She initially thought she had pneumonia, the symptoms were so bad. By the time she went to see Ed, a doc friend of ours, she had already begun taking a cocktail of Mucinex, cough syrup, Tylenol and Sudafed.   (I’m a homeopathic kinda gal myself, but my cousin is not.) Ed prescribed a different cough syrup, but that  didn’t work, so he  eventually put her on antibiotics.

My friend ended up taking a week off from her high-demand, executive job and ended up missing two weeks of tennis practice, which is unfortunate, since she had planned to play in a tournament.  Her husband, William, who caught the cold the third week of her illness, is also still ill.

Image

When I catch a cold, I find that it helps to  ramp up my exercise routine to sweat out the cold, but I have recently learned that this practice might actually prolong the illness, which says a lot.  I haven’t been sick in a year, but last year and the year before, I was sick for months!  Moderate exercise tends to protect the body from illness, but a sudden and strenuous workout can decrease the body’s immunity.

Image

And moving between the hot summer outdoors and cold air-conditioned inside environments can make people more vulnerable to sickness in summer. The sudden chilling lowers the defenses in the nose and throat by causing constriction of the blood vessels. If a virus is already  at work in the body,  this reduces our immunity.

Image

A summer cold’s symptoms can be a bit surprising. Along with the sniffles, sufferers may also get a fever, diarrhea and an achy-breaky body. Symptoms can also vary depending on people’s ages.

Image

Because summer colds stick around longer than many people expect, they are often mistaken for allergies.  Some ways to tell the difference: If you are “droopy-eyed”…meaning your eyelids are puffy and eyes bloodshot, it is  probably allergies instead of a cold. Mucus color also is different—green for allergies, clear for summer cold. If  your nose and eyes and ears feel itchy or tickly, that really points to allergies, and not to a summer cold.

Image

I am giving John some NOW brand zinc while he is sick.  However, in my research, I have learned that taking zinc, which is often advised for warding off winter colds, may not work for the summer variety. The literature on zinc is mixed, but the proposed mechanism is that it might interfere with how the virus attaches inside the body.   Since the summer virus attaches differently, it might not work as well.  Time will tell.

Enteroviruses and rhinoviruses are around all year. According to further research, it is not yet clear why summer colds tend to be caused by one virus and not the other.  Possibly, the summer-cold virus may be more physically delicate than the winter cold virus…but who knows?

Image

Winter colds may occur more frequently than summer colds because colder weather and lack of sunlight decreases the body’s immunity.  However,  both types of virus thrive where large numbers of people gather, such as schools, public transportation, sports games and airlines flights.  Anywhere there’s crowding, you can pick up a cold.

President Obama Makes History By Accomplishing 100% of His Domestic Agenda

Standard

 by Jason Eeasleyobama-feet-desk

Obama’s presidency is no longer historic just because of his race, but also because this president has accomplished 100% of his domestic agenda.

Jonathan Chait summed it up, “On January 20, 2009, when Obama delivered his inaugural address as president, he outlined his coming domestic agenda in two sentences summarizing the challenges he identified: “Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.” Those were the four major areas of domestic reform: economic recovery measures, health-care reform, a response to climate change, and education reform. (To the justifiable dismay of immigration advocates, Obama did not call for immigration reform at the time, and immigration reform is now the only possible remaining area for significant domestic reform.) With the announcement of the largest piece of his environmental program last Monday, Obama has now accomplished major policy responses on all these things.”

The fact that Obama has accomplished everything that he has while confronting unprecedented Republican obstruction makes what he has done all the more incredible. Republicans set out to block the entire Obama agenda, and make him a one term president. They failed on both points.

 

In the face of such day to day frustration over the Republican refusal to govern, it is easy to forget how much that this president has achieved. He has ended two wars, been bold on education reform, put the economy back on track, and most importantly has delivered a healthcare reform that has helped hundreds of millions of Americans beyond the newly insured.

Republicans love to label this president, and his presidency a failure, but nothing could be further removed from the truth. All presidents leave something undone in their domestic agenda. This isn’t the case with President Barack Obama. There is definitely more to do, but it would be a disservice to view the Obama administration as the post-Bush reboot of America.

President Obama has built a lasting legacy, and his leadership has transformed America for the better. The next president is going to have a tough act to follow trying fill the shoes of Obama.

tiny break…

Standard

Taking a break to write this as respite for feeling as overwhelmed as I do right now.  Final week of the term and I am up to my nose in school work, work-work and a trip at the end of the week….if it all works out. (REALLY looking forward to the latter…but it has been on-again/off-again…and today, it is on-again.)   I’m not feeling very functional, just from the sheer exhaustion, but I guess I’m functioning just fine.   I finished up work for my Ethics Code class yesterday.  Knocked it out in one day.  I wrote and wrote and wrote about the ethical aspects of using electronic technology in psychological services.  Today, I am writing an article for a major manufacturing company and working on the first of two discussions in my Cognitive Science class.   One is due Thursday and the other is due Friday, so I have to knock all this out very quickly so I can pack my suitcase and go away for a few days toward the week’s end.  🙂   Upon my return, I shall be going into my studio, at long last!  yay!  Am finally going to tackle that long-awaited guitar installation.

Have been working on my C&W song that I started in the Berklee College of Music songwriting course ..  Also have begun teaching myself Algebra….brushing up, after so many years, as I have to take a most-dreaded Scientific Research, II. class in the fall, so I’m really not getting the break that I thought I was, but at least I will get to travel a bit.  Baby steps toward these goals…but at least I’m stepping in a definite direction.

Too tired to write any more…and must return to the tasks at hand….  ugh.  Coffee.  I. Need. Coffee.