This flu season is shaping up to be the worst in over a decade, according to reports from the CDC. The vaccine has been ineffective against the most recent strain, and there have been over 54 pediatric flu-related deaths in the US alone. For comparison, at this same point in 2017, there were only 16 deaths. All the discussion surrounding it made me reflect on my last close encounter with the virus.
In August of 2016, Simon, my then-fiancé, his three young adult children and I traveled to a family wedding in London. Everyone got deathly ill with the flu but me.
We flew into Edinburgh ten days before the wedding. The plan was to road trip through Scotland and northern England before arriving in London two days before the wedding festivities began.
This was lovely; I’d get some prime family bonding time with my future stepchildren, we’d visit castles, shop and see the stunning Scotland countryside. Then we’d stop in Durham, England to visit with Simon’s older brother, Richard, and his family.
The first leg of the trip was incredible; we loved every ounce of Scotland. On the way to Durham, however, the sniffles and coughing began. Imagine this: there are five adults in a small car, two of which seem to have a cold coming on. It is rainy and humid outside so the windows are up and the AC is pumping. With each sneeze, I become more and more aware of the germs circling around me; I am literally holding my breath, and/or breathing into my scarf praying that germs cannot permeate pashmina.
When we arrived in Durham, we immediately tucked Madison, Simon’s eldest daughter, into bed with some paracetamol (the UK version of Tylenol). Throughout the night, Simon tosses, turns and coughs. By morning I wake to find him covered in sweat, the skin on his forehead his burning up- his temperature is 103! I go to Madison’s room to find she looks like her dad- with a temperature of 102! I run to the Max & McKenzie’s room; Max’s fever is 102, McKenzie’s 100. By that evening we are at the emergency clinic.
I was sure I was next, we all did. How could I not get sick after traveling for six days in car with four sick time bombs? So, I nursed them and waited for my symptoms. I’d been taking my homemade immune tonic, but this was above and beyond the normal call of duty. While they slept, I went for a tour of the town, including Durham Cathedral, home to the courtyard scenes for Harry Potter’s Hogwart’s Academy. I waited for my symptoms to appear. One day, two days, three days later they are finally starting to get better. On the fourth, the day prior to the wedding, we decide everyone is well enough to drive the remaining four hours to London.
We made it in time, the wedding was beautiful, and then next day we flew back to Los Angeles. I am SURE I will be symptomatic by the time we land at LAX. But I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. I never got sick. How was that possible?
We may never know for sure, but the experience definitely bolstered my confidence in the DIY magic (immune) potion I make. I take it with me wherever I travel- in fact it is here with me now in South Africa. I take it whenever I feel run down, or have been around someone that is sick, and this time of year, aka flu season, I take it at least 1-3 times a week for prevention.
DIY - Cold & Flu Tonic
1. The juice of 1 lemon (preferably organic) When I travel I place a small plastic, sealed bottle of lemon juice in my checked bag.
2. 2-4 drops of oil of oregano
3. 30-40 drops of Echinacea Goldenseal
4. 3--5 drops of Vitamin D (each drop is 2000IU)
5. ½ teaspoon Colloidal Silver 500PPM (Up to 2 times daily remove from recipe if you take 2 or more tonics a day)
6. Give it a stir and shoot it back!
7. If you prefer to dilute- mix with an equal amount room temp water.
8. If you need to flavor it- (try not to)- mix with a very small amount of locally grown honey or organic agave
9. I take 3-4 x's a day at onset of symptoms for 3 days, and then cut back to 2 x's a day for 2-3 days, and then 1 x a day for 1-3 days.
10. Preventative: Take 1 shot in the AM and 1 shot in the PM, especially while traveling