Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sick Days and the Glory of Sage

The husband started a new job a couple weeks ago, and, sure as sin, he got sick his second week. New people, new germs to get used to, and my husband has a suppressed immune system as it is because of some neccessary medication he's on. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before Annie started getting hoarse, and the past 4 days or so have seen all of us manifesting the cold in our own way. The Bean ran a low-grade fever for a couple of days and was quite lethargic, but other than that, she was fine. Annie and Airius have been hacking up their lungs (Annie worse than Airius), their noses have been alternating between stuffiness and runniness, and neither of them has been sleeping very well at all. Airius is having nightmares about bugs, and Annie wakes up several times a night begging for water, which inevitably leads to a few more wakeups for potty breaks. I, of course, have had the least sleep of everyone. So far, I haven't developed the hacking cough that the husband and twins have, but my head and nose are seriously congested, giving me a constant dull headache, and my joints are very achy.

So, how have we been dealing with this? I must admit that our quantity of "medicine" here is quite limited because most of our herbs have only just started growing. But, undaunted by the fact that I've yet to put up any Echinacea, Mullein, or Horehound medicinals, Mommy (uh, that'd be me...) took a trip out to the garden and gathered what I DID have. I brought back in some of the yummy stuff in that picture--sage (Salvia officinalis) and added a handful of the fresh herb to a big bowl of hot, steaming water.

"Come on, kids. We're gonna go camping."

"Camping? Where? Mom, I'm too siiiiiiick."

Each kid got a turn under the "tent" (a dishtowel draped over their head and the bowl to capture the steam), and relief was almost immediate. The rest of the herb that I'd harvested, I dried for use over the next few days. The kids seemed to prefer the more mild scent of the dried herb to the very, very pungent aroma of the fresh.

I have to admit that this is NOT the best thing for dealing with summertime coughs. Adding more heat and humidity is no one's idea of a good time when it's 90 degrees outside, but inside my husband insisted on having the AC on high enough for the rest of us to require blankets, so the steam inhalation wasn't too bad after all. Hey, I'll humor him while he's sick. Besides, he's at least twice my size. In a battle over the digital thermostat button, he would most certainly win!

Needless to say, work on the house and garden have come to a near standstill. I keep trying to push myself to do the work that needs to be done, but the kids aren't goin' anywhere. They are a constant reminder to me that I need to rest and recoup and let my body heal. They're just SO much better at it! :D

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