This is how it used to go: AAACCHHHOOOOO! Then it felt like every virus in existence came crashing down on my ears, nose, and throat. Full blown head cold just like that. Down for the count. When I was a child, I had to see a nutritionist because I had literally zero immune system. For whatever reason, it just wasn’t functioning.
After years of taking supplements and eating healthy, my immune system was decent. But it wasn’t all guns blazing by any means. That one sneeze brought me down, right up through my mid to late 20’s. The sore throat would immediately follow, a ravaging, hacking cough, you know the drill.
In the past two years, I’ve only gotten sick once. If you have followed my Instagram account in the past year, I wrote about how I stopped drinking green juice for a month, worked three jobs, and came down with a nasty virus. I let down my guard and it all came crashing down. Even with such an aggressive sickness, I still was over it within 5-7 days. Which is pretty remarkable when you think about those who are half functioning with their symptoms lasting past 14 days. I sure used to be that person.
What changed? Well, I’ve been so vigilant with my health, I’ve learned to listen to the signs. By eating organic, unprocessed foods, drinking green juice almost daily, and Vitamin C supplementation, I stay quite healthy most of the time. Over Christmas I flew from SC to NH to visit my parents. There wasn’t a direct flight, so that meant four planes over the course of a weekend, two up and two back. With sneezes, sneezes ALL around me. When I got back to SC, I was feeling it. But I was prepared! I upped the Vitamin C intake, started taking Elderberry Extract (my personal favorite when it comes to anti-virals), and every opportunity I had to take a short rest or power nap, I did it. I noticed this time around, very astutely, what my body was going through. It was literally as if my body was going through the process of being sick, without having the symptoms come crashing down on me. I had some hot and cold spells. Felt tired much more easily, and my throat just felt…off.
Here’s what I got out of this experience, and here’s how you can tell if YOUR immune system is ramped up, or just burned out.
- I didn’t get the ‘death’ sneeze. I’ve already described this above. The sneeze that makes it all come crashing down. Maybe you’ve experienced this in your own way. You wake up one morning with a throbbing headache, sinuses fully stuffed, a sore throat, and all that comes with it.
- I was tired, but not completely run down. During my lunch break at work, I was able to lay down in a quiet place and snooze for 30 minutes. This made all the difference on those two days where I was feeling really ‘off’. I could recharge and finish the work day without feeling run into the ground.
- All of the symptoms of a regular cold were there, but they were inherently muted. Sniffles. Scratchy throat, which got a little sore with excessive talking. Tiredness. I would get a headache when I was doing too much and needed a break. It just felt like I still had the upper hand the whole time.
What has your experience been? Have you ever had that “muted” cold, or does it come crashing down on you time and time again?
The big key to avoiding the complete system breakdown is figuring out your immune system needs. I know mine are: green juice, rest, and supplements. What are yours?