Vineyard’s Own Cure for the Flu

I started this blog from the confines of Lurgy Quarantine a couple of weeks back, as I was struck by the dreaded bug that seems to wreak havoc as the seasons start to change and tease us with promises of spring. I have been astounded by the numbers that were down with me over the last few weeks locked away in sickness, and by the innumerable modus operandi that this clever little virus uses on different people. For me it started with a sore throat – and I mean sore. Cut glass jammed in your tonsils and a bonfire at the back of the throat would be a good description. So it’s off to the chemist for Difflam, and Benatine throat gargle (that alleges to kill both bacterial and viral infections). I am sure I will be all sorted by tomorrow! By 5 o’clock that day, none of these things have made an ounce of difference, and I’m slugging ice and the ears feel like they are about to explode out the side of my head. So it’s off to another chemist, and after loads of sign language, (as it really is so bad that even words can’t get pass this throbbing red mass right now). Something for the pain, I manage to imply, and some Strepsil throat spray comes home with me. With the first spray, the only analogy that comes to mind for me is ‘pouring petrol on fire’. And I paid for this?? Finally, I realize that what I really, really need is a good old Nurofen hit.

I am almost at the point that I’d willingly mainline it, but thank goodness for the new fast acting stuff, I just drop a couple of tablets and about twenty minutes later- what a relief. Why is it that we think of all of these external cures, like lozenges and sprays and gargles, when at the end of the day, it’s what’s going on inside your body that is the problem. So my tip for you is – painkillers first. Well, this war is over I’m thinking as I finally sit back with a sigh of relief. A sigh that doesn’t make my throat bleed – you have no idea how heavenly such a simple thing can seem. A nice hot bath, a quiet night, and she’ll be right. Oh, how I underestimated you!

The next day, the chest infection starts. A bit of a cough builds up, and it becomes increasingly hard to breathe through the litres of liquid rubber that my chest seems to have produced overnight. It’s a wonderous thing the human body – it plans to drown the virus you see. Very clever. It’s just fails to understand that we will drown too if we lie down with this. And it’s not just trying to drown the bugs in my chest, but in my eyes and my nose, oh my goodness, it is flooding in here. Not sure if you’ll all remember the 80’s TV series “The Young Ones”? But right now, I feel like Neil in the episode where he was expelling so much gunge, his flatmates nailed a black rubbish bag over his head. It seemed so hilarious on the telly at the time. Poor Neil. I’m sorry I laughed, really I am.

So I manage to sort of sleep, sort of sitting up, for the next three nights. And then finally, it is back to the chemist – for the Codral Night and Day. I have to make a plea here – I am all for the John Key plan to eradicate the plague of P in this country. But John, you can’t take away my Codral Night and Day. Not unless you run a jolly good special on black rubbish bags, nails and good loving health care trained flatmates. I’d be doomed. Seriously.

Today, I finally relented and actually went back to bed for a nap. It lasted 5 hours. I feel like I’ve smoked half and ounce of pot my brain is so fuzzy. And I’m sure I still have enough rubber in my lungs to produce a couple of spares for the next Indy Car challenge. But I feel like I’m winning here. We don’t just have colds for a couple of days anymore. Colds like to behave like fine wine, They want time to ferment. Between one and two weeks it seems, just like wine again. Interesting! And during this time, yeast converts most of the sugars in the grape into ethanol (which is of course, alcohol) and carbon dioxide. Liquid is then transferred to vessels (just like from chest to face perhaps?).

Such similarities. I have decided to marry like with like. I am so totally repulsed now by the sickly sweetness of cough mixtures and throat lozenges, that I have decided to turn to the medicine of the gods. Wine and Whiskey.

So I’m now off to find a good heavy Cabernet Sauvignon. And of course science now agrees that resveratrol, a compound found in all red wine, will reduce the risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s. So it’s really a very positive thing. Thanks to this cold, I’ll now have some lovely red wine, and chances are, I won’t forget the name of it either! Splendid. So if you are laid up somewhere with the horrid bugs, just remember, that there really is a bright side to everything, and like good fermentation time, even flu’s come to an end. Hang in there, have a drink, and take the time out that your body is telling you it needs.

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