Tag archive: health
I often get asked how to relieve a sort throat; not because I have any kind of medical education, but probably because I’ve suffered with them so often in my life.
In fact, you might say I’m a bit of an expert on them – from a sufferer’s perspective, that is.
When I was 3 years old I experienced a life-threatening throat infection which included a 107º fever, seizures, other gory details which don’t really add anything of value to this post, and of course, unrelenting sore throat pain. Throughout my life, it seems that every time I get sick it always starts with the most HORRIFIC throat pain imaginable. I mean searing, burning pain that makes you contort your whole body when you swallow to try to avoid it. Razor blades and barbed wire would be easier to swallow than your own spit when you have one of these sore throats.
Yeah . . . I know a little something about the subject. . .
But, when you are a performer who uses your voice like I do, you need to know how to tame the pain and try to keep from losing your voice altogether. The show must go on after all!
One obvious bit of advice is NO TALKING!! This includes no whispering or vocalizing of any kind; whispering is especially harsh on the delicate vocal chords.
It seems like common sense, but it’s harder to maintain radio silence than you think. When you’re a Chatty Cathy (or a Blibbering Betty) like me, it’s the hardest thing in the world to do!
Help, I’m talking and I can’t shut up!
Aside from shutting your trap, you probably want something in the way of more immediate relief. There’s a wealth of information about sore throat remedies out on the web if you search or you can just ask somebody’s mom. I’ll post links to vocal health advice from trusted professionals below, but first, let me give you some tried and true home remedies that have always worked for me:
Gargle with baking soda and salt in warm water
Mix 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda in a small glass of warm tap water. You have to repeat often – every hour or so – but it really helps! This is a remedy my mother always gave me when I was growing up. I didn’t much care for it, but once I recognized it’s power (as an adult) I became a firm believer. The real key is that you must repeat it often and don’t drink anything right after gargling or you’ll just wash it all away.
Drink Franks Red Hot
Oh yes it’s awesome – quit giving me that look! Melt in some butter and warm it up if you like (think wings without the wings). It’s also great for the sinuses! I suppose any hot sauce would do, but in my house, Franks rules! Anything else is sacrilege. I only use their original flavor as the others aren’t grain free.
It’s recommended by doctors for cancer patients with sore throats! According to Robert S. Gillespie, MD, MPH – Pediatrician, children 2 years and older can take a mixture of Maalox and Benadryl to coat and soothe the throat. They can take it every 2 hours, as needed. The doses are:
• 2 through 5 years – ½ teaspoon Maalox mixed with ¼ teaspoon Benadryl
• 6 through 11 years – 1 teaspoon Maalox mixed with ½ teaspoon Benadryl
• 12 years and older – 2 teaspoons Maalox mixed with 1 teaspoon Benadry
Drink hot water, honey, lemon, and cayenne
Make a cup of hot water (like you would for tea, but NO tea) and add honey, lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper. This is a FABULOUS mixture for when you have to sing or speak with a sore throat. When I’m performing and losing my voice I carry thermoses of it and take constant sips!!
Now that you’ve read my advice, visit these places to read what the pros have to say:
Do you have any remedies of your own? I’d love for you to share them with me by leaving a comment below!
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Exercise – The Impossible Combination?
One of the topics that comes up quite often in my Ehlers-Danlos* groups is exercise. We all know we need it and yet it’s so difficult to start or maintain because of the obvious resulting pain, joint laxity, and POTS symptoms. And yet without it we aren’t helping our joints because we aren’t strengthening the muscles surrounding them and we’re not improving our overall health. I’m right there with my fellow EDSers on this and I’ve been struggling for years trying to find something that works. My one constant companion (although neglected more often than not) throughout these past 30 years has been a Nordic Track machine. It’s a wonderful tool because it provides great cardio with ZERO impact! It’s always been my friend – when I choose not to ignore it. A mistake I’ve always made though was to use it in conjunction with starting a completely new exercise routine including weights and dance-like moves which always leads to soreness, joint pain/problems, and ultimately quitting – usually sooner than later. But a couple of weeks ago I made a conscious effort to start anew and NOT get ahead of myself. I’m using JUST the machine 3 or 4 times a week for 20 minutes a day, I’m drinking 80-100 oz of water a day, and I’ve SLOWLY added some stretching and light isometrics. I haven’t experienced ANY soreness and I certainly don’t feel like quitting. In fact, I’ve always avoided stairs like the plague for decades because of the knee pain and possibility of subluxing, but yesterday I purposefully took the stairs multiple times and I didn’t have ANY problems. And still no backlash today! That alone is such a HUGE accomplishment!! If you don’t suffer from joint hypermobility then you just won’t get the full impact (no pun intended) of that last statement. FYI, because of other health issues I’ve had to revamp my diet and I’ve already been eating grain and soy free for 3 years. That has also contributed greatly to my overall improved health and well-being. I also take 4-6 grams of Vitamin C a day and 400mg of chelated Magnesium and 22 mg of zinc. So can an EDSer find exercises to help pain and joint laxity? After a couple of weeks of skiing at home, I’m inclined to say yes – at least for this bendy girl!
*Visit the EDNF website for more information about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
I am NOT a medical professional and I do not intend for my statements to influence anyone to start a diet and exercise routine without proper medical care. Please do your own research, clear things with your medical professionals, and find what works for you.