The Saratoga Sun -

Home remedial

or, How I spent my Thanksgiving weekend


Going about my normal routine last Tuesday I noticed a vague irritation in my throat. I didn’t give it much thought as we put the paper out and began to work on the following week’s edition.

When I got home though I followed standard “not feeling quite right” procedure and took some vitamin C and ate some chicken soup just in case.

Later, while laying on the couch watching TV it suddenly occurred to me that I was very cold. Though the house was a normal temperature I just couldn’t shake the chill. Even a comforter was comfortless.

That’s when I went into “hey, this might be something” mode and put on my bathing suit and robe for a trip to our local hot springs.

Old-timers and die-hards that frequent the hot springs have often related to me the benefits of raising your body temperature when you are ill—makes sense to me since that is what your body does anyway to fight off foreign invaders. The steam also helps to unclog congestion in a dry climate--though I was not particularly stuffed up that night.

So I soaked.

I actually felt much better when I finally got home.

That didn’t keep me from drinking some hot chicken broth at the house. As I sipped the steaming broth I noted that swallowing was still no picnic so I put some extra blankets on my bed, took a big swig of NyQuil and crawled under the pile of bed coverings.

Though I got hot over the course of the night I remained under the heavy stack (keep the body temperature up, you know). Eventually I woke up completely drenched and thought, “Good, the fever broke.”

Thinking this was the end of the matter I got out of bed, cleaned up, took some more vitamin C and went to work Wednesday.

Though it still hurt a bit to swallow, I made my way through my day fairly uneventfully. I went home for lunch, had some soup and even took some more C.

That afternoon, I was to take some photos of turkeys being cleaned and prepped for the Thanksgiving feast to be held at St. Ann’s Church the next day. I did that and returned to the office to finish out the day.

Somewhen that afternoon it had gotten really hard to swallow and I observed a slight swelling under my chin along my throat.

That night featured a steak dinner—which was very good but caused a bit of wincing as the food made its way past the lump in my throat.

That pain caused me to put some hot water and salt together for a gargle that night.

Then some vitamin C and NyQuil saw me through another freezing/sweaty night.

Thanksgiving Day I once again awoke feeling tepidly okay. I washed the sweat off, took vitamins and some naproxen sodium, then headed over to take some shots of volunteers cooking turkey. When I got to where I was told cooking was to commence, I found the doors all locked. It was cold outside and my give a crap was at a fairly low point—so I returned home to climb back into bed.

After sleeping much longer than I had planned I barely made it to St. Ann’s Parish Hall to take photos of the Thanksgiving dinner itself and collect some information for this week’s paper.

I got some photos and I got some food. The food was very good and I finished the entire plate generously prepared for me—despite the fact that I am sure I winced every time I swallowed.

After that, I don’t think I remained awake for very long and, oddly, I don’t think I can blame “turkey overdose” as the cause for my journey back to bed.

At this point I should mention I had been drinking a lot of clear fluids on top of trying to manage the issue in the other ways mentioned. This led to me waking up at some point later that evening just enough to know I really felt lousy.

Once again, the routine was: C, chicken broth, saltwater gargle, NyQuil and back to bed.

I awoke Friday morning fully intent on coming to work and finishing the special section I realized I had very little time to complete. Of course I thought, “No problem. I’ve got all weekend to finish.”


When I made it out to my car, I got in. This is unusual only because I normally walk the three to four minutes it takes me to get to work.

By the time I actually got the car started I had already decided to go see if anyone was at the doctor’s office the day after Thanksgiving.

Fortunately for me, not only was the clinic open—but no one was ahead of me. I didn’t even have time to text the office to say where I was before someone called me to an examination room.

After getting my weight measured on one of the “medical miracle scales” (that could add 10 pounds to a feather) and having a throat swab taken I sat on the butcher-paper covered examination table.

In a measure of how tired I was, I actually laid down on the papered table.

I was just about asleep when a nice man came in and told me I had Strep.

He asked me if I had ever had it before and I told him yes, I had had it quite a lot in my childhood years.

To cut the doctor’s visit short (because I think there is enough for a later column on doctor’s visits in general), the physician gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way.

On thinking about it later, I do not recall Strep being just very annoying and draining. It seems to me it was a cough-filled, irritated and mucus inducing miserableness … but I could be mixing that up with all the Bronchitis and Pneumonia I got nearly every year until I turned 17.

Because I had a contagious condition, I stopped by the office only long enough to let my coworkers know that their wayward boss would be at home and to call if there was anything I could do.

The following weekend was pretty much a blur of sleep and medication.

So here I am Monday, writing a column about my homebound Thanksgiving weekend and my home remedy attempts to avert exactly what happened.

I hope the result didn’t make you sick too—but if it did, I am pretty sure a home remedy will work in this instance.


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