With cold and flu season finished up in the majority of the states across our country, this is the perfect time to talk about pneumonia in order to give some food for thought on how to be prepared for next year. Almost all of us have experienced this less-than-fun issue after having a particularly bad bout with a cold or influenza. You feel the pain starting in a certain lobe of your chest & it feels like you've cracked a rib. You can cough all day and night, but it is not productive & the cough remains tight despite your best efforts. Your muscles become sore from giving it your best effort. So how can we do our best to combat pneumonia when it seems like it can take over in a matter of hours?
- Plan WAY ahead. Make sure that you have every natural remedy on hand to combat colds & flu far before you'll ever need them. Be sure to keep essential oils to diffuse, especially oregano, which can stop the spread of viruses. Keep raw honey, elderberry syrup, echinacea, turmeric, garlic, and anything else you come across in your research that promises to be helpful in the fight against colds & flu. Stock up on epsom salts & make your own bath salt blends. Remember that pneumonia rarely starts as pneumonia, but almost always as a bit of a cold or flu.
- Keep a good stockpile of fresh fruits & vegetables that will be helpful to fight infections. Garlic is a staple item that everyone should have on hand that has antibiotic properties, as well as raw honey for those who are able to take that. Any other dark, green, leafy vegetables & dark red & orange veggies and fruit will help your body fight off the onslaught of invaders trying to wreak havoc.
- Learn breathing exercises now. Go online and find sites that have demonstrations of breathing exercises to help keep your lungs in shape during pneumonia. Trust me, when you have the actual sickness, you do not feel like surfing the internet looking for these things. Most of them are relatively simple, but knowing what you should be doing without having to learn the simple steps can help you to put them into practice faster & make them much more effective.
- Spend time outdoors in the sunshine. If you live in a place that is relatively dark in the winter, still make a daily trek outside to breathe in the fresh air. The air out there is much less polluted than in your house (no matter how clean). The plant life if giving fresh oxygen to you. Take advantage of that, even if you don't have lots of energy to spare.
- Know when to say enough. If you find yourself with pneumonia, despite your best efforts, remember to go in to the doctor before you become so exhausted that you need to be hospitalized. Sometimes, in spite of how prepared we are, our bodies really cannot fight off certain things that come our way. It might be helpful to seek a doctor's advice & get some medicines to help. If you've had compromised lungs in the past that required an inhaler or nebulizer, you already know not to mess around if things are getting stressful & tight in there. If you've not had that before, but are unable to kick a bad cough & pain, you may need a couple of helps in order to get back on top. There is no shame in getting what you need in order to feel better.
All together, pneumonia is a pretty scary thing for those of us who are aging. We've known people who pass away from it because they can't seem to fight against it. Being prepared for it should always be a priority, & preparing for it far in advance will help all of us have the best chance of fighting against it!