What’s your “sick person” personality? Do you rush to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle? Do you tough it out? Do you like being doted upon or left alone? Are you stoic or whiny? Do you rely on over-the-counter treatments?
I’ll admit, I can be a pretty whiny sick person. I think being an only child can do that to you. I basically like to be treated like a princess when I’m feeling awful, and I like to take everything off my plate so I can laze around and feel sorry for myself. But if I’m not feeling full-blown sick, I can be pretty stubborn. Last Wednesday I went to work and was blowing my nose every 5 minutes. By the end of the day, I had decided that I probably shouldn’t have gone in at all! But until I hit that “I feel absolutely terrible” point, I tend to persevere.
I’m definitely not one to rush to the doctor (I’m skeptical of overusing antibiotics, plus it’s a big time suck), and I’m also hesitant of resorting to medicine. The one area where I’ve learned to make an exception to the hesitancy is with headaches. I think I read somewhere that with a headache, there’s really no benefit to struggling through. If you’re prone to them, you’ll usually learn to recognize the signs, and so you might as well take something at the first twinge of impending pain.
I get pretty wicked sinus headaches–really they’re more like face-aches. I can feel the pressure building in my forehead, and by the time it erupts, my cheeks, teeth, and nose often feel like they’re going to explode. (I know that’s a lovely image.) Once one hits, I am basically useless. It’s probably not as crippling as a migraine would be, but it’s definitely no fun. Thankfully, though, I’ve devised my “magic cure” for a burgeoning sinus headache: 1 Sudafed and 2 Ibuprofens. Sudafed is a nasal decongestant, so that takes care of the stuffiness that ends up causing sinus pain, and Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, so it brings down what I guess is essentially swelling in my sinus passageways that causes the pain.
I’m still stubborn about it sometimes. I don’t know why it is that I feel like taking a pill is like a sign of weakness or something! But if I’m diligent and take this pill combo as soon as I realize I’m getting stuffy, the headache crisis can be totally averted. (It usually helps if I take it after the headache starts, too, but it’s not as dramatic.) Works for me!