Let me tell you, folks, I had plans! First, a great steak dinner (NY Strip steak, medium rare, with sauteed green beans and a great pinot noir), followed by meeting up with neighbors for either one of two ideas: 1) hang out in the backyard bar area and be stupid drunk; or 2) go to the Japantown festivities and be stupid drunk. Either way, I had 2 bottles of Asti chilling, plenty of other potent potables to quench my thirst...to be surrounded by friends (both 'old' and 'new') to celebrate the bithday and upcoming new year. Sounds wonderful, right?
Um, yeah, it was wonderful...but never happened. Well, not for me.
The last few days I've been attending the Modern Languages Association convention in SF, and noticed on Tuesday that I had a tickle in my thoat. Not really sore, but something there. I purposely went to Trader Joe's and stocked up on orange juice and cherry cider, did mild workouts followed by time in the sauna...really tried to not get sick. Alas, my friends, it was to no avail.
Yesterday afternoon that tickle turned into a mild sore throat. No worries...if I could just hold off until tomorrow with the full-blown whatever-this-is, hey, I could at least enjoy the evening. But by 6pm my head was pounding, my body aching, and I could feel the congestion in my chest start to build. Ok, I still have my appetite, so I cooked the dinner I wanted, but instead of wine I opted for a hot toddy; that should help me feel better, right? Um, nope. By 7:30, I had a 102'F fever, was constantly cold, and felt like utter and complete crap. Yes, folks, I was sick. Even poor Bella knew I was not feeling well; along with cuddling next to me, my little feline nurse kept sniffing and licking my face, trying to get me to feel better. I had to call my neighbor upstairs to tell him to go on and party without me...no way in hell was I going to leave my bed, save to make another toddy or to use the bathroom.
Now here's the interesting part: ginger is a miracle drug.
See, my neighbor upstairs is a professional bassist, and has played for numerous wonderful musicians. He knows of various wonderful remedies which at first might sound hokie, but turn out to work. The one he told me last night was of a ginger infusion (well, that's what it is...he didn't know the infusion part). It really works: it reduces the fever, it calms your body, and you feel better. You don't feel 100%, but at least you can be managable. More importantly, you'll feel much better the next morning.
Now, I know that ginger does have a calming property for the digestion. It's used in parts of Asia as both a palate cleanser and a digestif; if you have stomach ailments, a ginger tea is often brewed. It works much like chamomille in that way. But, hey, why not?
Here's what you do: take at least 2 good sized fingers of ginger, peel and cut into small dice. Put it into a pot of water (about 4 cups), and boil for an hour. Then mash the ginger in the water...you need to extract every ounce that you can; strain and reserve the liquid. Now you have your ginger infusion: make a cup of tea with half of ginger infusion, half regular water (chamomille works really well), a slice of lemon if you wish. Not only does the ginger infusion seem to help your throat (I didn't cough but once or twice while drinking this stuff, unlike before), but it's a restorative elixir. Seriously, within an hour my fever had already reduced by a full degree, and I could feel the fever start to go away the rest of the night.
This morning I woke up (after sleeping 10 hours) with only the congestion in my chest. I'll take that, trust me. Ok, so I'm pretty phegmy today, but I've never been bothered by that. My body doesn't ache, my fever is gone, and for all intents and purposes, I'm almost at 100%. Ginger infusion works!!!