While fighting what appeared to be a head cold for a few days right before our currently in progress Hong Kong dining excursion, I stopped to think when was the last time I had been sick. I think it was probably three years ago when I went on vacation to Nashville and developed laryngitis (and consequently had difficulty ordering at Chinese restaurants since I was unable to ask questions about menu items) and an uncontrollable cough. Indeed for the past 40 years I’ve seldom caught any illnesses. It’s been 25 years since I had the flu, possibly just as long since I had a fever, and perhaps I get a cold maybe every two years.
But if you knew me when I was in school you’d be stunned by this run of relatively good health. I missed nine consecutive weeks of kindergarten, not with a major illness, but rather a continuous series of nagging colds. (However, in the next 10 week period I was only absent 15 of the 49 school days in that segment.) I missed three consecutive weeks in junior high due to bronchitis, and even two straight weeks in law school due to the flu.
So what is the reason for my change in health, which essentially turned on a dime in the mid-1970s? Well it was just dumb luck (or extreme fortune). I had just started working and one day I found this sheet of paper lying on an unattended desk in the staff room where I was housed. It was a mimeographed review of a book entitled There IS A Cure for the Common Cold. It detailed the author’s theory of how strategic use of vitamin C can ward off the onset of illness. This book did not advocate recurring mega doses of vitamin C,or even daily year round doses of the vitamin, but rather periodic intake of increased dosages of vitamin C upon exposure to illness. The author recommended just 625 mg of vitamin C every three hours after exposure, though I have altered that to 500 mg every hour.
From that point I followed that advice and my health turned 180 degrees. I haven’t taken a sick day from work in over 25 years as I just work through the occasional cold. In all these years I only got sick once from Mrs. Chandavkl (an elementary school teacher who often fell ill to her students’ germs) or my kids, and I think that one time was from shared food.. In more recent years, zinc has proven to ward off illness, so I’ve also added that to my arsenal. I’ve also attributed the few times that I’ve gotten sick to getting a chill, so I’m also paying special attention to staying warm, and also getting sufficient rest..