One "Flu" Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Two, three days ago I swallowed a razor blade in the morning. It kept nagging at me and I could hardly gulp my breakfast. I jumped on my bike and headed to work, an absurdly short distance away. I was hit by a truck. The heavy wheels squashed my bones one by one and squeezed the life out of me. I climbed the flight of stairs to the office and with every step I scaled I felt the impact of a powerful baseball bat crushing my knees, tearing apart my flesh and muscles. I slumped heavily on the chair, completely stunned in front of the screen as slow realization crept through my foggy brain. It’s the fucking flu.

There’s nothing I hate more than being sick. My tolerance to the common cold is close to nil. If a kid is infected two blocks away and I merely look at him from afar chances are I’ll catch it and turn into a useless lump in 24 hours or less. For the last few years I’ve been taking the shot every October. Although, it didn’t disappear completely from my life, the frequency of falling down victim to the flue has been greatly reduced. I used to get the cold twice, perhaps thrice a year. Now it’s more like once every two or three years. Yet when it hits, it hits hard, no holds barred, under the belt, over the head, anywhere where it hurts, continuously, incessantly, without mercy or remorse, until it runs its full demonic course.
Whether I take over the counter or prescription medications, drink exotic herbs, recite magic incantations, chant ghoulish invocations, pray to the almighty God above or plead with the lowly spirits of the netherworld I won’t fully get on my feet again before the flu wreaks havoc on my body and soul. A wise doctor once commented on my ordeal, “It’ll take you 7 days to get over the symptoms of the common cold or flu, assuming of course that you take your medication, drink plenty of liquid and rest. If you don’t, you won’t get well before a week.”
How come, I wonder, they’ve developed cruise missiles able to cross continents then hit a skinny bearded man in a bunker of concrete six stories down but still do not have a damn clue on how to eradicate once and for all the flu, among other human inflictions and miseries. Or do they but rather make us suffer and pay hard earned money to pharmaceutical companies. Didn’t Pfizer sue the Indians because they were mass producing a cheap drug for AIDS without paying “royalties”? Kiss Ikht humanity if this is how it was meant to be (Kiss Ikht is one Arabic variant for Fuck, yet more eloquent and melodic).
You will certainly excuse my obscenity and absurdity once you know under what chemical influence my brain neurons happen to be at right this moment. I have taken a little of everything. Pills, capsules, syrups, squeezed lemons, water and chicken soup. I have rested endlessly in bed. I have even watched Arabic movies. Send in your remedies if you happen to have any. Please hurry before the week or the 7 days (whichever comes first) are over.


Dubai Jazz said…
I am seizing the chance to drop my first comment after this recess :)
Get well soon Abu Fares, you know how it is with illness, it might tire your body but it'll cleanse your soul!
I'll be back to read your recent posts in depth and comment on them..
Get well soon Abu Fares! By the way, I consulted with Dr. Um Kareem on your behalf. She deals with with infections and such. She says that there is now a treatment for the flu. It is called Tamiflu and needs to be taken early in the course of the illness. Here in the US, a 1 week course will set you back $50. I hope the clever Indian pharmacists are working on a $1 version.
KJ said…
Abu Fares, salamat man! Flu is a most terrible thing.

My advice? Two things. For temperature (as in 40+): Voltarin 50 mg

Everything else: honey.

You're a farm boy like us you should know better. The skin of lemon also helps, but I am not sure anyone can handle it.
Abufares said…
Dubai Jazz
I'm glad you're back on your "feet". As for the flu cleansing my soul I have serious doubts.
It's turning me into a lousy person that's all.
Abufares said…
Thank you Abu and Um Kareem
It's too late now to consider the Tamiflu treatment although I will certainly look for it.
I have a few more days of misery to deal with. Once I'm on the other side I'll rejoin the rest of humanity.
Abufares said…
Luckily I'm not running any fever this time. I'm taking a wide spectrum of medication. Basically, anything with the word cold or flu in the description of the drug is finding its way into my body. I can handle and actually like the skin of lemons. I'll have some this afternoon once I get back home, and a little honey.
Thanks my friend.
Kinano said…
Hope you're feeling better soon :)

Flu just needs its time, I hate medications and if I am down with a cold or a flu I know that all I need is a week's rest.

Of course, we all have different immunity thresholds. Just take care of yourself (however you deem fit to do so) and get back on your feet soon :D
The Syrian Brit said…
It's the Arabic movies that did it.. they have muddled your normally sharp brain and turned you into a rambling wreck!!.. (Only teasing!.. You are still as sharp as ever, my friend.. And what's more, the flu has not touched your sense of humour!..)
I sincerely hope you do get better soon..
Anyway, I HAVE found the definitive cure:

Well, even if it doesn't cure you, you'll have one hell of a time trying it!..
saint said…
With all respect to all suggestions, but as they say, your mama knows best. Here is a home remedy from which been tested.

Grind about half an inch of fresh ginger root into a paste and place in a mug. Add boiling water and "steep" for several minutes. Strain the clear liquid into another mug, sweeten, and sip. Our symptoms start to subside within about twenty minutes.
We drink this in the morning and evening, and our cold usually gets better by the second day.
cheers & Good Luck -:)
Shannon said…
Oh! I'm so very sorry. I know exactly how you feel. I always drink lots of tea with lemon and honey and watch mindless tv. I doubt the mindless tv helps, but at least it helps me to sleep. Get well soon!
Abufares said…
Hi Kinano
I hate medications too. And, I know that if I can rest in bed for a few days I'll get better much faster, However, I can't. I have to go to work and I have to take these trips to Lattakia or wherever. I come back in the afternoon exhausted and feel as if I'm starting my recovery all over.
Thank you for caring.
Abufares said…
Doc Syrian Brit
The Arabic movies are a manifestation of my miserable state. They are more of a consequence.
As for the cure you've suggested, don't you think it's just a bit too late now. I mean in my present condition I couldn't do it even if I wanted to ;-)
Abufares said…
HI Saint
You know what, I was going to take your word for it except for "fresh". I doubt very much that we have any fresh ginger at home. I'll ask Om Fares to prepare your remedie with "stale" ginger instead since that's what we have at the present.
I already drank hot Zaatar, Zhourat, Zanjabil, Babounej and Zoufa. I tell you what, as far as my kidneys are concerned these herbs are doing wonders. I'm taxiing back and forth between the bed and the bathroom.
Abufares said…
Hi Shannon
You know exactly where I happen to be rigth now. Yours is the last comment I need to reply to this afternoon I guess. I'm getting back to bed and to TV Land.
Anonymous said…
Salamtak ya Abufares, you look a fright. :)

Now the recipe for the remedy which I now swear by. Long a story short, I had just arrived in Doha (Qatar) after the flight from hell (7 hours from London with a cold) and I had to appear the next day in the Doha Debates. An Asian maitre d'hotel (I was too sick to ask, but I think he was from Thailand) saw me nearly dying from pain, got me some fresh ginger (peeled and cut into small pieces, boiled and then allowed to rest in the boiling water) in a lovely cup (it helps if it's nice china) with a generous dose of honey to soften the sting of the ginger. It resurrected me, and I lived to see the next day.

There's loads of fresh ginger in Damascus, and I'm sure Tartous will have it as well. So ginger, honey, and the world will seem a different place.
Unknown said…
I hope your well now..
Everybody has to feel like this once a year, you got yours out of the way
Abufares said…
Hi Rime
It seems there's a consensus on fresh ginger. Since I have already crossed the halfway point I'll keep it in mind for my next encounter.
Thank you and more importantly Ramadan Karim.
Abufares said…
Hi Omar
You're right. However, come to think of it I was down with a terrible cold around new year (it was Yazan's fault), and here I am sick again 9 months later, and despite the flu shot.
Ramadan Karim to you and yours.
Anonymous said…
Hi Abufares Old Buddy...!!

Best wishes for Ramadan and for a quick recovery, but it seems all the recepies posted above miss the traditional "Hot Toddy" cure...??!! So as not to add one more to the various delicious recepies that all the good wishers have provided, I will just recommend the addition of a generous shot of good Scotch to any of them... Trust me, you WILL feel better...!!

Oh, and a couple of Aspirins, in addition to a good multi-vitamin, on top wouldn't hurt either... I make the stuff...!!

All the best...
Abufares said…
You\'ve been greatly missed.
I have abstained 1 week prior to Ramadan. Do you think that has anything to do with my reduced resistance?
Anyway, Happy Ramadan to you and yours and thank you for checking on me.
Highlander said…
Happy Ramadan Abufares and Salamatak :) That's a nice post all about the flu LOL
Abufares said…
Hello Highlander
Happy Ramadan to you and yours too.
Thank you for coming my way again. I often visit your great blog but fail to comment. A fault of mine certainly.
bint battuta said…
salamat (and ramadan kareem) - i hope you are feeling better by now. by the way your sensitivity to illness is probably related to your gender. my father always said he was suffering more than anyone else in the family because he had the 'male flu' :)
i love your blog!
Abufares said…
Hi Bint Battuta
I'm much better thank you.
I agree that in reality we are the weaker sex.
I have been on your blog before and I extremely enjoy your writing.
Come again, please.
Lujayn said…
Its not even official flu season yet! Salamtak, Abu Fares, and Ramadan Kareem! By now I'm sure the flu has subsided enough to let you enjoy all the wonderful food Umm Fares is probably making. Think how horrible it would have been if the flu kicked in a few days later. Thank God for small mercies :))
Abufares said…
Hi Lujayn
I have started my daily ritual of eating red noodles soup (with meat balls) and Fatteh bi Hommos with Samneh and Romman on top) + whatever Om Fares cooked for the day.
You\'ll hear about it soon inshallah.
I\'m still waiting for your long awaited post.
Salaam Abufares
I feel horribly late in checking up on you and telling you "hope you get well soon" but I’m excused by the fact that I’m trying not to sit to any PC outside work and our work connection bocks blogger comment pages!! (Mean bosses wanting us to work only)
Hope that all the home remedies that were provided within the comments have done the trick and that you're feeling much better now.
Salaam and be well

Abufares said…
Hi SiL
Better late than never and thank you for checking up on me. I'm alright now, just waiting for a moment of inspiration to write my next post.
david santos said…
Hello, Abufares!
Thanks for postung, very good.
Have a good week
Anonymous said…
Salamtak, and hope that by now you are feeling great.
A tea spoon of Honey taken on a daily basis (throughout your life!) will
stop the flu from coming in the first place. Even if you do get the flu,
it will only be a very minor one, more like a mild "cold" and it will
last less than 7 days and even less than a week..!
Abu Abdo
Abufares said…
David Santos
Thank you for dropping by. Have a good time.
Abufares said…
Abu Abdo
Honey! Although I really love it and wouldn't mind having a bit everyday, we tend to ignore what's good for us for some reason.
You're right though, after Ramadan, I will make it a part of my breakfast.
Karin said…
FEEL BETTER dear friend ... I feel ashamed I am getting to write to you only now!! My own life is a bit upside down right now and my time on the net shrank significantly!
As medical professional ... what can I say - the BEST medicine is LOTS of fluids (I swear my chickensoup would get you back to your feet!!) and sleep - sleep - sleep!!!
I know the feeling when you think a sledgehammer is drilling a hole in your head, hammering without end, when sinuses are clogged, eyes tearing and the whole body hurts and aches as if a dozen people had clobbered you all over ... a disgusting feeling!!

ALL THE BEST dear friend ... feel MUCH better in a jiffy!!
Abufares said…
Hi Karin
I'm very happy to see you here. After I seemingly recovered, it hit me again and hard. I'm following your advice and taking it easy. I should snap out of it soon.
Take care my friend.

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