It's your second day of the semester. You walk slowly to the 200-loads of lecture hall. You choose your favorite spot and sit. Everyone else comes in, one by one until the hall is fully occupied. Then, the professor comes in, standing right in front of the white board. Your class is supposed to start at 9.30am but its already 9.45am. The professor is late for 15 minutes. It's okay! As long as it's not you who is late. You anxiously open your notebook. You took a pen and ready to jot down all important points that you will obtain from the lecture.
As a sudden your throat feels funny. Something is just not right. You try to clear your throat by coughing once. You thought it'll be okay but it's not. You cough again and now your throat feels so itchy. You cough for several times. A person next to you has covered her mouth (afraid of the germs). So does the one in front of you. You keep coughing until your eyes watery. Why now? You mumble to yourself. Why do I have to cough now? You try to look for something to ease your cough - sweets, plain water, cough drops? None! You find nothing.
The quiet moment just now is already filled with your voice - your loud coughing. Your throat feels really itchy and there's nothing you can do but coughing and continue to cough in order to alleviate the irritation. Your professor is already looking at you with pity kind of look. He stops lecturing because if he continues, no one could listen to him. One by one is looking at you and now, everyone is looking at you with sympathy, of course. They try to help but nothing can be done except letting you to leave and get something to ease your throat irritation. You are blushing and kinda saying, Yes, I am guilty as charged. I will leave now....
Have you ever experienced that? I did. A few times and at a few different occasions. In a classroom, during a seminar and in a bus while I was standing and everyone else was sitting down. Also, I am getting it now. Only the good thing is, I am now at home and only my kids and husband are around. They don't mind if I have to cough for 1000 times. No problem at all. But it is a problem to me. I can't sleep well and I can't eat well. I've tried many ways to stop or at least ease the irritation. I try to remember what people told me to do. I look into various books, including a book that my dad bought for me (by Re@der$ Dige$t) when I was 15 (he wanted me to be a doctor one day. Anyway, thanks ayah but sorry for kind of frustrates you). These are what I've found from my small research:
- To ease your sore throat, gargle with salt water (this was given by Kak Ana, my ex colleague - thank you Kak Ana). I've tried this and it works! I haven't tried this for dry cough though. Gargling with salt water may result in your throat taste salty - that's pretty obvious I think.
- If you need a soothing sore throat gargle, use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (suggested by the Re@derS Dige$t). I haven't tried this one.
- Add a tablespoon each of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and honey to a cup of hot water. Stir and sip slowly (also suggested by Re@ders Dige$t). I'm applying it now and I think it helps. But of course you have to repeat for a few times and stop taking spicy food. - that's the problem with me. I don't eat anything but spicy food. Oh well......
- Take a tablespoon or two of asam jawa (tamarind) and mix with a cup of plain water, preferrably slightly hot. You may put a bit of sugar, but I prefer mine to be sour - without sugar (this is my mom's! Thank you ma...)
- Add a pinch of salt in a tablespoon of fresh-squeezed limau kasturi (I don't know the English name for this). Dissolve the salt using your finger. Sip slowly from the spoon itself. Do not sip the undissolved salt though (this one is my mother in law's. Thank you mak. It really helps. Unfortunately there's no limau kasturi in Al Jubail la mak....)
- Go to the doctor and ask for a cough syrup. (This usually is my last choice)
I always have this notion that drugs (medicine) contains drugs. It has side effects to your body. For example, if you don't complete your prescribed antibiotics, your lungs could be infected. Of course you may say, just finish the medicine then. Yeahhh... but sometimes, when I am already healed for may be after 2 days, I will forget about the medicine. The doctor may require me to complete the medicine until 4 days. What will happen then? Am I at risk? To me, better be safe than sorry. I am not saying that I'm against the prescribed medicine totally. I did take them when I am really in need. For instance, I took a cough syrup right after my Ceaserian delivery. I had 3 C-sect deliveries and I can tell how painful it was when you're awake. When I was awake, my throat irritated due to the anesthetic, which then lead to a cough. The stitch-wound could become really painful if I cough. So, to prevent me from coughing a lot, I can't help but to take the cough syrup. Besides alleviating my sore throat, it also helps in making me woozy and sleep again.
All in all, you need to take care of yourself. Any remedy won't help if you always expose yourself to hazardous stuff.