January 2009


Yet another CNN article provides a talking point for living a healthier lifestyle. This one is about smoking.

This stressful age in history may be the wrong time to advocate giving up a comforting habit, but knowingly continuing to batter your body with harmful toxins is nonsensical. In fact, this might be the perfect time to push quitting smoking, because doing so would free up spending money and prevent the need for expensive medical procedures down the road. It also takes the foot off the gas pedal of the car sending you racing towards your death.

The big craze these days is ultimately about doing the smart thing – well, what’s smarter than throwing away those cigarettes? According to the article linked above, society is becoming more and more hostile to smokers, whether it raises the price of a pack or shoves the smokers’ break out into the cold.

Just do whatever it takes to stop – cold turkey, nicotine patches, help clinics, e-cigarette –  because stopping is far better for you than continuing.

Because colds are highly contagious during the first 24 hours, it is recommended that you stay home from work for a day or two. But telling the difference between cold symptoms and signs of non-contagious problems like allergies can be difficult. In some cases you can still be productive later in the day and go in.

If you think you are suffering from the oh-so-common cold, check this quick reference distilled from a WebMD article to see how you should respond to symptoms.

Sniffling:

  • Achy/tired/have a fever: cold or flu, so stay home.
  • No aches/fever: likely allergies, you can work.

Chills/Sweats:

  • Drenched clothes: fever likely, stay home and see doctor if severe (102 degrees+)
  • Fever and white patches on tonsils: stay home, call doctor for strep test.

Coughing:

  • Achy/tired/have a fever: cold or flu, so stay home.
  • No aches/fever: likely allergies, you can work.

Ear pain:

  • Accompanies cold symptoms: stay home, call doctor.
  • No cold symptoms: call doctor.

Sinus pain: stay home, likely only for 1 day.

Headache:

  • With sneezing/congestion/aches: likely a cold, stay home.
  • Cannot tolerate noise/light: migraine, consult doctor for medication to resume day.

Eye:

  • Red eyes, white/yellow stuff in eye corners, matted eyelashes: pinkeye – stay home and call doctor.