Nov 12, 201307:00 AM
Uptown Life

Lifestyles, Galas and Gaiety from St. Charles Avenue Magazine's Morgan Packard

Fighting the Season’s First Cold

I’ve always been prone to upper respiratory sicknesses. My father is an ER doctor, and growing up I seemed to catch every virus that was going around. This made for some interesting, and for my parents nerve-wracking, breathing problems as a child, and a hefty knowledge of treatments, such as Z-Packs, as an adult.

Unfortunately, as my mother has always told me: “There’s never a good time to get sick, buy a house or have children.” And boy, have I been experiencing the first one in spades.

To start, I’m finalizing the December issues of New Orleans Magazine and St. Charles Avenue, which means I need my brain to be clear and focused, not fuzzy or hopped-up on DayQuil and Sudafed. It also means that I’m missing out on some incredible experiences; Boudin, Bourbon & Beer was this past weekend and I was running too high a fever to even get to my front door – and I love that event. In addition, being married means that when I get sick, almost always so does my husband. (Thank goodness he makes amazing chicken soup!)

Over the years I’ve learned a few things about how to treat myself: 1) Listen to my body – if I’m craving orange juice, I should have some; if I’m running a fever and not hungry, I should be cautious and eat just a little of something bland. 2) Sleep; just that, sleep as much as possible. 3) If that doesn’t work, try drugs – the over-the-counter kind. 4) When those are failing, go see a doctor – in my opinion a Z-Pack is one of the greatest things ever created by humans. 5) If nothing else works then I fall back on a favorite saying: "Reality is for those who can’t apply makeup." Because sometimes you have to suck it up, get things done and be so busy you forget to be sick – and looking fabulous raises your mood in the bargain.

Reader Comments:
Nov 12, 2013 02:22 pm
 Posted by  Billsd

You should only take antibiotics if you have developed a respiratory infection. A cold is a virus and Z-packs have no effect. If the cold or flu is severe an opportunistic bacterial infection can set in, which is what a respiratory infection and/or bronchitis is. Then you heed an antibiotic to kill the germs. The virus is already dead. The way to tell if you have a respiratory infection is if the mucus (snot) you are expelling has color to it, usually green to begin with going to brown and finally red from blood. If not treated, especially if it has progressed to brown or red, then it can become bacterial pneumonia and could require hospitalization.

THERE IS ONE DANGER WITH Z-PACKS. If you have a heart rhythm irregularity called atrial afib, Z-packs can make it much worse leading to congestive heart failure and KILL YOU. I NEARLY DIED THIS VERY WAY ABOUT A YEAR AGO AND ENDED UP WITH A PACEMAKER/DEFIBRILLATOR AS A RESULT.

Nov 12, 2013 02:57 pm
 Posted by  Morgan Packard

I'm so sorry for your health troubles, BillSD,
As I said, if you're going to take antibiotics you should see a doctor to prescribe them – never take prescription medication without a doctor's orders.
I didn't want to get into mucus colors in my blog, and these are just the steps I take, but I appreciate you taking the time to comment and expand upon some of my thoughts in more medical detail.

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Uptown Life

Lifestyles, Galas and Gaiety from St. Charles Avenue Magazine's Morgan Packard


Morgan Packard may not be a native New Orleanian, but with every passing day New Orleans becomes more her home. Attending Newcomb College and gaining her masters from Tulane University, Packard immersed herself in the culture and peculiarities of the Big Easy, the culmination of which was reached when she joined the staff of Renaissance Publishing in May 2006. You can reach Morgan at (504) 830-7227 or




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