01 Oct You’ve Got Mail — from the Universe!
“Oh, sweetie. You must have a virus. Would you like a cup of tea?” my husband said to me. I had a runny nose, cough, a fever and had zero energy. I said yes and closed my eyes to rest.
Truth be told I felt like something the cat dragged in (thanks Mom for that saying — I use it to this day!). My body was cycling and I had to let go of my massive “to-do list” for the day. I settled in to heal.
In our family, we take intentional steps not to create drama around colds, flus and barf bugs. They happen, to each family member, and we get through them. Our care of a symptomatic kid does not focus on deciding what treatment we should choose or what supplement I should take “to get rid of it.” It focuses on comfort care. How can we make our child (or spouse) more comfortable so they heal in their own time?
I consistently avoid language that implies that a cold should move faster or they should get over it. Or that it’s wrong or bad. Or how to “blast it” with a medication/oil or supplement. I’m sure you have heard that most cold and flus last 7-9 days treated or untreated. Why apply our misguided modern perspective, that everything has to be quick and efficient, to an illness?
As I laid on the couch (being the geek that I am) I thought very different thoughts from the average mom.
Virus, I thought. I just got a letter from the environment.
What, you’re probably asking, is this crazy lady talking about?
A virus, you see, carries DNA (genetic material) from the outside world and deposits it into my cells. One of the ways we evolve is to receive and integrate DNA from outside sources, and viruses carry that information. Recent research shows that up to 10% of our DNA does not come from our ancestors, but from our viral visitors. Nature is so smart she figured out how to tell my body what is going on in the world. It’s by inserting external viral DNA into my DNA.
Then when I’m sick, I know I just got a cosmic upgrade to my own operating system.
And get this — some of the viral DNA in each and every one of our bodies was inserted into the human genome 40 million years ago! We are literally walking libraries of information upgrades from our ancestors.
When we “catch” a virus our bodies make antibodies to it. Thus, our immune systems learn how to respond to it — and guess what? This antibody memory can be passed down to our offspring. So your cold is helping your future babies, and your kid’s cold will actually inform your grandchildren’s immune system. The antibody response is remembered onward. This is one way the immune system evolves and stays current.
Ok. I don’t want to go too deep down into the rabbit hole today, but here’s your takeaway:
1. Viruses are valuable messengers.
Know this and you’ll be comfortable when someone in your family has a cold or flu.
2. Supporting your kids through a virus is a powerful choice.
Intentionally avoiding suppression and drama normalizes the DNA upgrade process. (I don’t know about you, but my computer, my phone, and my cable box upgrade themselves — why wouldn’t my body?)
Nutrifying a kid’s sick body is a good thing. Loading them up with every immune system supplement is unnecessary. In fact, there are tons of actions you can take if you want to feel like you’re making a contribution (tea, cuddling, massage). Just don’t make a big drama out of a sniffle.
I thought this would be a good topic today since everyone from my son’s Spanish teacher to presidential candidates have been sneezing and blowing their noses. Winter is coming so put out the welcome mat.