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The English!
December 09, 2010


Last month we looked at some phrasal verbs and this month I thought we would look at everything related to the flu. Why? Well...I just had the flu and I have to say that it was not great.

Today we will be exploring how to tell your doctor you have the flu, how to recover faster and also how to prevent the flu.

Let's get started!

Telling your doctor or someone else you have the flu

This can be difficult. How do you describe your symptoms? Well...let me describe mine to you.

It all started last Saturday. I was at a friend's house having coffee in the late afternoon and my throat started to hurt. Every time I swallowed my throat felt like it was burning or scratchy. It was very uncomfortable but my coffee and a glass of water seemed to sooth it.

Later that night is when I started to feel worse. I had a horrible headache. My forehead throbbed and it hurt to move my eyes. Usually when this happens it means I have a fever which wouldn't surprise me because I felt really hot and my face was flushed and red.

When I went to sleep my nose started to run and I ended up putting tissues in my nose so I could sleep (true story) and when I woke up I couldn't breath through my nose. I was totally congested and felt horrible. I had a lot of sinus pressure and didn't have any energy. I ended up lying on the couch all day with blankets over me and watching tv.

I tried to drink lots of water and juice to keep me hydrated.

This lasted about 3 days but it started to get better yesterday. I only had to take a painkiller once for my headache but other than that I didn't take any medications.

Today I am feeling about 80%. I am not 100% better yet but I can breathe through my nose and I have much more energy. The only thing that is bothering me is my head. I still have a headache and I hope it will just go away with time.

This is perfect timing really, because I will start travelling tomorrow...and no one likes to travel when they have the flu.

How Can I Recover from the Flu Faster?

This is a great question. Everyone who is sick with the flu probably wants to know some tricks or ways to help them recover faster or at least feel better in the moment.

Here is what I did and I was able to feel better in 5 basically this is your "recover from the flu in a week" guide.

One: Rest. This is the number one reason why people stay sick much longer than they should. People try to continue working or doing what they "should" be doing, when in reality their only responsibility while sick is to lay on the couch or in bed and rest.

Two: Drink lots of fluids. Drinking at least 2 or 3 litres of water a day is a great way to keep yourself hydrated and flush your body of the flu virus. If you don't enjoy water, you can add some fruit juice to make it tastier. You can also drink hot tea as well.

Three: For a sore lemon and honey! My mother used to always make me drink this when I had a sore throat. Basically you boil some water and then you add a slice of fresh lemon and then a spoonful or two of honey and mix it up. It doesn't taste that great, but it sure does make your throat feel better.

Four:Get some fresh air. As much as you want to lie on the couch all day it really is a good idea to go outside and breathe some fresh air. Make sure to wear some warm clothes (including a scarf and gloves) and just go for a short walk outside.

Five: When you start to feel better, don't start doing everything right away. Your body is still recovering and needs more rest. Start slowly and make sure you are not working too hard. If you start to feel bad, then take a rest.

How to Prevent the Flu?

This is a great idea, preventing something before it even happens. Not to mention that it is pretty simple as well.

1) Wash your hands regularly. If you handle money, or are in the public place you should wash your hands when you get home. You should also wash your hands before preparing meals and after visiting the washroom.

2) Drink lots of water. This isn't just to prevent the flu but to keep you hydrated. People say that if you drink lots of water you can loose weight (or maintain a healthy weight) more easily and it helps eliminate toxins from your body.

3) When you cough or sneeze don't cover your mouth/nose with your hands. It is better to use the inside of your arm.

4) Eating Yogurt can help. People say that eating yogurt can help add beneficial or good bacteria into your system.

5) Reduce stress. It seems that stress really hurts our immune systems and we need to make sure that we relax so that we can stay healthy.

So there you have it everything about the flu!

Before I go lay down on the couch (my head still hurts a little) I wanted to answer a question that a visitor emailed me. I think that others might have the same question so I thought I would answer it in the newsletter.

Dear Diana,
I read an email about a new English course and I saw some pages about some videos about Jerry, but I don't know where to watch these videos. Can you tell me how to watch them? -Nguyen

Nguyen is correct. I'm working on a new English course "It's English Time!" which is based on 20 videos about a guy named Jerry Zucker.

NEWS: I've decided to transform the course into an actual computer program so you can use all the audio, video and exercises simultaneously on your computer. So once the course is finished you will be able to watch all the videos when you get the program.

Also, some of the videos are available on youtube at the Zucker brother's page.

If you want to watch all the videos you could buy them separately but I would highly recommend that you wait for "It's English Time!" to be released (later this month) because all of the videos are included in the course.

SPECIAL BONUS: The "It's English Time" course will also include subtitled videos which are not available anywhere else!

So that is it for today everyone. I need to relax and drink some water now. :) I'll be sending another newsletter from Canada in a couple of weeks!

All the best,


Join in the discussion at the "Learn English Corner: LEC" where other members are talking about the flu.

If you have any comments or would like to say something about this newsletter please send me a message via this form.

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