I hate being sick. It makes me feel like I am weak. Maybe it’s the control freak in me, but I will go to extremes to fight the flu, and for the past month I have been in full Muhammad Ali mode.

I know I am not alone. It seems like more than half the population has gotten hit with body aches and congested sinuses; unfortunately, it isn’t the result of a late night party foul at Xion, but possibly the result of a flu shot that was ineffective this year.

I haven’t felt quite right since the holidays. I ate, drank and lazed from Thanksgiving Day until New Years Day. Everything about December was wrong for my health and routine. Tons of sloth, sugar, alcohol and airplanes were the perfect combination to finally knock me out.

I have had what I call “Flu-Light” for weeks. I never had a fever or was unable to function, but the virus was there, and I heard it loud and queer. I was on the ropes and was willing to do anything not to be down for the count.

In today’s world, “alternative medicine” choices are plentiful, and I’m always willing to try something new. I have floated in isolation tanks, stuck candles in my ears and even sworn that Chick-fil-A chicken soup could cure my common cold until I reminded myself that it was made of hate.

This past month I even went to the extreme of trying Atlanta’s Hydration Station, where you get an IV bag full of Vitamin B, Vitamin C and a very unsexy oxygen mask. I have never been to the hospital, fortunately, so the idea of getting a hypodermic injection just to get over a cold seemed a little intense. I admit that once I got past the initial prick and relaxed, it was quite the adventure.

The entire process took about an hour, and once the entire bag had emptied into my veins, I did feel different. I had tons of energy and had to pee a lot; however, the next day I woke up still feeling like crap. I wasn’t feeling pretty after paying a pretty penny to punch out the cold.

It is true that men are the biggest babies when they are sick, and this boy was turning into a real bitch after about five days of dealing with the bug.

Sick and tired of hearing me whine, my business partner Rachael pulled her car over at Arden’s Garden on Peachtree Street in Midtown mid-whimper, saying that she knew exactly what I needed to “kick the shit out of my funk.”

Walking inside, Rachael energetically pointed to a cute guy behind the counter and exclaimed: “I want to introduce you to the ‘Hot Shot.’” I smiled uncomfortably at the gentleman juicer, because I am happily “taken,” but then realized she was actually referring to a famous Arden’s Garden juice, not the guy serving it. Noticing that I wasn’t feeling so “hot,” Mr. Hot Shot one-upped Rachael by offering me something he said would “change my life.” It was a four-shot juice cleanse called the “Grand Slam.”

Mr. Hot Shot explained that this home run homeopathic shooter consisted of one wheatgrass shot, which is a rich source of vitamins and helps to nourish organs and detoxify your body; one raw juiced ginger shot that warms your body and soul and is great for digestive health; one lemon juice shot, which is high in vitamins A, C and folic acid and has been used for ages as a liver toner; and finally, one cranberry shot that has lots of vitamin C and is a powerful antioxidant, and cranberries are like that spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.

After a coughing fit, I found the courage to join in a communal toast with Rachael and the juice guy. “Bottoms up,” he said, causing me to blush again as I cheered to health and happiness.

The next day I woke up feeling so much better that I went back to Arden’s Garden to join Mr. Hot Shot for round two. The ginger alone feels like it could burn the gay right out of you, but with the help of my opinionated business partner, an IV bag and Arden’s Garden, I finally felt like I kicked my cold’s ass before it whipped mine.

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