Len Dubois Trucking is a Winnipeg based trucking company dedicated to the health and well being of its fleet.

Dealing with the flu or a cold is never easy; it’s even worse when you’re cooped up in the truck instead of at home in your comfy bed. As a truck driver you rarely have the opportunity to call in sick, or take the day off to deal with your cold and flu symptoms, but there are things you can do to help get over your cold or flu.

What to do When You’re Caught Out on the Road

First things first, talk to dispatch. It is no secret that when our symptoms are at their worst, so are we. Fatigue, weakness and a general lack of concentration are common symptoms. You may not be able to perform all of your regular daily duties and depending on the severity of these symptoms you may not be fit to drive. Safety is very important to Len Dubois Trucking so we ask that our drivers keep this in mind when dealing with a cold or flu over the road.

Plan on shutting down early. Generally when we are sick we feel worse as the day progresses and as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon all we want to do is curl up in a ball and die. There are a few key reasons for this. One, during the day we have a lot of distractions and less time to focus on how crummy we feel. When night hits and you no longer have to deal with heavy traffic, deliveries, shippers/receivers, and the rest of your long daily task list you have more time to focus on your symptoms. Second our immune system goes into overdrive at night and while we have to respect that it is healing us, it will make our symptoms worse in the process. Getting as much rest as possible will help us heal faster, so plan on shorter days when you are sick so that you can get some much needed rest.

Turn up the heat and we mean more than the thermostat. Mothers all over the world have known this for years, chicken soup and hot tea can ease your symptoms. Why? As the warmth moves down your throat it helps loosen mucus, making it easier to cough up, also as you lean in to take a sip of these warm beverages the steam you breathe in helps loosen the mucus in your sinuses therefore making it easier to blow your nose. Taking a hot shower will help in the same way, it will also help with those aches and pains.

Stay hydrated. We all know about the rule to drink plenty of fluids when we have the flu, but did you know the same rule applies for a cold? Drinking plenty of fluids, water or fruit juice, will keep your body hydrated. Fun body fact: when your body produces mucus it uses up your body’s moisture. Getting extra fluids will thin out mucus and make it easier to blow or cough out. Limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume while sick, as they can be dehydrating.

Know the Symptoms

It may be hard to determine if you are suffering from a cold or the flu because the symptoms are very similar.

Regardless of what you have it is important to take care of yourself so that you can recover and prevent complications from occurring. Cold and flu symptoms are generally over within 7 to 10 days, if not sooner, unless a complication develops.

If your symptoms are severe or aren’t getting better after a week, or if you have fever for more than 3 days, see a doctor. See a doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms: difficulty breathing, persistent fever, vomiting or inability to keep fluids down, painful swallowing, persistent coughing, or persistent congestion and headaches