Ronald Brak's Real Life Survival Tip #1
Welcome to Ronald Brak's survival tips, a possibly regular feature where you can learn real life survival tactics to help you in real life survival situations. You won't find any useless advice on how to survive bull attacks or falling elevators here, but vital tips on how to survive things that are actually likely to kill you – yes, you! So provided you are not suffering from bovine related aggression or currently experiencing zero gee in a lift shaft, read on.
Tip 1, Pneumonia and other stuff that makes you lungs cry: You're Australian and it's a cold winter's night in the foreign country you have travelled to and you don't know where to turn for medical help and medical help mostly consists of poking people with sharp sticks anyway. Alternatively you're American and just broke. Either way, you have that terrible feeling in your chest that only comes from intracellular fluid oozing through your alveoli and collecting in your lungs. (If you're not sure just what that feels like, it is very similar to that heavy feeling of dismay you get when you discover that the ecologically friendly car you just purchased runs exclusively off baby fat.)
So, what to do? Well, you could ask for help, but really, is that the sort of life you want to live? Expecting other people to help solve your problems? If you are going to be a survivor, you have to learn to cope with a simple thing like drowning in your own bodily fluids on your own, otherwise how well are you going to cope when something really serious happens, like drowning in somebody else's bodily fluids? I want you to tell yourself that you can cope with this on your own. Say it out loud like you mean it! Or failing that, gargle it out loud and then wipe the froth from your mouth and follow my advice.
From previous experience with colds and lung problems you might think that a humidifier would be a useful item. Sure it's useful. Useful if you want to drown! The problem is your lungs are too wet and a humidifier makes the air wet. This is not a good combination. Wet plus wet makes wetter. So unless you've been bitten by a radioactive fish recently, forget about humidifiers once you reach the starting to drown phase.
What you need is the opposite of what a humidifier does. So turn the air conditioner on. They don't just cool air, they also dry it. If you can set it so it just dehumidifies, that's even better. The dry air will help dry up the fluid in your lungs and turn it into lovely phlegm that you may be able to cough up. Unless of course your condition is so bad it just makes your lungs go stiff. In which case you'll die. My bad.
Assuming that you didn't keel over and die from you lungs turning into a pair of hard scouring sponges, and you still have difficulty breathing, the next step is to increase the oxygen content of the room you are in by setting fire to weed killer composed of sodium chlorate.
Tune in next week for survival tip number 2 – How to survive setting fire to weed killer.