Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Grape juice and the stomach flu

There's a thing going around the internet right now: They tell you to drink grape juice to prevent the stomach flu.


Yes, grape juice is supposed to change the ph in your digestive system so the stomach flu germs can't grow there.  That is my ultra-scientific explanation and interpretation.

It must be 100% grape juice, no juice mixes or artificial flavors.  Welch's is often named (and may be behind the whole thing).

You have to drink your grape juice before you exhibit symptoms, if it is going to work.  Do not--I repeat do not--drink a bunch of grape juice after you have begun vomiting.  Dark purple is not a good vomit color.  For heaven's sake do not give 100% grape juice to a vomiting child, if you value your towels, bed linens and carpeting.

The first to fall will fall.  This preventative is a family thing: when the first person gets sick, as soon as the first person gets sick, everyone else should start drinking copious amounts of grape juice.  By copious amounts, I mean an 8 oz. glass with breakfast, lunch and supper.  That's a lot of sugar.  Cut out all other sources of sugar.

I actually tried this recently, and it seemed to work.  Hallelujah!

I love grape juice.  I love the way it looks, the way it smells and the way it tastes.  When I tried this preventative, it was actually a bit late for prevention.  Although I'd not vomited, I was definitely feeling very funky, and things were "off" to the point where I would not be able to claim the label "prior to symptoms."  However, when I poured up my first glass of grape juice, even the wafting scent seemed to calm my stomach a little bit.

A memory flooded my consciousness, a memory of childhood stomach flu.

When I was a child and I came down with the stomach flu, my Grandpa Rainbow always used to appear on the doorstep with a brown paper bag of presents to cheer me on my day home from school.  I remember this.  My bedroom had a window that looked back at the portico outside our front door, and I remember hearing the shuffle of someone walking up to the door as I listened listlessly on my bed.  I remember hearing the doorbell ring, and my mother conversing with the visitor in the front hall.  Then my mother would come into my room with the brown paper bag of gifts.

Usually there was a small craft or activity, something I could do quietly in bed while I was recovering.  Once there was a Laura Ingalls Wilder book, On the Banks of Plum Creek.  Always, there was a bottle of Welch's grape juice, just for me.  I assumed that this was simply because Grandma and Grandpa Rainbow knew how much I loved grape juice.  Now I'm wondering if they knew something special about grape juice.

My mother (who valued her towels, bed linens and carpets) would never let me have the grape juice right away.  "This is too strong for you," she would say.  "Does it even appeal to you?" she would ask.  Well, it did.  Still, I had to wait before she would let me have it.  I remember it as one of the first and best things I imbibed as I was getting better.  I remember the luxurious pleasure of a glass of grape juice and a soft boiled egg on white toast.  I had forgotten, but I recently remembered.

Oh, my dear old grandfather, with his floppy cap and the slight hunch of his shoulders.  He'd float up to the house in his big old boat of a green Chrysler, faithfully deliver the goods to the front door, and then go back to his car and float away.  What a blessing to have a grandfather and a grandmother who cared when I was sick and did what they could to cheer me up.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for Grandpa, who was so kind and faithful.  Thank you for Grandma, who probably had the inspiration to send him out on the mission in the first place.  And thank you for the grape juice, the fruit of the vine, that made me feel so much better.


Pauline said...

So SWEET ... I really don't remember your Grandfather BUT GRANDMA RAINBOW was a jewell. She was one of the greatest encouragers to me in all of FBC/ANOKA. YOU have a wonderful heritage in Herbold and Rainbow people!
Please keep writing I'm reading.... ~~ Pauline

Paul Rainbow said...

The grape juice is especially effective if fermented first - so you don't have to worry about all the sugar.

Priscilla said...

What a wonderful grandfather you had (and grandmother). You are truly blessed to have such beautiful childhood memories. I too have been blessed.