You’d think that being chronically ill prepares you for any sickness, but it doesn’t. Take me for example; I’ve spent the whole week cooped up in my apartment with the flu. And Husband will back me up: I am world’s worst sick person. Brain malformation I can cope with (kinda). The flu? Nope. That’s partly because any “normal” illness zaps my already depleted energy supply. Thankfully, I have Husband (who makes excellent tomato soup) and cats who surround me with purrs. It really reminded me, though, that dealing with average ailments on top of other maladies requires a plan. In my mind, my “I just puked up chocolate chip waffles” plan and my “I wish my brain was in the right spot” plan are two different things. What do spoonies do when they get sick? Do you have a plan? Read on for seven tips to get you through your sickness!
Why do chronic illness sufferers need a plan for average sicknesses? Think of it as another facet of self-care. You probably have a plan for flare ups and bad days, but this is taking it one step further. The biggest reason I found for making a plan is your energy level. A normal person might be able to fight off the flu in a couple of days, but since my body already functions on a less than normal scale, it takes me so much longer to get better and recover. Being sick and ill at the same time just adds insult to injury; it’s hard enough to take of myself on a good day!
Spoonies also have to take routine medicines into account. I can’t take certain flu medicines because they interact with meds I’m already taking. That right there limits my treatment options. I also cannot get the flu vaccine because of complications. There’s also routine tests you might experience to rule out your illness. I don’t know how many times I’ve had strep throat and every time I have blood work done to make sure it’s not my thyroid acting up.
Show Your Sickness Who’s Boss
- Drink fluids – Viruses wreak havoc on your body. Becoming dehydrated will only make it worse, so drink up! Especially orange juice; vitamin C can help kick your sickness in the ass!
- BRAT diet – Growing up, my parents always fed us the BRAT diet when we were ill. It stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. These foods don’t really bother your stomach and provide your body with carbs.
- Turn on Netflix and veg – Try to limit your activity. I stayed snuggled in my bed and watched Lucy Worsley documentaries with my cats. It’s all about conserving what little energy you have.
- Sleep – Help your body fight by resting. You need all the energy you have to get better, and nothing helps you recharge like sleep.
- STAY HOME – The CDC actually recommends that sick people “stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)” I am one of those people that hoards sick time but working with kids ups the chance that I could spread it to someone else.
- Contacts – It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, a friend, or a coworker, but having someone who can stop at the grocery store for OJ and chicken noodle soup helps out so much. Husband is amazing, but there are times when my mother in law has had to take me to my general practitioner. It makes a huge difference, though.
- Call your doctor or pharmacy – If you’re concerned about a medication problem, or if you should continue taking a certain medication while sick, call your doctor your pharmacist and ask about interactions. Better safe than sorry!
What do you do to beat the flu or a cold? Share your tips and advice in the comments!