Last week, I went to pick up my little one from pre-school and his teacher said he woke up from nap with a really runny nose. Of course, just the fact that he napped alone, probably was a sign of things to come. Sure enough, he brought home a virus. (Now, my kid really doesn’t get sick very often. But when he does, all I can think about is how long its going to knock me out for, and how I’m going to survive the flu AGAIN. Geez, that sounds selfish.) Anyway, he never really complains when he’s sick, but you can always tell because he’s just so much S-L-O-W-E-R. It’s like everything moves at half speed compared to when he’s feeling good. Somedays, he has so much energy, I’ll just catch him standing in the middle of the room bouncing. Just bouncing. For no reason. Obviously, thats not how he was acting last week, so we let him lay around and watch movies all day. I tried to keep my distance as best I could… I really did. But low and behold – guess who caught it next… Yep, that’s me.
By the time I got home from work on Friday evening, I was going downhill fast. We rented a movie, and all I could do was sneeze through it. I tried to convince myself it was allergies, but I knew that I was getting sick. It always starts off feeling like allergies, and every single time, it turns into full blown cold/flu symptoms.
Despite being in remission from Crohn’s Disease for over 6 years now, my immune system is still pretty weak. It’s pretty common for those who have autoimmune diseases to have issues with that sort of thing. We’ve learned to expect it. If Dom, (or anyone around me really) gets sick… I can almost always look forward to bringing it home. And the worst part is, I always seem to get it way worse than he does! He bounces back in a day or two and I’m usually down at least 3-4!
I must admit, I’ve gotten pretty good at it though. I can almost always spot the signs early and get some meds on board pretty quickly. I’ve learned (just through sheer practice) what kind of food my body likes to eat while I’m sick. I love potato soup, and breads. Those always seem to be easy on my body. I know I don’t like Sprite to settle my stomach, water works better for me. And for some reason, when I feel really nauseous, sometimes a sneeze will make it go away. Weird right?
Like many people with an ostomy, I’ve learned that dehydration is also a pretty regular issue. No matter what kind of virus or little bug I bring home, the output in my Ileostomy is always going to be a little abnormal and overactive. And while I might be good at being sick, because I practice a lot… I’m not good at drinking lots of water when I’m sick. I have a tendency to just want to curl up and ignore everything. So, I thought it might be kinda fun to give you my survival list for being sick. Take it from a pro – this is everything you need to survive a virus running rampant through your house:
10 Must Haves to Survive the Flu
1. Chicken Noodle Soup & Toasties. When I was a kid, my parents made me toasties. Not to be confused with regular toast, these are cut into little strips, perfect for dipping. They taste WAY better than regular toast.
2. Tylenol Cold & Flu. This is typically my medicine of choice because it helps with the symptoms I get most often. Occasionally I will also take Nyquil at night so I can just pass out and not be aware of how awful I feel.
3. Pretty Little Liars. Or whatever show on Netflix, you’ve been dying to binge on… For me this time, it was the latest season of Pretty Little Liars. Don’t judge me.
4. Fan. Lots of people sleep with a fan on at night… I definitely do. But when I’m sick, it has to be on all the live-long day. Not sure why. I think it’s just a relaxation thing for me.
5. A Command Center. Make sure you set yourself up with a little station that has all the little goodies you need. This should include: Cell Phone for pity calls, Chapstick, Tissue – TONS of tissue, the Remote Control. For heavens sakes, get all of this stuff right off the bat, lest you have to get up and get it later.
6. Trash Can. I always forget the trash can, and my tissues end up on the floor next to my bed. I think Tim loves it when I do that.
7. Excedrin. Because if you’re addicted to soda like I am, you’ll be having withdrawal headaches. Excedrin helps with this quite a bit.
8. Water. Lots of water. This one is pretty obvious, but just to refresh – hydration is important.
9. DripDrop Hydration Packets. Awesome little packets that you just pour into your water. Loaded with electrolytes and taste yummy. I recently discovered these and they’re fabulous. They help keep my body hydrated not just when I’m sick, but they help prevent dehydration when my Ostomy is feeling a lithe overactive. Check them out here.
10. Spouse/Partner. I highly recommend having a spouse as awesome as mine that will totally take care of you when you’re fighting the body aches and the constant sneezing. Tim is so good to me when I’m sick, and I KNOW he has got to just be so tired of it by now.
So there you have it. Here’s to hoping that none of us ever get sick again, but I know, at least in my case, that’s not likely. So if you do ever find yourself feeling a little achy in the future – be sure to refer back to my handy dandy list. No need to re-create the wheel. Take it from a pro. :)