It’s that fucking time of the year again. The weather is unpredictable, it’s mostly wet and dark, people aren’t getting their fucking flu shots, and we’re all getting fucking sick.
I’m super lucking because I only work 3, 12 hour shifts a week, so if I happen to catch my death, I stand a change of not missing a ton of my pay check. But I really hate being sick. Recently I came down with a UTI that I thought was take a kidney. This wasn’t a run of the mill, stick to vodka cranberries, walk it off kind of deal. This was a doubled over, labor level cramps, my kidney is fighting to leave my body, I literally cannot sit down, kind of monster.
Up until a few years ago, chicken noodle soup, ginger ale, Gatorade, and Unsolved Mysteries was all that was required to hunker down until a bug passed (we uhh…didn’t really go to the doctor when I was a kid). But I’m an adult now with an apartment and cat and I don’t have the luxury of more than one sick day at a time. And in any case, being sick sucks.
So here’s the new and improved sick day survival kit. I’m not lying, figuring this out has been a GAME. CHANGER.
1. Hot Water Bottle
You guuuuuyyyyyysss. I had NO idea about these until I started dating a British person. They use electric kettles (also a game changer), because tea, instead of boiling or microwaving water like us American idiots. You get boiling water in like 2 minutes. Anyway…this isn’t about that.
I had used electric blankets in the past, but they’re really dangerous to fall asleep with on, and honestly, they’re always too hot. Hot water bottles are smaller than a throw pillow and are suspiciously pelvis sized (hello soothing period cramps). I have a faux fur one that I got on ridiculous discount from Restoration Hardware. I would rotate it between my pesky organ that was wreaking havoc, and my ever cramping pelvis. You can fall asleep with it with out worrying about leaving behind 3rd degree burns or staring an electrical fire.
2. IV Hydration Powder
This stuff is great for everything. Long flights, hangovers, that boot camp your BFF dragged you to, any time your body needs a little boost. Hell this stuff is even good for when your going to a higher altitude, like skiing or drinking at the lodge.
Even if you’re not projecting from both ends, your body doesn’t handle hydration the same way when your sick. Also, you’re probably not drinking as much you normally would between curling in the fetal position, clutching your cat for some minuscule level of comfort, and telling Netflix “yes I am still watching Forensic Files” as you catch glimpse of your greasy top knot and dark eye circles in the TV reflection.
3. Diet Ginger Ale
I don’t know how much actual ginger is in the run of the mill 2 liter of ginger ale, but for some reason it always tastes better when you’re on your death bed. Artificial sweeteners get a bad wrap, and not for a lack of good evidence, but if you aren’t a Diet Coke junkie or take like 10 Splendas in each of your 5 cups of coffee a day, a few glasses of aspartame isn’t going to cause all those nasty side effects those mommy blogs love to warn you about.
The actual reason I say “diet” is the last thing you want when you’re sick (especially a UTI) is extra sugar. It contributes more to dehydration, it’s empty calories, and will not do wonders for your skin. In other words, add new white head and bloating to the list of all the other nonsense your dealing with.
I mean, ginger tea with honey is probably the more holistic and effective approach to helping nausea…but sometimes it’s nice to have something cold and fizzy when everything hurts and your dying .
4. Cranberry Tea
This stuff will make you piss like a race horse and combat any water retention as a result of the bug that will be the end of you.
An added benefit is that cranberries are really good at preventing and easing symptoms of UTI (This is a little UTI specific, but you’ll thank me later). It prevents bacteria sticking and making it feel like the four horsemen of the apocalypse are riding out of your urethra.
Being sick sucks. Especially when you can’t sit down and you feel like you’re dying. But turn on some Dateline: To Catch a Predator, clutch your hot water bottle to where it hurts, and drink up, Weirdos.
May the odds during sick season be ever in your favor!
Stay Fab. Stay Weird.