Friday, October 19, 2012

Let's Prepare for...Getting Sick

Hopefully you won't get sick this cold and flu season, but you should be prepared for that eventuality nonetheless.  Here's some things you can do to prepare for that possibility:

  • Get a flu shot.
  • Add some extra money to your emergency fund (especially if you don't get paid sick leave).
  • Put together a "sick kit".  Include a thermometer, cough drops, Thera Flu, Tylenol, Sudafed, a box of Kleenex, Zinc lozenges, a bottle of Vitamin C, acidophilous tablets, Carmex, Vicks Vapo-rub, and some echinacea, 
  • Put together a small stock of food that you would want to eat and drink if you get sick: canned soup, Pedialite, Gatoraid, teabags, etc.
  • Have a small stock of these germ-buster products: nitrile gloves, face masks, Clorox wipes.
  • If you have children add children's pain reliever/fever reducer to your sick kit.  Also keep on hand coloring books and crayons as well as other activities that children can do while they are recuperating.
  • Know that the best way to treat your average cold or flu is to rest quietly and sleep as much as possible.  Don't forget to stay hydrated which is also very curative.
  • If you get sick and have a chronic illness which requires daily medication, be sure to ask your doctor what to do in the event that you either vomit up your medication or forget to take it.  Ditto if you are taking birth control pills.
  • Don't automatically reach for an antibiotic if you become ill.  Many of these seasonal illnesses are caused by viruses not bacteria so an antibiotic won't help (unless you have strep throat which is a bacterial infection).  Overusing antibiotics encourages antibiotic-resistant infections and illnesses. 
  • For a severe case of the flu which causes a very high fever, dehydration, severe dizziness, shortness of breath, or other life-threatening symptoms, don't hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room.

1 comment:

  1. The only people who really, really, should get flu shots are those with compromised immune systems. The rest of us need the immunity, and there's no way to get it but by getting the crud.

    You can avoid a lot of disease by avoiding touching bathroom door handles; people are haphazard, with the emphasis on 'hazard', when they wash their hands and then spread their germs to the door handles. My husband works with many such folk, and we avoided getting the majority of the stuff going around last winter by him not handling the handles of the loo doors.

    If your colds/flu invariably end up in your chest, remember to add an expectorant to the mix of things you stock up on. Or plan on eating Thai or other spicy food; the spices are often themselves expectorants.