I’ve been living alone for close to two years now. Two years into a pandemic, I finally got sick. It wasn’t COVID, thankfully, but it may as well have been why my body shut down. So getting sick and living alone was something I wasn’t prepared for at all.
Now, if you are anything like I was a few weeks ago, you probably wonder why getting sick and living alone sucks more than just getting sick like before you lived on your own. Simple really, there is no one to help you when you feel like absolute crap.
THIS IS NOT A “WOE IS ME STORY.” I simply want those who haven’t experienced the hell I want through to be prepared. Because I was just that, unprepared.
I woke up on Sunday with a sore throat, and I thought nothing of it. I wrote it off as me falling asleep with my mouth open and my fan hitting my face directly. (And yes, I sleep with a fan and air conditioning on in the middle of winter. It’s the Florida boy in me. What can I say?
Guess what! It wasn’t what I thought. I woke up on Monday feeling like death incarnate. I was simultaneously freezing cold and boiling hot. To put it plainly, the only level of comfort I could get was going full Pooh Bear. (I wore a thick winter jacket, and that was it.) And then the hotness left and wore every single pair of sweatpants I have (which is a lot more than I need) and sat in front of my heater on the floor wrapped in my blankets while my dog looked at me like I was insane.
But the reason I’m writing this article is because of the longest walk of my life. I don’t have a car anymore, so with a fever of 102, all my clothes on, and sheer determination, I walked the six blocks to the closest CVS to get flu medicine, Gatorade, and NyQuil. Because, like an idiot, I didn’t have anything I needed in case I got sick. The only stroke of luck I had was that I had a meal prepped a bit and made a giant pot of chicken noodle soup on Saturday. (It was the biggest lifesaver of all time.) I have never been more grateful to myself for not being lazy on a Saturday ever before in my life.
So here are a few things to keep in mind when you get sick
BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES!!!
What does that look like?
NyQuil & other medicine
This is self-explanatory. Nothing is more miserable when you are sick than when you can’t sleep. Whether it’s because you can’t breathe or you’re coughing up a storm, NyQuil is always the best. (Does anyone else have really weird vivid dreams when they take NyQuil, or that’s just me?)
Emergency instant soup
The last thing you want to do is be standing up cooking when you feel like crap. Buy a can of Campbell’s soup or some instant ramen. You need something to eat even though it can be so hard when your body is betraying you.
Buy a giant bag of cough drops
My whole life, coughing has been the bane of my existence. If I get a cough then I will have that cough for a month. (Thanks, Asthma.) Have you ever broken a rib from coughing so much? Cause the same.
Good movies to help pass the time
I have to go to movies that I always watch when I get sick. Comfort movies are the biggest reason I don’t curl up into a ball and cry when I get really sick. (My go-to’s are A Knight’s Tale, Singing in the Rain, Princess Bride, and any Studio Ghibli movie.)
Better Safe than Sorry
No one likes being sick. It’s one of those human experiences that, if possible, we all wish we could never have to go through ever again. And when you get really sick, you start making promises to the universe that you’ll never take your ability to breathe while sleeping for granted again. And it can be so easy to get into the mentality of “toughing it out,” which is so dumb. Modern medicine is the best invention since the wheel and the lightbulb, so deny yourself of its glorious benefits. Be prepared. Always have a sick basket in your closet with all of your flu/cold necessities ready to go when you wake up with a sore throat. You won’t regret it.