to do. when you are sick.

One year and 50 posts ago, I started writing and recommending things to add to your “to do” list. 

About 2 months ago, I stopped having anything to recommend. But not without reason. I was diagnosed with mononucleosis. That’s right – the good ol’ cause of sore throats, fatigue, and a host of other symptoms that way overstays its welcome. For many, this sneaky little illness hits in the school years and means days out of school and make-up work. For me, in adult life, it meant basically the same thing, days out of the office and make-up work. 

Sequestered for a few weeks, my world became a little smaller and a little slower, and I am now able to make some great recommendations for your sick days of varying degrees.

Get some sleep.

In some ways, I think it’s the cure all. If my allergies are acting up, sleep gives me a break from the itching and sneezing. If it’s a headache, soreness, or other pain, sleep provides a much-needed escape. It’s relief if nothing else. And I will say that I after this bout with mono, I’m more sold than ever on keeping up my daily dose of shuteye.

Eat your favorite comfort foods.

  • Cheese makes it better. My go-to comfort foods always involve cheese. In fact, when I woke from naps as a toddler, I called out, “Cheese!” before I called for a parent. And when I’m sick, my old favorite is the classic grilled cheese sandwich. If you are too weak to make your own grilled cheese sandwich, have someone pick up the most crave-inducing grilled cheese in the Birmingham area at Urban Standard. I also tried Panera Bread’s Signature Mac & Cheese for the first time recently and hits a similar note, satisfying that craving for the warm comforting.
  • Drink plenty of liquids. In most cases, this prescription is for those risking dehydration, but for some sore throats anything cold or hot can give you a moment of relief. My favorites are gingerale and hot tea (with milk and sugar, of course).
  • The healing power of salsa. I know it sounds silly, but I crave salsa (and the foods that are most often eaten with it) when I am sick, and I have a theory on why that is the case. We know that spicy foods trick the body into acting like it is in pain, releasing endorphins, your natural pain killers. So, I’m pretty sure my craving for salsa is just another way that my body is trying to heal. At least, I’m going to keep telling myself that.

Watch/Read old favorites.

I spent many of my sick hours recently on the couch or in the bed, and the television has been my faithful friend. Here are a few of the things I have been watching in my extra tube time. 

Jane Austen Movie Club
When I was in high school and home sick, I passed the time with six hours of British accents, empire dresses, and extra long glances across the room in the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice. This time, I was able to enjoy the recently released BBC version of Emma. While I loved Gwyneth in that role, I have to admit there is so much more depth to a character when you get to spend four hours with their story as opposed to two.  There is just something so unobtrusive about these. The pastel palette and soothing soundtrack allow you to fall asleep at any point and are guaranteed not to exacerbate your pounding headache. If you don’t have a headache, and can stay awake long enough to read more than 2 pages, pick up the books to read instead. (Many are available for free online.)

Catching up on Series
Sometimes I think I’m living in the dark ages because I haven’t opted for DVR. But thanks to TV on DVD, Hulu, and On Demand options, I have had plenty to watch, catching up on old and new favorites. I’ll just mention a few: Chuck, The Office, Community, 30 Rock, LOST (only 4 left!), Glee, Project Runway (season finale tonight), What Not To Wear. Then there is my new favorite that I had somehow missed along the way: Bones. I cannot get enough. Since Christmas, I have watched 3 seasons and am just waiting for Season 4 to go on sale. Good thing I’m back to work and life now, to save me from my potential addiction. 

Good Reads
Before you comment that I need to go back and read The Bernstein Bears and Too Much TV, know that I did choose to read on occasion. But, I mainly stuck to the reads that didn’t require a great deal of attention or effort. I reread childhood favorites like Alice in Wonderland (it seemed timely) and finished a few others I had put down in process.

Start (and finish) a project. 

Somewhere along the journey of life, I shed some of my perfectionism. Unfortunately, I left my determination to finish what I start with it. As I regained some energy I allowed myself to learn something new, giving carpet in the path from the bed to the couch a break. I was motivated a great deal by the fact that I am now an aunt. My brother and sister-in-law welcomed their first child into the world, and that is the only excuse I need to buy and make things for which I previously had no use.  I just needed to find something I could not only learn to do and afford to do, but that I could finish!

A little background may help.
Long before I started a blog, I was a regular visit to many, and as often happens, one blog will lead to another and so on. I am so glad to have stumbled upon two particular blogs back then. The first is a blog belonging to an interior designer whose aesthetic somehow excites and relaxes me all at the same time. And while her pictures and projects are lovely, I always liked her personal notes.  Those personal notes led me to her twin sister’s blog, a mother of three with what seems to be more than 24 hours in a day. If you are out there Erika and Darby, thank you for your authenticity and openness! There is no telling how many of us you have inspired in different ways.

Now, back to my project. Inspired by my grandmother, the birth of my first nephew, and Erika and Darby’s blogs, I undertook my first sewing project in quite some time. I used Darby’s tutorial found here and the scraps of fabric leftover from my sister-in-law’s baby shower, to make some deodorizing sachets.

Finally, I leave you with a few To Do lists that will help you avoid common communicable diseases.

  • Be sure you are drinking from your own glass, cup, or bottle.
  • Beware the chip & dip.
  • And follow these tips from the CDC and WedMD.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I felt we had some catching up To Do!
Let me know your creature comforts for the sickly and what I need to add to my list.


3 responses to “to do. when you are sick.

  • Emily

    So glad you are feeling better friend! I agree I want cheese when I am sick. Not soup. I prefer my cheese with a baked potato and if you especially sick and can’t go to McAllisters or even the grocery store then Steak Out will deliver. They have a minimum order though and often I would order two just to meet the minimum order and to have a back up potato for later!

  • Morgan

    Amy… Thought I would let you know that you should try one of the grilled cheeses at Green Valley Drug Store in Hoover, on Hwy 31. The Drug Store is very “old timey” and has a very homey feel… But more importantly they make THE BEST grilled cheese I have EVER had, and I’m pretty picky. So in all seriousness, I highly recomebd you try one ASAP. 😀

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