Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Preparing for every day: Illness

Late last night I found myself driving the two blocks to my local supermarket, navigating around men restocking the shelves from huge pallets (I don’t think I’d ever been to the store that late before, it was interesting) in order to obtain some cough medicine for my fiancĂ©, who has been sick for over a week.

I didn’t mind getting out of bed to do this because I wanted him to a get a good night’s sleep (and I wanted one as well), but even though illnesses are thankfully a rare occurrence in my household, I could have been more prepared and avoided that late night trip.

I’m not a health care professional, but from an organization perspective, here are some suggestions for things to keep on hand to be prepared for mild sicknesses:

  • Electronic thermometer: Having a thermometer on hand is essential to knowing for sure if someone has a fever, which can aid in diagnosis and deciding whether or not you should stay home from work.
  • Cough drops: The menthol ones are very popular in our household.
  • Mild cough suppressant: I like the non-non-drowsy kind for nighttime rest. (Dimetapp, even though it is advertised for kids, does the trick.)
  • Tissues: When you’re sick, blowing your nose into falling apart toilet paper doesn’t make it better.
  • Canned soup: Broth-based soups just have something about them that makes you feel like you are treating your cold or flu, not just getting nourishment. Plus, they are easy to prepare and eat.
  • Soft, cold foods like popsicles and applesauce are a nice treat.
  • The phone number of your doctor. Even if you don’t get sick often, it is a good idea to have the name and number of someone you can call if you do happen to have something that requires antibiotics for instance. You don’t want to be doing research into local practitioners while you are sick; you want to do that beforehand, when you are healthy and up to that task.
Of course, avoiding getting sick in the first place is really the key, but even the most diligent of us will get run down and exposed to germs and get a cold. Being prepared can make it slightly more comfortable to sit in bed and recover. Also, when you stay home sick you can actually turn the down time into something semi-productive, by catching up on your reading and movies you haven’t gotten around to seeing. I don’t recommend being on a computer while trying to get better—even in bed. Take a break from the screen and get better!

Creative Commons cough medicine photo posted to flickr by whiskeyandtears
Creative Commons tissue box photo posted to flickr by vieux bandit

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email lelah@lelahwithanh.com

1 comment:

  1. Great tips, especially if you live alone and don't have a kind person like you to make that late night trip to the store! When you're sick, not only do you not feel up to going out to buy the things you need, the other people in the store really don't want you to share your germs!