Chronic Disease Medical

Day 352 and How To Be Sick

Everyone I know seems to be sick right now. My husband is sick. My media friends are sick. My finance friends are sick. My random internet friends are sick. No one is in bad shape but everyone is miserable. If Omicron is as transmissible as it seems you’ve got a good shot at getting sick in the next month or two even if you are fully vaccinated. Don’t panic. I’ve a ton of experience being sick so let me give you some advice on how to get through the misery in one piece. Being sick is an opportunity. You’ve got this.

Drink lots of water: basic but crucial. Down a full glass of water every few hours. Set a timer. Being hydrated is key to your body flushing out gnarly stuff.

Stay in bed: your body has diverted all your energy to your immune system to fight off invaders. You are going to be tired. Don’t try to overcome it with stimulants like coffee. That’s just going to make it worse. Accept that you won’t be as focused or as energetic. The less you try to push through it the faster you get better. Cancel everything. If you want to get back to normal the fastest path to that is letting yourself heal.

Intake lots of nutrients: your body needs all the help it can get. Now is not the time to restrict calories. Eat vegetables and high quality protein. Eat healthy fats. Take a multivitamin. Consider taking Vitamin C and Zinc. Drink broth as it keeps you hydrated and gives you nutrients. Here are some ideas from the Cleveland Clinic.

Take care of yourself: tempting as it may be to order junk food, binge watch tv and doom scroll social media, you need to build up your vitality and constitution. This is what had worked for me. Being in bed tightens up your muscles so do a basic stretching routine for ten minutes twice a day. Don’t overstimulate your autonomic nervous system. Go out in the sun and keep your circadian rhythm normal. Meditate even if it’s only a few minutes. Do deep breathing. Take a hot shower even if you can’t stand up for too long. Brush your teeth and your hair. Talk to to your family and let them know how love them. If you have the strength do something artistic or creative. You must maintain your humanity. That means finding rhythms that build you up.

Accept Help: being sick robs you of many of the building blocks of modern identity. If you have built your self acceptance on concepts like hard work and being productive, it’s going to make you feel shitty when you are in bed and can’t do anything. Being sick is a reminder that self acceptance is the key to happiness. You are more than what you do or produce. You are a human being worthy of love simply because you exist. At your weakest and your sickest you are as worthy as at your best. Be ready to accept help from others so you can accept yourself. Be ready to be cared for by others. You do not owe anyone anything. Your existence is enough.

Chances are you are used to feeling healthy. Being sick is going to rock your reality. But you will overcome it. Cultivating empathy for yourself is the best path for doing so. Don’t judge yourself. Care for yourself as if you were your own child. Without judgement. Good luck!