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Nobody ever likes to feel unwell. There may, weirdly, occasionally be upsides to being unwell, such as the attention lavished on you by loved ones. The duvet days when you’re too ill to work, but not ill enough to stop you enjoying the Netflix binge-watch. But the actual feeling? The swollen nasal passages or the searing muscle cramps? Never fun.
We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve been ill while we had something to do. Like you get a cold in the middle of your finals, or a stomach upset in the middle of moving house. It’s a sign that our body will not be negotiated with. It doesn’t care that you don’t have time to feel ill right now. “We’re doing this!”, it tells you, before emphasizing its point with another stab of pain in your temple.
Sometimes all you can do is run up the white flag and retreat to fight another day. Trying to push on when you just don’t have it in you is only going to extend the misery. But do you always have to lie back and accept it? Or is there a time when you really DON’T have time to be ill, and you can do something about it?
“I’ve Got A Cold, But This Essay Isn’t Going To Write Itself!”
People have a horrible attitude to colds. The differentiation that they put up between colds and flu is verging on psychopathic. There you are, nose stinging, sweat pooling on your brow. You’ve coughed your way through a night of no sleep, and you feel vile. And their sympathetic response? “Well, it’s not the flu. If you had that, you’d really know about it!”
Colds still suck. They’re horrible. Painful, tiring and draining, plus people choose to be mean about it. And you’re expected to push through. If you really don’t have the time to be ill, what do you do?
First of all, staying hydrated is essential. It’s what your immune system most needs from you, so drink plenty of water with honey and lemon. You may not be able to face eating, but at least try to get some soup into you. Avoid coffee (sorry!) and alcohol (really sorry!), as these will dehydrate you.
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Kill your pain as far as possible with over-the-counter pain meds such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Suck on ice chips, as they will numb your throat, and keep you hydrated into the bargain. If you have a cough, then purchase a cough suppressant too. Hacking your way through the day will tire you out, and make fighting the virus harder.
“We’ve Planned A Weekend Away, But I Just Checked The Dates…”
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Every woman knows the horror of looking forward to something only to realize the date it falls on. A certain familiar friend, who visits once a month (and stays too long), will be in town when you were planning to be on a romantic getaway. Well, that’s shelved now, right?
Not necessarily. It is possible to take countermeasures especially if you plan in advance. If that magical weekend falls in the middle of those four annoying days, then you can request period delay tablets which will hold it off.
Start taking them a few days in advance, and come off them when you can afford to have a period. Speak with a doctor before taking them, and don’t make the mistake of assuming they have contraceptive effects. They do not.
“I Have A Job Interview! And Food Poisoning!”
There are some health complaints, however, you just can’t work through. Something acute like food poisoning can be managed and you can limit the amount of time you suffer with it, certainly. But while it is in place, those symptoms aren’t going anywhere. When is the interview, and can it be delayed? Because what’s happening to you cannot be.
It is advised that you rest and stay at home for 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhea or vomiting. During that time, to help fight the bug, you need to drink water and hydration treatments to replace the fluids you will lose to the condition.
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As soon as nausea subsides for long enough, you can eat banana, rice, applesauce and toast (known as the BRAT foods – and no, not that type of BRAT). With luck, the illness will subside in time – but you cannot just muddle through. No matter how much you want that job, food poisoning won’t be messed with. And let’s be clear here – it could cost you a shot at the job altogether.