Friday, 28 March 2014

How To Be Sick When You're Already Sick

This week my body outdid itself and I went down with the Norovirus for the 2nd time this month.
Your average person usually won't contract it again within 3 months but MS + a treatment that is an immunosuppressant like Tysabri leaves you more than vulnerable. 

My local hospital is currently on lockdown because of it, and the first time around I managed it quite well, but I had more going out than I had coming in and my body was starting to dry out. I needed some advice and the local helpline said I had to talk to my GP ASAP. Luckily I did and they knew as well as I did that if I was admitted to hospital with this there was the very real chance of me not coming out again for months (or worst case scenario not at all). I've managed to stay out of hospital.

This virus is a bastard even for a healthy person. 

But how on earth do you cope when you're already sick in the first place? 
It's not easy.

A simple sniffle can hit MSers like full blown flu, so dealing with this bullshit is a whole new tournament. Here a few things that have helped me "exist" the past few days.


I take a lot of Ondansetron for my usual MS nausea. These medications really do work miracles but I couldn't keep them down at all. Thankfully, you can get it in a gum soluble tablet. Just stick it high up between your lip and gum and let it dissolve. Much easier. They have never taken this nausea away completely but they still help a lot. 

Throat Lozenges

With all of the retching you will rip your throat to shreds. Try and find some with an antiseptic in them like Strepsils.  

A Bedside Station

Everything you think might possibly help belongs next to you. Extra water, tissues, medication, phones, bucket, lip balm, hair ties, handheld fan for hot flushes and so forth. The number for a priest might help too. 

Wet Wipes

I haven't even been able to get into my shower let alone had the energy to scrub down. When you can hardly move from pain, weakness and sickness you will suddenly realise that wet wipes are gifts from heaven. Just wipe down with a nice fresh scented tissue of the gods and you feel so much better. I've been using my Nivea facial cleansing wipes to keep fresh.

Microwave Meals

Family life doesn't stop, and if you've got small mouths to feed you need something superfast, minimal clean up and something that you're not going to be thinking about for too long in fear of throwing up for the 99th time that afternoon. Microwave meals aren't what they used to be, and there are plenty around that are healthy. Don't feel guilty, your child's belly will be full until you're back on your feet and that's all that matters. My best advice for this strategy is to stock up on them as soon as you start to feel off, because once this shit is in full swing there's no way in hell you're going to be able to go pick them up. If you don't use them they are always handy to have in the freezer.

Medication Charts

I was confused, hallucinating and generally not on this planet, and without me writing down when I had taken each medication I would have been in real trouble.

I'm not going to make light of it, I have never been this sick in my life. If you're reading this and you have the Norovirus my heart goes out to you and I hope your body deals with it better than mine did. Everything I've just said is going to mean jack shit when you're feeling at your worst, but for the times surrounding that we have to do what we can. The most important thing is to just try and sip fluids, easier said than done when you can't keep it down but if you have not passed urine for more than 12 hours you need to get your ass to A&E. 

When you reach the otherside of this hell, I'm sorry but there is going to come a time when you have to go out the house. Comfort is key, think leggings and jumpers. You will probably be rocking some deathly shades on your face, for that the only answer is Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturiser. Don't bother with brushes or sponges, just rub it into your skin like a regular moisturiser to bring some colour back to your poor face. 

Another thing is make sure you never feel like you HAVE to eat. The human body can survive without food for a few days, just concentrate on your fluid intake. 

Don't try and be a hero. This is nasty, nasty stuff.

Blessings x

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