I originally was going to title this post “How to Get Over the Stomach Flu” but I wasn’t sure how exciting that might seem to read, so instead I thought I’d jazz it up with a fun description of what I’ve been doing for a few days.
Last Friday, a student of mine got violently ill. All over my classroom. Yes, it is as bad as whatever you are imagining- possibly worse. Whatever is was is apparently ridiculously contagious since at least 50% of my students have caught it so far. I had the fun pleasure of being stricken down by the plague Saturday night, and spent a sleepless night unable to keep anything down. Sunday morning I set off for the Urgent Care, feeling so wretched I was willing to fork over the pricey copay just for the hope of relief. The doctor diagnosed me with some sort of bacterial gastroenteritis – regular ole’ stomach flu. Fortunately I was given some antibiotics, anti-nausea meds, and a fun fact sheet about how to recover more quickly.
Despite being a very independent, twentysomething woman, I felt like I had very little idea how to make myself feel any better. Sinus infections, allergies, I got those downpat. But stomach flu….shooooot I was stumped. I remember always drinking 7Up, and Gatorade, and something about the BRAT diet, but beyond that…psssh
So, for future reference (and hopefully you will never have to use these tips)
5 Tips to Recover from a Stomach Flu
1. DON’T drink water while actively throwing up.
I kept feeling so dehydrated and drinking after getting sick, but then it would all come back up. Logic was clearly not prevailing though at 3 in the morning, and time and again I’d sneak a little sip of water only to be back in that rodeo. Apparently ice is the way to go, so you feel some relief from the thirst, but aren’t flooding yo’ tummy
2. Follow the BRAT diet once you are able to keep something down.
As a reminder, Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. Broth based soups are also okay. I ate a couple of non-bratty things too soon, and boy did I pay the hard way. Clear liquids are all good too, hence the gatorade, water, 7Up BUT you are supposed to let the soda go flat before you drink because the bubbles can be uncomfortable. Also, Jell-o is a clear liquid- makes sense! But after a sleepless night, I totally would not have thought of it, thanks info sheet from the dr!
3. REST as much as possible.
And for this, I will also include taking anti-nausea medication. Maybe an OTC, maybe a prescription if you end up at the Dr. Cool thing is, most make you sleepy, win win! I cannot describe how much of a relief it was to finally stop the madness, and be able to stay in bed for more than a few mins at a time, and take a long, restful nap. If possible, make sure you take work off and milk it as long as you can. My logic is the more rest you can frontload in, the more quickly you will bounce back. I could only take 1 day off due to it being a very busy time of the year right before my students exams, and still feel thrown off. I’m pretty sure if I could have taken it easy another day I’d be doing better.
4. Don’t be afraid of the heating pad and some Tylenol
I had really bad stomach pains for a couple of days, and felt achy all over my body. It was very soothing to put a heating pad on my stomach and alternate that with other muscles and joints that were spent. The doc also recommended Tylenol, as its supposed to be less harsh on the stomach than ibuprofen.
5. Never underestimate the power of jammies, Netflix and some kitteh snuggles
Once my stomach had mostly settled it was so nice to just lay in bed, with my wiimote in hand, watching American Dad, and other random shows. The two cats were at my feel, knowing their momma was not feeling too fab at the moment, and understood that their job was to snuggle in and with their sweet faces imply, its okay mom. You’re gonna be alright
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or nurse or anything close to it, I just followed the advice on a pamphlet about the stomach flu my dr gave me, and wanted to present the tips that most helped me.