Thursday, January 17, 2008

Well, THAT was unpleasant.

Thanks to all the well-wishers out there that sent emails querying about my possible demise. Nope, the Nerd isn't dead yet... although there were a few days she fervently wished to be. I have to say, in the span of my life thus far, this last bout of flu might rank as possibly the most unpleasant experience of my life. I'm including car accidents, walking pneumonia on my wedding night, a few rounds in the hospital, and a chronic illness in that assessment. However, not all was lost during my bout with Satan's own germ warriors, no no. In the moments where the desire to die would wash back allowing me to briefly see the shore of wellness in the distance I did manage to stick to my green guns and come up with

Natural Nerd's Top Five Ways to Be Green... While Being Green!*

1- Keep it contained. Now is not the time to wander folks. Figure out what room you wish to temporarily die in and stick to it. When it is all over and you have the job of cleaning up afterwards, you don't want to be disinfecting the whole dratted house. Spreading your plague isn't nice, it isn't fair. Give your roommates a chance to save themselves and stay away. (Although I think the Geek making me ring a bell was a bit much.) Get YOUR pillow, YOUR blanket, and stay away form everyone elses. At the end of this, you want to make sure you have gathered everything up you have touched so it can be washed. Forgetting something that later reinfects you might just cause you to lose the will to live. Access to a bathroom is required... unless you are willing to do what I did in...

2- Think outside of the box. Yes. You have a bathroom. Nothing says you have to use it. While on one hand all those hard slick surfaces are easy to wipe down with bleach (napalm, high explosives, whatever gets the place clean), all those hard surfaces mean harder places to thunk yourself upon when you fall to your knees and pray for the sweet release of death. You're already sick, avoiding a concussion is a good thing. I ultimately decided our camp toilet was my new best friend. Sits even with the height of the bed for ease of puking, and nary a strain to roll over and use when your backside decides it wants its turn to join in the fun. Gross? Yes. Handy? You betcha. This also means every scrap of your illness can be safely contained and tossed.

3- While I don't expect you to go shopping in your weakened condition, plan ahead for the next time and purchase a few sippy cups. Yes, I mean those cups kids use with the spout to suck from. The sheer amount of liquid you need to ingest to try and maintain some sort of fluid balance in your body is astonishing (dried brains are no ones friend.) and trying to drink from a regular glass is just gonna get you wet. Tons of soda cans = environmental badness. Sippy cups mean one glass to disinfect, one glass to keep track of, and hey – in true moments of weakness you can still drink without raising your head above your pillow.

4- Without question, when we're sick we reach for the tissues. Time to break that habit. For that next bout of sickness, invest in making yourself a nice BIG stack of handkerchiefs. Not only are you going to save loads of paper, your nose will thank you. On one hand, yes. The thought of a pile of snotty clothes to wash isn't a pleasant one (which is why I follow the “shove it into a grocery bag – hey look! They DO have a use in the home!- and tie it off for later” mentality. Once I'm better I can just dump them all into the washer without touching them and disinfect from a safe distance.) but in the long run you'll thank yourself. Having those stray little germ bombs floating around your home is never a good idea. And let's not kid ourselves... we all know that we'll miss a few in the cleanup and come face to face with them a month later. At that point... is it yours? His? A guests? Ewwwwwww. If they are homemade, you'll know how many to look for and can track down the stragglers. Flannel cotton is cheap -I can often get it on sale for as little as $2 a yard – and that makes a TON of handkerchiefs. Its also easy to clean afterwards. Plain is fine, or you can always get fancy. If the thought of seeing cartoon cats will momentarily cheer you up while in the grips of the flu – go for it. If you're of a more vindictive nature... perhaps picking up your favorite teams rival fabric. Nothing like blowing your nose on Michigan state symbols when you hail from Ohio. (Or vice versa. Gotta be safe here... big brother married a gal from Michigan. We try to ignore that in our family, everyone has flaws they cannot help.)

5- If it is possible...... GET THE FREAKEN FLU SHOT!!!!!!! Sadly, my nerdly tuckus is highly allergic to eggs, therefore I cannot get the shot. That being said... I don't care if you don't like needles (if my 5 year old niece can handle it without a whimper, I don't wanna hear you whine.), don't care if you don't think its necessary. Get it for the people around you, get it so you're family doesn't have to draw straws over taking care of you. Get it just so you don't have to risk (the weak of stomach may wish to jump to the end here) projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea. At the same time. Simultaneously. At once. Together. This is not a drill.... trust me. Get the shot. Not getting sick in the first place is the greenest idea of all.

Tomorrow? My five step plan for erasing my home from the plague lists. Until them? I have some slightly flat soda to drink and a container of turkey noodle soup from my mother to thaw.

*Ya'll should have figured out by now that if I am corny and overly dramtic at my physical best... it's gonna get a LOT worse when sick. At least I haven't sunk to puns. Yet.

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