Saturday, October 4, 2014

What to Do If You Get Sick

With sickness being so much in the news these days (Ebola, enterovirus, a mystery neurological disease, etc), the prospect of becoming ill has become a whole new level of scary (especially if you have kids).  Here's what to do if you become ill:

  • Isolate yourself (call in sick to work, stay home, don't go shopping or out in public, etc).
  • Monitor your symptoms (using a notebook if necessary to record dates, times, symptoms)
  • Determine if you need to see a doctor or go to the emergency room (ideally your medical provider has a nurse on call where you can report your symptoms and receive medical advice).
  • If you are in distress by all means go to them hospital (symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, extremely high temperature, stroke, severe bleeding, severe burns, eye injuries, broken bones, etc. mean you should go to the hospital ASAP). 
  • If you have reason to suspect that you have been exposed to an infectious disease (ie: traveling from an Ebola outbreak area) call your doctor and/or 911 and explain your symptoms and the reason you think you may be contagious (this will help providers get you safely to the hospital without for example, the patient taking a bus to the hospital and possibly exposing others to the disease).
  • Follow your doctor's advice for treating your illness (ie: if your doctor says you don't need antibiotics, don't demand them).
  • Have the basic supplies on hand to treat your symptoms (aspirin, Tylenol, Thera-Flu, a thermometer, kleenex, decongestant, etc).
  • Use some old fashioned methods to speed your healing (drink plenty of water, rest as much as possible, have some chicken soup, etc).

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