16 October 2012

A sick day: Was I ready?

I spent all day yesterday down for the count with a migraine after a midnight bout of food poisoning. But other than the debilitating, immobilizing headache that kept me on the sofa with the lights turned off and the radio turned down low (and, oddly, all the music sounding off-key), I did OK. Why? Because I have a fat store of instant and easy-to-prepare foods stocked up for just these types of situations.

Rowhouse Livin' is a one-adult household. That is, when I get sick, unless it's the weekend I don't have an adult partner who can stay with me and telecommute while I lie on the sofa and moan, "Oh, mercy," pathetically all day long. So one of my preparation strategies is to make sure that I can take care of myself out of my pantry when I'm too ill to make it to the grocery store. And I aim high: I try to keep a good two weeks' worth of food on hand. When, as yesterday, I'm knocked out of commission for 24 hours, I have a very good selection of items to choose from to nourish myself with calories and electrolytes while avoiding, if I need to, migraine triggers.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't eat particularly well. What I cobbled together to sustain me for the day isn't something I like to feed myself or my daughter on a regular basis. An instant noodle bowl, a granola bar, watery oatmeal with a couple of prunes, yogurt with a swirl of cherry jam, a couple of slices of bread, a ginger beer, and finally a sandwich at the end of the day. For me, that's a little heavy on the sodium and sugar, with little protein and no fresh produce, and it didn't offer very many calories at all. But not too bad for a day when I had to gather my strength and courage for a good 15 minutes before I could even lift myself off the sofa in the first place.

We also had some simple dinner fixin's on hand so that my daughter could cook herself up a pan of pasta and red sauce while I lay on the sofa and moaned, "Oh, mercy," after she came home from school. Life was a little rougher before she was a teenager.

What do you keep on hand to help yourself through sick days?

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