Refilling a flu pre-pack

It’s gotta be too soon for this. But I’m preparing to refill my flu pre-pack. It’s a bit depleted, as I try to use things so they don’t expire on me as I go along, but I got hit with a bug some weeks ago. It really helped quite a lot.

What is a flu pre-pack? It’s a kit of stuff you get together that you’ll need when you get sick. The flu hits you like a truck the first day, so you may not be able to get to a store. So supplies on hand are a good thing.

Here’s a list of things that can go in a pre-pack.

Here’s what I have (and need to refill only a little bit of this at a time, thank goodness):

  • Ibuprofen – for fever reduction and pain

  • For Reals Sudafed – the kind you have to show id for in the store

  • Benadryl – supposedly it works

  • Robitussin – like usual, it suppresses cough and I don’t know, other stuff

  • Mucinex – cough expectorant, my gods, it works and I love it

  • Propel Fit Powder™ water beverage mix – gets ratio of salt/sugar right. I learned from horrible personal experience that it’s easy to screw up when you’re really sick, and then what happens is that you end up in the hospital and learn how evil insurance companies are. Also it adds other stuff and is flavored well for once

  • 16.9oz (specifically) water bottles, and make sure I have enough Britta tap filters so I can refill them easily. The Propel powder above is really designed for a 16.9oz bottle.

  • Chicken noodle soup (Campbell’s) – although I’m thinking of getting powdered soup, as I have a Zojirushi pot that keeps water boiling for my tea, so soups that can be prepared that way are really easy to deal with when sick, especially when they come in disposable cups. People also recommend Cream of Rice, but I’m lactose intolerant, so yeah, no unfortunately.

  • Cans of water chestnuts, bottle of lite soy sauce, bottle of lite teriyaki sauce – and I always keep around a lot of short-grain rice and a Sanyo fancy rice cooker, because only the fancy ones with automatic timers and porridge settings can make rice porridge by themselves while you’re sick. I like to add water chestnuts. They really don’t get soggy. Ever.

  • Rolled oats, brown sugar, and raisins – you can cook oatmeal in a non-fancy little rice cooker, which only has “cook” and “warm” settings, and when you’re able to stomach oatmeal (which won’t be for a while) it’s really nice for a change.

  • Red bucket with lots of garbage liners – when sick I do not hesitate to puke if I feel like it, it does make me feel better, except for the throat being hella raw afterwards

  • Paper towel rolls, Kleenex boxes, and toilet paper in huge supply, like whoa. I buy in bulk from Amazon.com, because it costs me $20 in gas to get to our local Costco miles and miles away, and that was when the gas prices weren’t nuts. I’m already a prime member anyways so the free shipping r0x0rs.

    Actually, I might even buy a dry powder soup in disposable containers in bulk from Amazon.com’s grocery section. (I sadly am not on the route for Amazon Green Fresh, so I can’t get fresh vegetables and stuff while I’m very sick….)

  • Saltine crackers

  • Huge bottle of chewable vitamin C tablets.

  • Easy to use thermometer that isn’t a mercury thermometer, one of those little digital reading things that are totally cheap these days

  • Little notebook and ballpoint to take sick notes, it would have saved a lot of trouble that time I ended up in the hospital, as I didn’t remember much by then

  • Benzonatate – prescription cough suppressant, so you might not be able to get it, and it might not work for you anyways, side effects being puking. Fortunately you have a red bucket with garbage liners!

  • Peppermint tea – works for the stomach, apparently it helps calm the muscle movements of the gut, which is what can make you feel sick

  • Pepto bismol in caplets – because sometimes herbs are not enough

  • Merck Manual of Medical Information (Home Edition) – although I’d prefer to have it on my Kindle so I can search it. The web is useful for finding out about symptoms, but sometimes books that have like researched information are best

  • Extra bottle of anything over the counter that I take

  • Ambien

Much of this, even the book but not the food, are in the bucket, which is pre-lined and lives in the bedroom closet, which I assume I’ll be near when the flu steamrolls me. Actually maybe I should stick a bottle of water in it too.

One thing I’m a little sad about is that I can’t stock up on the prescription that keeps my bipolar thingy at bay. I have to take a lot of it (500mg of lamictal is a lot; standard dose ranges from 50 to maybe 200mg), and one supply never lasts a month, and the insurance company makes sure it stays like that. I don’t know if I can terribly blame them, since that is technically a way of keeping costs down, except for society when all the sick people go out to get their prescriptions and infect everybody.

Hmmm. I just realized that it is totally awesome I own an easily cleaned bread machine right now. I can turn inert substances into just enough bread for me to eat, at more or less any time, without spending time kneading—which I probably can’t do well when I’m sick—without it going moldy. And then I have toast, whenever I can stomach toast.

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