A Caregiver’s Guide to The Zombie Plague from Hell

So, I may have missed a post . . . or two . . . but, in my defense, I got the Zombie Plague from Hell. That’s right. This wasn’t any old Zombie Plague—it came straight from the underworld itself.

This dastardly disease seems to be visiting a lot of folks lately. For those who are healthy, it can be difficult to know what to do when friends and loved ones get sick. You really shouldn’t be around them, because then you risk catching the illness. But you still want to do something for them. So, here are some tips for those of you who are still healthy (*cue my jealousy*) and want to help. If you have any suggestions that I don’t mention, I’d sure like to know in the comments below. Stay healthy, my friends.

Snowie Sleeping
Yep, this is pretty much all you want to do when you’re sick. By the way, this is my dog, Snowie. I’m not sure if I’ve introduced her on the blog before. I’ll have to make a future post about her, because this little fur ball is definitely worth her own post. Photo By: Elizabeth Preston
  1. Check on them each day. A text or an e-mail that says something as simple as “How are you feeling?” can really brighten the person’s day, because then that person knows that you’re thinking about him/her. This leads to feeling cared about, and everyone wants to feel like someone cares about them.
  2. Listen to their complaints even if they’re the same ones over, and over, and over . . . .  I get that listening to a sick person complain about their ailments can get tiring. Do you want to know what is even more tiring? Living with the ailments. Let them grumble and whine, because they’re getting their frustrations out by talking with you. When we release anger, our bodies can relax a little more. More relaxation often means quicker healing, and quicker healing means the fewer days you will have to listen to their complaints.
  3. Baby them. Even if something doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, it may be a huge issue for another person. For example, maybe stuffed up ears don’t phase you, but they could drive another person up a wall. Everyone is different with different tolerances. Baby your buddy, and they’ll do the same for you the next time that you get sick.
  4. Send them a gift. My boyfriend sent me the wonderful gifts of a blanket and elderberry syrup while I was fully entrenched in the Zombie Plague from Hell. I won’t use his real name here since I don’t think he’d much appreciate that, so let’s just call him “The Ranger.” Why? Just believe me that if you knew him, then it’d make sense. Anyway, I refused to be around him (despite his insistence on taking care of me) because I didn’t want to spread my germs to him. Since I wouldn’t let him take care of me in person, he did it through sending me those gifts. How sweet is that? I know. He’s an extraordinary person. Plus, he’s a total hunk. 😉 Thoughtful items like those let the person know that you’re thinking about them and enable you to take care of that person from afar.

    Blanket of Healing
    Here are the blanket and mug that The Ranger gave me. He’s the absolute best. Photo By: Elizabeth Preston
  5. Send them a funny or cute message. Both my best friend and The Ranger sent me cute or funny pictures or gifs each day that I was sick. I looked forward to those because they were something new and something to take my mind off of feeling like death on a stick. They made me smile, and some of them even made me laugh so hard that I erupted into horrific coughing fits (not the best thing to do, but hey, they were funny). Plus, laughter has been shown to boost the immune system and help people to heal. So, send your afflicted loved one the sneezing panda video or a cute puppy gif and know that you’re giving them to a mental break and you’re helping them to heal.
  6. Drop off food. This is particularly important for those who live alone. One of the last things that you want to do when you feel terrible is cook. You just want to grab something and then hide under the covers while you munch mindlessly on whatever you managed to snag. This typically results in the sick person eating junk food and not getting the nutrition that they need to heal quickly. By dropping off food at their door, or even sending takeout their way, you help your loved one without ever having to expose yourself to their germs.
  7. Ask what they need. You know what else you really don’t want to do when you’re sick? Errands. By offering to do errands or whatever the person needs done, you’re taking care of your loved one, and they will definitely appreciate it.
  8. Tell them stories about your day. When you’re sick, the days pretty much play out the same. Wake up. Feel like crap. Eat. Feel like crap. Work if you can/go to work. Feel like crap. Try not to feel like crap. Feel like crap. Sleep. Feel like crap. Rinse and repeat. So, telling stories about your day brings something new to the sick person’s life. Share the good, share the bad, share anything to take the person’s mind off of their symptoms.
  9. Play a game with them. One of the cool things about cell phones is all of the gaming apps. There are plenty that you can play with your loved one, and you don’t even have to be in the same room as them. Plus, most of those phone apps are free. So, bonus! Who doesn’t like free stuff?
  10. Watch a video with them even if you’re apart. Pick out something together on one of the streaming services or on YouTube. You can watch a movie, episode, or random video (whatever you both have time for) at the same time. This breaks up the monotony of the day (see #8) for your unwell comrade, and you two can discuss what you watched over e-mail or text, which ultimately helps to reduce #2 in this list.

    Turquoise Light
    This was done with a Pixelstick. I’m not sure what this has to do with being sick, but I seem to have turquoise in the photos for this post, so here’s another photo with turquoise in it. Photo By: Elizabeth Preston

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