Ducks 'n a Row: Stomach Bug? Be Ready!

09 March 2012

Stomach Bug? Be Ready!

By Sinea Pies 

 Under The Weather?
There are some things that we don't like to plan for: disaster and disease. They are unpleasant to think about and certainly not welcome in our homes. Let's face it, though, sometimes these unwelcome visitors come whether we want them or not. 

Disaster preparation is a whole 'nother topic, to be visited another day. Today, though, we're going to talk about being ready when a Stomach Bug comes knocking at the door.  

This hits close to home for me because my husband and I both had one just days ago...first time in maybe 20 years...and it came on like gangbusters! 

I am so grateful that he got it first and not me. After I initially took care of him and finally got him settled under the covers in bed, I hit the stores! We certainly were NOT prepared. Not by a long-shot. By the time I got sick that next night, the house was well-stocked with the "Stomach Flu Essentials" and it got us through the 4+ days of not being able to leave the house! (For a while we weren't even able to leave the room!)

The Essentials

What you should have on hand:
At first the sick person won't be able to eat anything but recovery will depend on going it real slow at introducing foods back into their diet.

Ginger Ale: get "real ginger ale". For me, this means Canada Dry. Point is, it should be made with sugar (not diet, unless you are diabetic) and have real ginger in it. Many ginger ale's don't have a lick of ginger in them. When your stomach is upset, this will not do. If you cannot have ginger (it is contraindicated with some medications), then get real Coca-Cola instead. 

Saltine Crackers: crackers can settle the stomach but not just any crackers. Saltine crackers--or "soda crackers"--have a key ingredient that helps: baking soda.

Chicken and Rice Soup: don't get fancy here. Buy the plain old Campbells variety that is not extra chunky and has almost no vegetables. Have lots of them on hand and recycle your inventory over a period of time. Use the old first, replace with newer cans.

Jello: gives you a little spurt of energy and even replenishes some liquids. 

Bread, White: as you get better, a slice of dry toast will taste good with your soup. Although white bread is not touted for it's great nutritional benefits, it is easier to digest than whole grains plus it stays soft even without butter. 

Rice, White: similarly, white rice is not considered to be as healthy a choice for people who are well. When you're sick, though, it digests much more easily.

Rice Krispies with fat-free milk.  This will be the first dairy you'll add back into your diet. Wait a while before trying it.

Pedialyte or Gatorade: people who have a stomach bug stand the risk of getting dehydrated. They also experience body aches from the loss of potassium. Both Pedialyte (formulated for children) and Gatorade replenish the fluids and restore electrolytes. 
Medications and Related Items
Tylenolkills pain, plain and simple...and is a fever reducer, too.

Thermometer: you may have to call the doctor if symptoms are severe for too long. You'll want to be able to tell them if there is a fever, too.

Pepto Bismol: for stomach upsets and diarrhea. 

Imodium: anti-diarrhea tablets. Some people can't deal with the smell of Pepto Bismol. If this is you, Imodium works great. 

Baby Wipes: for everybody! Our kids are all grown up but this doesn't stop me from buying sweetly scented baby wipes for our home. Grown ups can use them too. Keep one pack in each bathroom and a spare on the shelf.

Toothbrushes: soon as the symptoms subside, throw out your current toothbrushes and replace with new. Get those germs out of the house!

Tall Kitchen Bags: putting it delicately, when someone in your house has the "throw-uppies", you may go through a lot of these. With each episode, take the dirtied bag, tie it up good and remove it from the house to the garbage can outside. You may use quite a few but, again, get those germs out of the house.
What else might you want to have on hand?

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