Sick, But on Top of the World!


We all prize our sick leaves. They are scanty, limited and always conditional; obviously we need to be very very sick to play this cherished trump card. It would be plain stupid to use them for (indeed legitimate) conditions like stomach upsets, nausea or a disturbed sleep last night. That’s another reason we hate growing out of our school days.

Even if we guard our sick leaves very closely and make sure we don’t fall behind at our workplace, there is only a limit to what we can do. Our water supplies are plagued with every microorganism of significance by the book. We can’t help frequenting substandard cafes, we overeat there and we don’t care much about how awkward the time may be for our bowels. Top it up: weddings, parties and late night events which we fail to keep track of. And the daily dose of TV which we cannot go to sleep without, no matter how late the show goes. But every morning we still have to make it by nine, only to be inundated by a mountain of work stress. There is only a limit to what our systems can stand.

Our systems are remarkably resilient to such daily insults we put them through. But it’s only human for them to crack under the strain sometimes. Some of these conditions may be subclinical, which means that it is not a full blown sickness that you would usually go to hospital for. It could be mild fever, diarrhea, flu, aches, cramps, constipation, insomnia and a whole lot of other disturbances. Things are not completely all right, but the systems haven’t swayed too much away from normal either. So you can carry on with your work life, albeit at a lower load, but at the same time pay more attention to your health. That is what we have here –tips to keep you afloat through your sick days at your optimum so that you are ready to spring back as soon as you recover.

Get Relaxed – if your systems are screaming for rest, give them the break. Cut down on things that you can accomplish once you are back on your feet. Remember, all our biological systems are ultimately connected, so if you put strain on any of them, the effects radiate. Even mental stress and work can affect body metabolism as much as physical stress. So you need to put on hold as much things as you can, while engaging more in relaxing activities like reading.

Keep well hydrated and well nourished – Keep drinking water. This works to keep you active dehydration induces lethargy, irritability and fatigue. If you are sick, decreased fluid levels can hamper your recovery and put more stress on the body. The need is particularly acute if you have diarrhea or heat stroke because continued water and salts loss in either condition can rapidly decrease body fluid levels or electrolyte imbalance which in severe cases can even be life threatening. Your energy levels need to remain high as well, even if you stomach problems aren’t allowing your proper meals. Keep yourself inundated with juices and beverages while taking light diet like fruits and salad. If you have acute diarrhea, you need to top up your body’s lost ion levels too. Sipping ORS (oral rehydration therapy) throughout the day will prevent electrolyte imbalance from developing as you continue to lose ions by way diarrhea.

Sleep More – take your time to sleep well. Sleep takes stress off your body and mind and promotes wellbeing. No wonder we tend to naturally sleep more when we are ill or stressed out. To snooze is doubly refreshing compared to watching TV or movie, since it takes information off our brains and allows it to recuperate after long hours of work. Same holds for all of our body systems.

Over-the-Counter Medications – if you are experiencing minor symptoms like pain, headache, allergy or stomach upsets, over the counter medications can help you cope up. Paracetemol, aspirin, ibuprofen and citrizine are just some of the drugs that can help you move along with your minor symptoms.

Investigate Underlying Conditions – if your bouts of symptoms reappear frequently or if you remain chronically sick for long, it is strongly advised that you investigate further by visiting your physician. Often, a General Physician at emergency department of any general hospital can guide you with your symptoms. A lot of diseases start to surface with minor symptoms that appear with increasing intensity and frequency. Do not delay things if you suspect that you are getting more ill than your fair share. Early diagnoses to a multitude of conditions can steer you off many more serious complications and improve your prognosis by a mile.