Our Sickness Essentials

We survived it. I still don’t have my test results back so I am not 100% sure what we survived but we survived something, that’s for sure. After a week of fevers and coughs and a few scary moments there, we have made it to the other side. I cannot even begin to put into words the relief we felt yesterday morning when Amalia woke up with a smile on her face and no fever whatsoever.

Seeing her so sick was 1000% the hardest part of last week and her recovery was the best possible way to end our weekend.  Was it the weekend? A weekday? Who even knows anymore!

I wanted to share a list of medicines, food items, and other random things that helped us through the thick of it. These are good things to have on hand if you can find them. I wish we had had all of this when we first got sick because we ended up scrambling to get deliveries from CVS and asking neighbors to help when we just wanted to lie down and close our eyes.

Please remember if you’re buying things for you and your family, you only need one of each. Do not hoard anything. You don’t need enough to last a lifetime, just enough to last a week or two. If you do hoard medicine, remember that you’re taking it away from another person who might need it just as much as you do if not more. If you’re buying cough syrup, one bottle will be just fine. More than that is unnecessary.

For Cough

– Delsym & Children’s Delsym: This stuff saved us when our coughs were at their peak. It was the only thing that really helped and it worked well. I had never even heard of it but our pediatrician recommended the kids one for Amalia and our neighbor very kindly dropped a bottle of it on our doorstep. We actually only had the kids version so Anel and I took that too but it did the trick! Please ask your pediatrician before giving Delsym to your kids. Ours gave us the go-ahead for a small dose but it says ages 4+ on the bottle.

– Halls Menthol Cough Drops: None of the organic ones work. Halls Menthol is where it’s at. Trust me.

Zarbee’s Children’s Cough & Mucus: Our ped said we could give her this in addition to the Delsym. It’s just dark honey and ivy leaf extract so it’s safe to mix with other meds. It definitely slowed down her cough. We love this stuff.

Zarbee’s Cough Syrup: We also had the adult version and took it ourselves. It was a nice coat for our throats when we were coughing a lot.

Zarbee’s Baby Chest Rub: We put this eucalyptus-scened chest rub on Amalia’s chest before our 2x/day steam showers. It helped open things up for her. It’s like an organic version of Vick’s Vapo Rub which would also be good to have on hand.

Throat Coat Tea: I always keep our house stocked on this in the winter but we plowed through two boxes in 5 days. If you have a sore throat or cough, this coats and soothes it.

Propolis Throat Spray: Neither of us could stomach any vitamins but spraying propolis was natural supplement that helped with our sore throats.

– Humidifier: If you have one, drag it out and put it next to your bed (or your kid’s bed) at night to help with the cough.

For Fever

– Extra-Strength Tylenol (adults) We were taking Advil and Motrin for the first few days until the WHO recommended using Tylenol only for COVID-19. Although the jury is still out now, we stuck with Tylenol from thereon out to be safe.

– Children’s Tylenol: We made the same switch with Amalia when we learned about ibuprofen. So she took Children’s Tylenol every 4 hours until her fever subsided. We’ve always been of the mindset that you should treat symptoms not numbers and our pediatrician agreed. We planned to only gave it to her when she was acting sick, but that ended up being the whole time so she had quite a bit of Tylenol last week.

– Cold washcloths: We each went through a few washcloths every day and overnight.

– Thermometer: Our kids one broke and we had a really hard time getting ahold of a new one from home.

For Body Aches

The Tylenol helped a lot with the body aches but didn’t take them away completely.

Epsom salts: In the worst of it, I couldn’t take showers because the water beating down hurt my skin too much. But the only thing that warmed me up when I was cold and shaky was hot water. So I took a lot of hot baths. I added Epsom salts to help with my aching body. It really did help.

Heating pad: I dug mine out and would use it for my sore back and to warm me up on the days when I felt cold. It was a life-saver.

Food & Drink

Amalia was really dehydrated from her fever so our number one priority was hydrating her however we possibly could.

Wubba Water: We gave Amalia this healthier version of Pedialyte mixed with water and ice in a cup with a straw that she sipped on all day and before bed. The doctor encouraged us to get sugar into her however we could and she refused to eat a bite of anything. If you can’t find Wubba Water, stick with good ole’ Pedialyte which is recommended for a reason.

– Popsicles: I was going to make some of my own but I was too sick to do anything like that so we gave Amalia Goodpops which we already had in our freezer to get her to hydrate

– Apple sauce: We tried feeding her everything and the only thing she eventually said yes to was apple sauce. I mixed in some liquid vitamin D and that was a big win.

– Juice: I try to avoid juice at all costs because it makes Amalia super hyper but she really needed sugar and liquids so apple juice came in handy when she got sick of the Wubba Water.

– Saltines & pretzels: Eventually when she was on her way to getting better, she would eat saltines and pretzels with her apple sauce. It’s a good idea to have them on hand for both kids and adults.

– Coconut water: Anel and I would put coconut water over ice to get hydrated during the worst of it. Usually, Amalia loves coconut water but she was not having it when she wasn’t feeling well.

– Ice: Our freezer makes ice, but if yours doesn’t, get some on hand to have because we all craved our drinks uber-cold while we were burning up with fevers.

– Bread: Anel and I only ate toast for 4 days. Have bread and butter on hand for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

– Ginger, lemons, and honey: We made a lot of homemade ginger lemon honey tea for our throats.

Daily Harvest smoothies (pictured above): When Amalia started eating a little, she asked for a pink smoothie. I was way too out of it and tired to be creative so I gave her a DH smoothie and it was a lifesaver. Use code LEMONSTRIPES for $25 off your first box.

For Anxiety

Lemon balm: I take this tincture before bed always but I have been doubling up on it since this all started. This is good whether you’re sick or not. Just thought I’d throw in this rec for everyone!

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  1. Lillie said:

    Thank you, Julia. This is the most helpful thing I’ve seen yet. I’m so glad you are all better!

    3.23.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m so happy to hear this was helpful. And thank you so much!

      3.23.20 · Reply
  2. Kristin said:

    Such great tips. I’d also add:

    – Have lots of honey and lemons on hand to supplement into your teas.

    – If you have someone picking up medicines for you, be sure to direct them where to find the children’s items. Our grocery store has 3 different places where you can find kids medicines / remedies depending on whether you need organic, infant, or regular children’s items.

    3.23.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Good call! Thanks Kristin!

      3.23.20 · Reply
  3. Carolyn said:

    I am glad you, Anel and Amalia are feeling better. And I too am the Queen of sustainability, local and organic, etc. and still, I am SO glad that you include scientific commercial medications and such. We can’t just rely on alternative medicine, like say, elderflower, to deal with this (though of course we can drink elderflower tea and take tinctures AS WELL as real cough syrup, etc.).

    3.23.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oh gosh yeah we really needed them. The mix of both worked well for us!

      3.23.20 · Reply
  4. Anne said:

    THANK YOU!! I’m saving this now and adding items to my online grocery cart. So glad your family is better.

    3.23.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      You’re so welcome. And thank you!

      3.23.20 · Reply
  5. Cori said:

    SO SO glad you’re all feeling better. What a scary week! Amalia is lucky to have such wonderful parents.

    3.23.20 · Reply
  6. Erin Robinson said:

    Try some mint leaf or two in that tea next time! I hope there isn’t a next time and I am so glad one of my fave IG families is doing well And I am so incredibly happy you are starting to lean more plant based. I have been vegan for years. There are a lot of great foods out there!!!!
    Stay healthy wish us all luck!

    3.23.20 · Reply
  7. Viola said:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m glad your all feeling better now!

    3.24.20 · Reply