Last week I fell victim to a nasty bout of pharyngitis, consisting of 40 degree fevers for 6 days, a constant severe migraine, swollen lymph nodes and tonsils, and basically feeling like utter hell. I was confined in the hospital to keep the fever at bay and for close monitoring of the infection. And although it was truly awful and I could barely keep my eyes open for several hours, I kept repeating in my head what I read in the Bombshell Manual of Style some years ago: yes, you can still be a bombshell even when you’re sick. I decided to road test that whole philosophy and I’ve come up with a list of how to be sick in style. It may come in handy as we enter the fever-and-flu rainy season starting this June.
- No matter what, strive to stay indoors and away from the public. No event, meeting or whatever other gathering is important enough for you to show up being an incubus of viral plague spreading germs to humanity, and worst of all not looking your best. You’ll be tired, uncomfortable, and feeling sorry for yourself—all of which are not healthy for your body or your self-esteem! Besides, nobody wants to see you all red and runny-nosed, or puffy eyed, hoarse, coughing like a dog, rushing to the restroom every 5 minutes and so on. It’s not worth it. Stay home and recuperate. Your friends will understand.
- Make your room a sanctuary. Since you’re going to be spending lots of time in bed, make sure your room is a sanctuary of wellness. First of all, change your sheets and use a relaxing linen spray like lavender. Fluff up those pillows and play nice jazzy music in the background. Ventilate the area. Serve yourself some tarragon tea from a pretty Royal Albert tea set to cheer yourself up. Practice meditation (and pray). Read a book you’ve been setting aside for ages. Find stuff to plan (like a wedding or birthday bash or future business) and pin away on Pinterest. Have someone clean and disinfect the room and throw out the trash if you’re too weak to do it yourself. In other words, just chill but strive to live well even when you feel horrible.
- Keep clean. Ok, so even if it takes a gargantuan effort to get out of bed to give yourself a sponge bath and brush your teeth, do it. You have got to clean yourself up or you’ll feel even sicker. Use the washcloth to exfoliate too! Then apply a fresh, light cologne, moisturize, and go back to bed feeling much better. You can also use the down time to apply a facial mask and catch up on your skincare. Because yes, time is gold so might as well use it for something productive—and yes, you are going to get well at some point and shall therefore benefit from all this pampering. Oh and the moment it is humanly possible without causing higher fevers, take a real bath and wash/blow out your hair.
- You can never be too sick to put on your eyebrows, some fragrance and a little rouge. Ok, fine, maybe not at the height of a raging fever, but at least when you’re well enough to receive visitors or when facing the doctors and nurses in the hospital. Wear earrings if possible (I’ve always felt naked without them). And put on something decent, not some ratty t-shirt with holes. I mean really, you have got to believe that there is life after this illness!
- So upon recovery, think of all the paracetamols you took (every 4 hours x 5 days), all the antibiotics, all the painkillers, and whatever else. Think of the havoc it has wreaked on your kidney. That should be enough to motivate you to go on full detox mode. I don’t mean having nothing but juice because you might be too weak for that just yet, but at least clean out your diet. Eat fruits and veggies, go all natural, skip the processed food for now. It’s the perfect time to maintain your post-sickness weight loss! Speaking of detox, replace your toothbrush, change your sheets and towel, and conduct a general cleaning and disinfecting of your room and toilet. Heaven knows the last thing you want is for some residual bacteria to make you sick again!
- Ban cameras. I have always wondered why some people think it’s a good idea to post photos of themselves post-birth, still wearing the hairnet, looking utterly frightful. Yes, I understand your jubilation in wanting to show your new baby to the world—but do you really have to be in the photo? Or at least, can you keep it private until everyone’s gotten cleaned up and THEN take a proper photo for sharing? So the same thing goes for sickness and injury. Please refrain from posting photos of your scraped knee/broken finger/infected tonsil/sore eyes/sick selfies—it’s truly disgusting and nobody wants to see it.
- Be thankful. You know those people who brought you food and medicine at the height of your illness? Or the ones who drove you to the hospital emergency room in the morning? How about the ones who actually took time out from their busy schedules to visit you, bringing DVDs or flowers and cracking jokes to make you feel better? Those are your real friends and you should be very grateful for them. Don’t forget to show your appreciation after you get better by treating them out, sending them a box of goodies, or offering prayers and mass intentions for them. And never forget that despite the bout of illness, you are blessed.
Those are Kikay’s top sickness-in-style tips…may we never need to use them! But if the unfortunate occurs, just hang on till you get better, keep smiling and stay positive, and once you’re back in tip top shape—slip on your red stilettos and celebrate life!