My husband is sick, and I'm really hoping it's not the flu. He is running a fever and hasn't really eaten anything in two days, so I'm worried that it is. The man turned down steak and baked potatoes last night, so I knew he was really sick. We really don't visit the doctor very often, and try to treat things at home, but he is going to go ahead and go in today, since the flu is so widespread here right now. I'd rather keep the kids home if I know someone in our house has it.
I've realized that in months where one of us is sick, our budget kind of goes by the wayside. If it does, it isn't a huge deal, because we almost always have enough money waiting to go to the snowball, and if that has already been sent, we have the emergency fund available. But, I have tried to do a few things to keep it from happening anyway. Illness is just something I know we'll have to deal with, so I should be prepared.
As a preventative, the boys and I have been taking cod liver oil (for the vitamin D) and getting as much sunshine as we can. Michael can't stomach the cod liver oil, and really hates to take any pills or medicine.
I try to already have medicine we'll need on hand, purchased as inexpensively as possible. My dollar store carries aspirin, ibuprofin, and antibacterial spray (lysol). They also have a number of other medicines that you might need.
I'm also a big believer in home remedies, like chicken soup. When whole chickens go on sale to below 79 cents/lb, I stock up. I always make stock from the bones, and freeze it to make soups. I didn't happen to have any stock today, so I bought a whole chicken and am making a big pot of soup for dinner. If you throw a splash of apple cider vinegar into the stockpot, it helps extract everything from the bones. I also like my neti pot, as an alternative to decongestants. I bought one several years ago, and instead of using the little salt packets that they come with, I just use a cheap container of table salt. I don't have allergies, but I've heard that people who do have gotten a lot of relief from using a neti pot regularly.
If I feel like I'm coming down with something my regimen is lots of water, lots of sunshine, stay away from sugar, extra vitamin D and C, light exercise, and go to bed early. I don't know how much good it does, but at least it makes me feel like I'm being proactive.
I try to do extra cleaning when we're sick. I do a quick clean on the bathrooms a couple of times a day and wash our linens daily until we're well. If it's a particularly bad illness, I'll lysol all the light switches, phones, computer, etc. I try not to do that too often and stick to natural stuff as much as possible.
I do think that when this illness is over, I'm going to clean out our medicine cabinet, and put money in the budget to re-stock it so we'll be more ready for next time.