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Yellowdog's avatar

If you don't have a lot of money and are sick -- what do you need?

Asked by Yellowdog (11166points) May 16th, 2016

My Girlfriend has contracted a bad cold from someone else who lives in their home (she doesn’t get out much and has little immunity for that reason). Because I was with her and we kissed the night her symptoms began, I’m thinking I will get it in a day or so. I am diabetic and have a much harder time getting well, though have fairly high immunity due to being in public often.

Anyhow, neither of us are even able to make our monthly expenses (expenses exceed income)— I am trying to provide whatever foods, drinks, meds, or whatever. From times past, when I was better off financially, I know that sickness can really break the budget. Therefore, what do I REALLY need to help her, and then me, through this illness?

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27 Answers

janbb's avatar

You don’t need a lot for a cold except to stay warm, rest and ride it out. If sleeping is a real problem at night buy some OTC Nyquil. It’s just a bad cold, no need to spend a lot of money on it.

JLeslie's avatar

Is it just a cold? Congestion, no fever, maybe it started with a sore throat the first two days? No cough, or barely any coughing.

All you need is a decongestant and antihistimine if you want to bother to treat the congestion. Check the warning labels if you have high blood pressure or uncontrolled thyroid troubles you possibly shouldn’t take some of the drugs. Cloricidin is one of the “safer” brands/drugs for people with other chronic medical problems. Still, read the warnings, and ask the pharmacist if you are unsure.

You can also take ibuprofen when you feel the worst just to feel a little better.

With a cold you can also take nothing and just suffer a little.

Before you take a shower close the bathroom door and run the shower hot to steam the room, wait a couple of minutes breathing in the steam, then turn the water to the temp you prefer and take your shower in the steam. It will help loosen and congestion.

If you have a fever, no congestion, a bad cough, none of those symptoms are a simple cold.

Yellowdog's avatar

Thanks Janbb and JLeslie (and any others who’ve thus responded)— Any and all others still welcome. And, what about foods? Anything particularly helpful?

She drinks a lot of things like Vitamin Water Zero and Coconut Water and green tea. Obviously these things are healthy but does she need more of these now or would just plain water suffice to supplement her usual consumption?

janbb's avatar

Tea and water are fine, comsomme or chicken soup are nourishing; flat ginger ale or flat coke if there is any nausea. Tea with honey is good if she has a sore throat.

kritiper's avatar

A warm bed and lots of water or Gatoraid. Saltine crackers.

zenvelo's avatar

If you are each broke, don’t spend it on cocoanut water or Vitamin Water Zero. Get drugstore brand versions of Robitussin, drink water or hot tea. Stick to chicken-broth based soups. You will be better by next week.

jca's avatar

You sound as if you are planning to be snowed in for the winter. You may not get the cold. My daughter gets colds and people at work get colds and I don’t usually get them, so think positively and hopefully you’ll be ok.

Coloma's avatar

The basics of cold treatment, plenty of fluids, rest, and maybe, as has been mentoned, an OTC night time cold remedy like Nyquil. Drinkings lots of water and tea is good, not need for expensive products, maybe some OJ, that’s about it.

ucme's avatar

Sympathetic employers

JLeslie's avatar

Stay hydrated, plenty of rest. A cold is usually a week long and then it’s over.

johnpowell's avatar

Banana, Lime, and root-beer popsicles. And some space soup.

And NyQuil.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Sleep, hydration.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I have a traditional western folk medicine. Chicken soup, ginger ale , sleep, clean water and Pepto Bismal and the tv in the bedroom.

Dutchess_III's avatar

There are about 200 different cold viruses, and only about 20 of them are really common. Once you’ve had one you are immune to that particular virus forever. That’s why little kids have colds all the time, and older people rarely have colds.
If you don’t catch her cold it’s because you already had that virus sometime in the past and are immune to it now. If you do catch it, that’s fine too.

There isn’t anything you can do other than treat the symptoms, or you can tough it out. That’s the cheapest way. Some cough and cold medicine will help if you can afford it. Get one that treats all of the symptoms, the sneezing, coughing and congestion.

I always heard colds are 3 days coming, 3 days staying, and 3 days leaving. Sounds about right.

Cruiser's avatar

I tell this to everyone who asks this question and the handful that follow the directions all get better quickly 24–36 hours.

Gargle with 50/50 warm water and vinegar of any kind. Gargle slow long and vigorously 3 times in a row and at least once in the AM and once at night. Resist the urge to rinse.

The vinegar changes the PH in your throat that makes it inhospitable for the cold virus to reproduce. Works like a charm.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Cruiser…. everybody gets better within 24 – 36 hours, no matter what!

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III Mayo Clinic begs to differ…
__“If you catch a cold, you can expect to be sick for one to two weeks.“__

Jak's avatar

Tea with honey helps a sore throat, pineapple juice is a great cough suppressant. Boiling water and a towel make a steam tent to loosen phlegm, and if you percuss each other’s backs you can loosen it up further to cough it up. Force clear fluids, stay warm.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve never been sick for TWO WEEKS with a cold! Miserable for a couple of days before it starts getting better, but not two weeks.

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III What Mayo and I are referring to are the lingering sniffles, sinus drain, scratchy cough that lingers for that one to two weeks. Gargle with vin and ALL symptoms are gone in 18–24 hrs. Cruiser guarantee! :)

anniereborn's avatar

A teaspoon of straight honey is good for sore throat and cough. Also if for whatever reason neither of you can take a decongestant in pill form, Vicks has an inhaler you just use in your nose that can help. It’s not a mist or anything, just inhale the menthol. And it lasts for a very long time.

Gargling with warm salt water is also good and cheap. It’s good for the throat and also kills germs.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Something that just amazed me….for many years I worked full time, but in positions where I didn’t have any benefits, like sick leave (substitute teaching.) I was the sole support of the family, and I HAD to work, come hell or high water.
After I got a job that actually offered benefits, I was simply amazed by the fact that just being able to sleep when I was sick did so much good, more than anything else.

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III I agree and I tell my employees to stay home when they are sick…last thing I want is a Typhoid Mary getting everyone else sick.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My name is not Mary! I would have stayed home if I could, but I couldn’t lose the day’s pay. my budget was…I can’t even explain how tight it was.

Cruiser's avatar

Typhoid @Dutchess_III just doesn’t roll off the tongue the way Typhoid Mary does…plus I don’t dock my employees for being sick…

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know, @Cruiser. When I finally landed a full time job outside of my “field” (teaching) I got sick leave. Before that, as a sub (and working for a temp agency in the summer,) I didn’t have any.

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