Get your “Oh shit, I’m sick” kit ready before it’s too late

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oh shit im sick kit

Being sick freaking sucks. But if there’s one thing that sucks even more, it’s having to go to the store when you’re sick to stock up on all the illness accoutrements. During undergrad I worked at a pharmacy on campus, and was regularly exposed to all manner of germs and products with which to treat those germs. I started stocking up on supplies at the beginning of the year, so that when the inevitable welcome-back bug infected me, I’d be ready.

I made the sick version of Offbeat Bride’s “Oh shit!” kit. Having this kit handy means you can devote more time to lying on the couch and watching as many Gilmore Girls episodes as you can in a row and less time trying to look presentable to the outside world so you can buy throat drops. It also means that all of your supplies are kept in one spot. I keep mine in a big purse I never use anymore but still like the look of. It hangs in my closet, unassuming, yet handy.

Here’s what I keep in my “Oh shit I’m sick” kit:


Herbal stuff:




  • a movie you watch or a video game you play whenever you’re sick to comfort you
  • those super warm knit socks or that giant sweater that you only wear when you’re sick
  • what about colouring books and crayons? Comic books? Anything that will help kill boredom without being too taxing on your foggy brain.

Keep it someplace easy-access that you won’t forget about. Maybe even wrap it up in a pretty package to cheer you up when you have to open it.

What about it, Homies? What do you keep in your “Oh shit, I’m sick” kit?

Comments on Get your “Oh shit, I’m sick” kit ready before it’s too late

  1. Brilliant. And just in time, since flu season is getting started and everyone is about to start travelling for the holidays and spreading their germs around.

  2. Good list. I also include a couple of plastic grocery bags for the used tissues and my favorite sick-time mug for the hot drinks and soup. I’m also about to run a bath of peppermint and eucalyptus infused bath salts for a hot soak.

    How did you guys know I just got sick?

  3. Ha, I just set up something similar: My OH Shit I have morning sickness all fucking day kit. Mine has puke bags, puke bowl, tissues, water, carbonated water, ginger candy, peppermints, goldfish crackers, kindle, phone and charger. Been keeping it next to the bed, in a small tote that I can carry around the house with me.

    • Oh I totally had one of those kits. My morning sickness was a late afternoon, evening, all night sickness that would start everyday during my evening bus ride home. I created a purse kit to include: ginger candies, saltines, water bottle, puke bag, wet whips, and a pregnancy magazine (that I never actually read just held on my lap so the person next to me on the city bus didn’t just think I hit happy hour).

  4. I would also recommend a Throat Comfort tea, Yogi teas has one.. and I’ve seen another one too. But in general herbal/fruit teas are awesome.

    This may seem weird, but have an extra pillowcase ready for when you are on the mend but not quite there yet. After your fever has broken, but you’re not ready to kick ass again yet, its wonderful to have a new pillowcase to lay on. Also, I totally recommend changing sheets when you’re completely better, if that isn’t already part of your habits.

  5. Just be a little careful with your paracetamol doses – those lemon drinks often have paracetamol in them – and you must never have more than 4 doses a day – overdosing on paracetamol is really dangerous. So I recommend honey and lemon (in a jif lemon) for extra drinks. Hugs to everyone suffering

    • So true. I saw someone on Facebook all like, “Haha, I’ve drunk so many remedies today, can you overdose on Lemsip?!”

      And everyone was like: yes.

      Take care!

    • Tylenol/Acetaminophen/Paracetamol is exceptionally easy to overdose on, and an overdose becomes fatal really quickly. Make sure you take no more than 1000 mg at one time, no more than once every 4 hours and no more than 4000 mg in a 24 hour period. And if you end up taking the maximum dosage, don’t do it for too many days in a row. That stuff is hard on the liver so take only as much as you need, and don’t combine it with anything else that’s hard on the liver – like alcohol, as much as that might be your way of feeling better. No one wants to get liver damage just because they wanted to feel better when they were sick.

  6. Haha, a bit freaked out that you guys know I’m sick and watching Gilmore Girls… have you expanded on your ability to see what shit we buy from Amazon? 😉 But seriously, I work at a university, and I’m currently sick for the second time since term started, sheesh.

    Always remember to have enough of the GOOD tissues. By which I mean “balsam” ones. I used to think these were such a scam, but they totally work.

    I also recommend actually having food in the house, though ordering a pizza because I had nothing and couldn’t get out of bed was actually ok.

    I actually prefer the microwaveable teddy bears to hot water bottles, because you can fall asleep with/on them without fear of scalding yourself. And something about them feels comforting too.

    For extra-organised points, remember to stock up again as soon as you feel better! Spend your time in bed ordering a grocery shop online, to make the restocking super easy.

  7. I keep an eye on sales and coupons at my local store and keep things stocked up. I keep my stash in a plastic shoe box container in my bathroom cupboard. So when I get sick out comes my box: Mucinex, Tylenol, Emergen-C supplements, Ricola cough drops with echinacea, thermometer, Vick’s shower soothers tabs, and a heating pad.
    I had to take a sick day last week for the flu, and unfortunately I did end up having to go to the store for soup and fruit juice. My local store keeps sanitizing wips for the carts which I made sure to use when I was done shopping.
    I bounced back and was back to work the next day 🙂

  8. Ha, me too, Katy! I’m sitting here now watching Gilmore Girls.

    I also like to keep teas and Gatorade on hand for hydrating. And for some reason, I like to eat frosted flakes when I’m sick. Maybe it’s a childhood memory thing.

    • I’m glad you said Gatorade because that is totally what I NEEEED when I am at my sickest and most pathetic. Definitely some sort of connection to childhood.

    • Gatorade is definitely a thing that you can only stand one flavor when you’re sick. For me it’s the light purple colored one, they used to be called “frost” and I’m not sure what they’re called now. It’s vaguely grape, but a bit fruity.
      My husband swears by lemon-lime.

  9. HOT AND SOUR SOUP was the only thing I wanted to eat after my five-day flu last year. I would put that in.

    And man, I wish I had this on hand then…. I dragged myself to the shop. Dragged myself around the shop and arrived at the counter with two packs of ibuprofen, lemon and ginger tea, throat lozenges, and tissues. The cashier was all, “Not feeling well, are you, haha” and I just about killed him with my burning eyes.

    • I was just coming to post that! I’ve found hot and sour way more effective for me than chicken soup, even the only mildly spicy stuff (I am a spice wimp) helps clear the sinuses.

      Also, a couple of comfort re-read paperback novels — sometimes I really don’t want to look at glowy things when I’m sick, though the “night” mode on my smartphone’s e-reader works reaonsably well in a pinch.

    • I ordered hot & sour soup for delivery so many times when I was sick during college. My favorite place put zucchini flowers in theirs, and it was so amazing!

    • I once ate hot sauce on plain white rice when I was sick because I needed to clear my sinuses, and I didn’t want to leave the house! Having this soup mix on hand sounds like a great idea.

  10. I had to build a first aid kit from scratch a couple of years ago, nothing like going to get a bandaid and discovering that the ex took the first aid box as part of SurpriseDivorce! Standing in a chemist crying because you don’t know what you need (other than bandaids) and that was the one real adult thing you never paid attention to is embarrassing and cathatic (everyone at the chemist decided he was an arose and I got a free box of tissues).

    I know this isnt a being sick anecdote specifically, but I could have used this post back then 😉

  11. I dunno if this is mentioned by anyone else (sorry!), but I like to keep a “sick lite” kit at my desk at work. Inevitably, I’ll get one of those colds where you’re feeling nasty, but not nasty enough to call out. So, enough to keep me basically asymptomatic, but warning people to keep away.

    OH! I almost forgot, if you’re a smoker, a good thin to keep around is nicotine patches/gum so you can be less miserable while allowing yourself to heal. Withdrawing while also fighting off a bug is the worst.

    This is a fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Pedialyte, those ice pops in plastic tubes, applesauce, Contigo water bottles which automatically seal so I don’t have to worry about leaking in bed/on the couch, paper/plastic dishes & utensils so I don’t have to do dishes, rawhides for the dog so she can entertain herself while she sits next to me, cash for food delivery, this isn’t really in a kit but knowledge of which friends will come over and walk the dog, extra chargers/cables for electronics (when I had norovirus — HORRIBLE — I put chargers in the bathroom since, well, that’s where I was most of the time, and I read ebooks and played games on my phone), if you have a more ample chest – some sort of soft cotton sports bra which isn’t really for sports (bralette? crop top? I don’t know what to call it) which will help keep everything contained but not actually put pressure on your torso and can stay on during sleep . . .

    Tissues : some premium tissues contain SLS (sodium laurenth or lauryth sulfate) to which I am allergic, make sure that your nice tissues won’t make you sicker!

  13. I have learned to keep a stash of orange juice. And I am clear to my husband that it is for when we are sick. My husband hates the “just add water” soups (and now can’t eat meat for medical reasons) so I have to be careful to make sure I have a vegetable soup that is reminiscent of chicken noodle since he loves the kind with real noodles and vegetables. I love my crappy Lipton one that is full of salt. I miss the kind with alligator noodles.

    Caroline, I love that you listed David’s Cold 911! I also recommend having some bath stuff for when you feel up to a good soak and steam or a hot shower. It’s nice to have something minty or spicy that is soothing.

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