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10 Awesome Things about Being Sick (Besides Tea and Soup)

10 Awesome Things about Being Sick (Besides Tea and Soup)

Gross.Image source:
Gross.Image source:
Image source:

Despite having an immune system that puts the U.S. National Guard to shame (I know what you’re thinking–what doesn’t put the U.S. National Guard to shame), sometimes a virus permeates my defenses, and I come down with a cold. From the skipping work good to the incapacitated in bed bad of being sick, there are some activities that I think we all love to participate in during times of sickness:

  1. Perfecting Your Disgusting Cough: There are few things more satisfying than letting loose a with a hacking cough that has the healthy, Vitamin C freaks around you clutching their hand sanitizer like rosary beads. You need to really dig—below the coating of mucus in your throat—deep into your lungs to summon a really nasty, thick pulmonary cough. It helps to warm up with a phlegm-bubbling throat clearing or two.
  2. Breaking Your Old Record for Biggest Pile of Used Kleenex: My current record is 37. There’s something impressive and comforting about accumulating a mountain of used tissues. …It’s less fun when you throw them away and discover some of them were still damp.
  3. Hard Candy as a Throat Lozenge: …What? Jolly Ranchers aren’t a recommended way to heal a sore throat? Antiseptics are great, but the awful thing about cough drops is “cherry-flavored” really means “disgusting medicine that happens to be red.” Jolly Rancher and Robetussin should join forces—they could change the world.
  4. Giving Up on Your Appearance: Being sick isn’t just a great excuse to get out of work or social functions you didn’t want to attend, it’s a great explanation for your greasy hair and holy (not a typo) sweatpants. Like it isn’t bad enough your nose is red and puffy and you skin could best be described as “sallow,” if ever there’s a time to not care about how you look, this is it.
  5. Being Horrified by Your Voice: Maybe you saw Easy A recently and you were curious about what you would sound like if you had the sexy, raspy voice of Emma Stone. …Only instead of “sexy” and “raspy,” you’ve unwittingly discovered you sound like a 13-year-old boy going through puberty or a sorority girl trying to do a fake man voice on a prank call and failing terribly. It’s just not cute.
  6. Code of Conduct: One of the fun things about being sick is there are so many decisions for how to behave. When you feel a cough coming, do you want to do it into your elbow? Do you want to cough into your fist and lean over like your lungs are leaving your body? When you blow your nose, which nostril do you want to hold closed? When you inevitably look in the Kleenex afterwards, how much will the color of what’s inside resemble the walls of a baby’s room whose parents didn’t want to find out the sex? So many options!
  7. Avoiding People for their Own Good: Being sick is a great reason not to see people. You do that sneaky thing where you make them think you’re doing them a favor, too. “Man, I’d really love to do that with you, but I feel awful, and I just don’t want to get you sick… Maybe next time…” Or not.
  8. Reaching Out: Ironically, sometimes you use that, “I don’t want to get you sick,” line in the hope that someone will insist that he or she spend time with you. When you’re sick, you suddenly become incredibly lonely, and you just want people to hang out with you and all your ladies and germs.
  9. Having an Excuse to Eat Whatever You Want: When you have a cold, you try to justify eating just about anything. “Are you eating brownies?” “Yeah, I read online they’re good for your sinuses. I just want to kick this cold…” Uh huh, that’s it.
  10. Milking It: Since I barely ever get sick, I like to really make it count. So, yes, that does entail me acting like a feeble old lady asking people to please do things for me in my small, sick voice. I’m not sorry. This only happens once a year, and I like to take advantage. Think of it as the extreme couponing of having a the common cold.

The next time you’re buried under a mountain of Kleenex having some healthy shmuck taking care of you–remember that you’re not alone.

Katie Hoffman

Katie Hoffman is a writer living in the suburbs of Chicago. She enjoys leftovers, lunges, and laughs.


  1. freespirit424 June 21, 2013

    way too funny! I’m going to post this one on the wall…I have a compromised immune system so I’m always feeling sick. I’m going to follow all this fab advice! Especially the hard candies..much better than chicken soup

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Agreed! Though, if I may, ain’t nothin’ wrong with some chicken soup. But seriously, 75% of cough drops taste like shit–why haven’t we figured out this technology yet?

  2. CombatBabe June 21, 2013

    I’m so glad you didn’t give up on blogging. You’re fabulous. And it’s total ick when you go to throw the tissues away and discover that some are still damp, been there — yuck.

    1. Katie June 21, 2013

      How can they still be damp hours (okay, sometimes days) later?

      Not giving up in blogging–no way! I’m contributing a post to a different blog as part of a series about feminism, and I’ve been trying not to be a baby about it, but I’m nervous, and I’ve been worrying about it all week. What my post suggests is very different than what’s already been said so far, and I’m proud of it, but I can already foresee how the comment section is likely to go.

      1. CombatBabe June 21, 2013

        Oooo I am so excited to read it! You’ll be fine. Different is good and I think the point if I’m correct. Need a little or a lotta different to get a well-rounded conversation going. Again, you’re a great writer and look forward to reading your post.

      2. Katie June 21, 2013

        Thank you! That makes me feel a lot better. It hasn’t been that long that I’ve been writing things that lots of eyes read… My blog isn’t quite a year old, and previous to that I was writing mostly for one professor or for myself, so I’m still getting to a point where I can write, share, and read things without covering my eyes like I’m watching a horror movie unfold.

        I think what I have to say about it is a worthwhile part of the conversation… We shall see very soon!

  3. bensbitterblog June 21, 2013

    I gotta say horrifying people with my cough is my favorite.

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Mine too. But I also like seeing/hearing people dry heave over my nose blowings. Few things in life are more gratifying than that.

  4. Wittyburg June 21, 2013

    Numbers 3–7 are a daily practice for me … I love the excuse of being sick to rely on when people question my attitude, appearance and general lack of appeal.

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      HA!!! About the last part: yes. Any way that I can excuse all the ways I look as though I’ve given up on hygiene and on life, I’ll take it.

  5. Jen and Tonic June 21, 2013

    How about the fact that your roommate doesn’t look at you with disgust because you’ve been laying on the couch for 10 hours straight watching Law & Order marathons? Not that that’s ever happened to me…

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      HA! Sure, the roommate might be cool, but what about the pets? I can never escape the scathing feline judgment of the cat. I can just sense it.

  6. omawarisan June 21, 2013

    Considering reaching out and avoiding people for their own good – is it ethical for me to act on the desire to shake hands with people I don’t like when I’m sick? I’m certain it is the nyquil that makes me want to do this. Since it is medicine based, I bear no responsibility for going through my day acting like Patient Zero, right?

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Yes! Of course it’s ethical. The one thing I forgot to put on this list is blaming cold medication on every questionable thing you do–that includes coughing all over healthy people and any and all hit-and-runs.

  7. Zen A. June 23, 2013

    Ha, I love #7. And I am guilty of using my sickness as an excuse to avoid people. Not much of a people person to be honest. And since I get sick often, this works well for me!

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Lucky you! …Not for being sick but for having a frequent excuse. The worst part is when you start feeling better and you don’t sound congested anymore, and you have to rejoin society. That part sucks.

  8. Kerry's Organized Chaos June 23, 2013

    Another good reason to have kids. You can use them as sick excuses…even when they’re not!

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Oh gosh, kids can you get you out of so many things you don’t want to do. I can’t wait for that day to come.

  9. Katie Renee June 24, 2013

    Sick time is my time to be an absolute baby. I demand my blankie, my chicken noodle soup, and my medicine in little cups. I hate being sick when I’m alone because I’m a pretty shitty nurse and usually curl up and pray for death. Living off of crackers and peanut butter while having no one to listen to me whine is not my idea of a good time.

    But the candy point is a valid one… The lemon ones are my favorite 😀

    1. Katie June 25, 2013

      Exactly! I want people feeding me grapes, fanning me, and continually asking me how I am so I can respond in a tiny little voice, “My thwoat huwts…” (Okay, not really. Just kind of.)

      …Lemon? This must be a Florida thing. I’ve never seen lemon-flavored cough drops or anything like that here. Then again, I was never really looking.

  10. The Hook June 25, 2013

    What a great twist on “I’m sick, pity me” post, Katie!

    1. Katie June 26, 2013

      You saw right through me…

  11. rumpleysponge July 2, 2013

    Having just gotten over a cold and gained 10 pounds in the process, I can attest to #9!

    1. Katie July 3, 2013

      It’s awful! It’s wonderful at the time, because you think it’s making you feel better. …Until you’re actually better and your pants don’t fit.

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