sick

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For a girl who’s used to going into the dentist and walking out with nothing but a zippy new toothbrush and a pocketful of compliments on how pretty her teeth are, yesterday was rough.

I made a last minute appointment, even though I’d just had my teeth cleaned a little over a month ago, for some jaw pain. I figured it was stress-related and that I was clenching and grinding my teeth. I figured they would tell me to take some more ibuprofen, pop in a mouthguard, and send me on my way.

I did not figure they would put me on a liquid diet for a week and tell me to stick an elongated cotton ball, which, yes, looks totally like a tampon, between my front teeth a few times a day. I also did not figure they’d tell me to come back in a week, and, if I’m able to open my mouth at that point, get a retainer.

I didn’t think for a second they would tell me that temporomandibular disorders (TMD, or, as you might better know it, TMJ) could be really serious and cause me to have problems chewing my food in the future if we don’t fix it now.

We didn’t even talk about how pretty my teeth are.

So, I’ll probably be posting a bit about this at Fit Bottomed Girls later this week (like, Thursday, when my weekly column runs), but thought I’d write a little something here as well because, ummm, I’m not much of a smoothie maker, and, if I’m going to get through the next week without being a TOTAL jerk, I’m gonna need a lot of good smoothies and other liquid meals. And I really do mean liquid — even mashed potatoes are off the menu.

Suggestions? Recipes? Just want to virtually point and laugh at the girl behind the computer who’s talking like Alyssa Milano (come on, I’m not the only one who notices she doesn’t move her mouth when she talks, right?)? Have at it in the comments!

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tea and toast

Toast (one with honey, one with cinnamon/sugar) and tea (green, with honey). Naturally.

When I got sick as a child, a particular sequence of events would occur. I would cough a few times, but deny that I felt anything but totally fine. Within a day or so, I’d start coughing so deeply and frequently that my denials were met with a shake of the head as a spoonful of Dimetapp was shoved into my mouth, which I tolerated because, mmmm, grape! Next came the Robitussin, which I did not tolerate, and which generally resulted in my parents begging, bribing, and threatening me until I finally took it. And god forbid I actually got bronchitis (which I generally did) or pneumonia (which I occasionally did), because that meant PILLS. And y’all, Child Kristen did not. take. pills. Oh no.

But my mom did other things for me when I was sick that I not only recall in a more positive light, but I’ve continued to do when I’m sick as an adult. (Like I am now. Ugh.) And, of course, I’ve got a few things I’ve added on my own, especially now that I’m a freelancer and, well, freelancers don’t get sick days. Do you do/eat/drink any of these things? If not, what are your go-to, hardly-ever-fail tricks for when you get sick?

  • 2 slices of toast, one with butter and cinnamon/sugar, one with honey
  • OJ and 7-Up (or Sprite) mixed together. The more pulp, the better.
  • Exercise (until my body lets me know it’s no longer a good idea — there’s a fine line between the time when a good sweat session will make me feel better and when it’ll just drain me. If I find myself sweating on my own for no reason, or if my hair and eyeballs hurt, bed wins out over the bike).
  • Nighttime cold meds. Oh my god, yes.
  • Copious amounts of hot green tea with honey. I’m probably peeing out this damn cold at this point.

Okay, now seriously — how do you guys cope with being sick? Share your secrets, because I know about half of you feel just like I do right now. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take my kleenexes and my laptop and my tea climb back under the blankets on the couch.

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