In early March, my husband Brian and I took care of our daughter Gillian (age 20) who had the Coronavirus. To protect our own health, we developed a set of procedures to manage her illness while keeping us well. I shared our advice in a blog, “Lessons Learned: Caring for a Family Member with Coronavirus.” Since then I have received requests from people wanting to know about her coronavirus symptoms and how we made her comfortable. Here’s 5 non-medical ways we helped her to feel better.
One of Gillian’s symptoms was extreme fatigue. We set-up her nightstand with useful, self-care items that she could easily reach. These included a box of tissues, water pitcher and paper cup, hand sanitizer, and lip balm. We put a garbage bag by her bed so that she could immediately throw away her tissues.
We opted to use lightweight blankets on her bed instead of a heavy comforter. This way when her temperature fluctuated she could easily adjust the blankets for her comfort. In addition, we were able to wash her blankets in our own washing machine as opposed to having to take them to a commercial laundry.
Gillian had a nasty cough. In order to prevent her from laying flat when she was awake, we gave her pillows to prop herself up into a sitting position. Still uncomfortable, she complained that she couldn’t find a comfy spot to rest her head. In a “Dr. Mom” flash of inspiration, I gave her a u-shaped travel pillow. The travel pillow supported her head and neck and it made resting upright much easier. A rolled towel will provide similar support.
Gillian was quarantined in her room for over two weeks. When she started to feel better, we encouraged her to open her windows to let fresh air in and to help her connect with the outside world. When she first became ill, she slept a lot. This threw off her normal sleep schedule. Seeing the sun, smelling the fresh air, and watching day turn into night helped her to get back on track.
Photo Credit: Pampered Chef
And finally, nothing shows love and says “feel better” than a bowl of hot chicken soup. Ask any Nana! For Gillian and many other people struggling with the Coronavirus, they may experience a marked loss of appetite. To make sure that she had nutrition and stayed hydrated, we served her plain chicken broth. As her appetite increased, we added the vegetables and noodles.
Chicken soup is high in protein which can help boost the immune system and it is a good source of vitamins and minerals which can aid digestion. Studies have also shown that hot chicken soup can help thin out mucus.
We are thrilled to share this photo of Gillian, fully recovered, leaving quarantine central-her bedroom for the first since she became sick. She has rejoined our family in our isolation.
To read more “Lessons Learned” in my series about my family’s experience, visit Cancerbeglammed.com. Remember we are all #inthistogether.