The Sick Life

The Sick Life

I haven’t posted in a week. But it’s not because I’m slack, it’s because I’ve been sick… like ridiculously so.

I’ve always had respiratory issues, but Sydney aggravates them like no other city I’ve ever lived in and I’ve had probably three or four chest infections every year (as well as a multitude of sinus infections, a few bouts of tonsillitis and one instance of the proper flu, among other fun things) since I moved to the big smoke.

So because I drop far more of my salary at the pharmacy than I would like, it’s no surprise that I’ve become a bit of an expert on being sick on a budget – without sacrificing the importance of my health, because there is no price tag for that.


First of all, a fully stocked medicine cabinet (or drawer, in my instance) is a must. At any one time, I keep the following:

  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Cold & Flu tablets
  • Saline nose spray
  • Betadine
  • Aloe vera burn cream

All of these are generic brands, which I usually pick up from the supermarket or a discount pharmacy. I often hear people worry about generics, but it’s law in Australia that all equivalent/generic medications have the exact same active properties and when taken, react the same way as any branded medication.

I’m also the kind of girl who stock piles aloe vera tissues (my preferred) whenever they’re on special at Coles or Woolies. Yes, that does mean you’ll often see like six or so boxes in the corner of my bedroom, but at the rate I go through them, it’s more economical that way.


Doctors will often tell you to drink ‘sugary drinks’ like lemon & honey tea or sports drinks when you’re particularly sick, as this keeps your energy levels up. As a result, I buy those big powdered tubs of Powerade and keep them in the back of my cupboard for proper sick days. I personally don’t enjoy sports drinks that much, so I dilute the powder quite a bit, while still reaping the benefits of not spending $4.50 on a single bottle at the newsagency across the road.

If, while I’m well, I happen to cook soup or dhal, I like to squirrel away a serving or two in the freezer. It saves on needing to cook or calling for take out while you’re sick, as well as being exactly what you need to feel just a little bit brighter.

My last tip is to have a lot of hot baths or showers. Close all the windows, turn off the bathroom fan and let the entire room fill with steam. Steam is free and your nose’s best friend.

Even better is to not get sick… but hey, it looks like that isn’t an option for me.