MOORHEAD — Oh, hey. Nice to see youse all again. I apologize for the slight respite, but, you know, Labor Day and whatnot. I figured I labor, so I should be able to take a day, ya know? So I did.

Unfortunately, my slight break was not all it was cracked up to be.

You may have noticed that this week's installment is about being sick. Oh yes, ladies and gents and everyone in between, it's mouth-breathing season. And I am not a fan.

It really started on Labor Day, but it didn't start with me. Poor boyfriend of mine came down with a pretty aggressive cold. And, being the wonderful Emma that I am, I rushed to take care of him — meaning I tried so hard not to spray him down with a can of Lysol while I brought him juice and water and soup.

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But as it usually goes, my good deeds got me punished. I am now even sicker than he was and somehow even poor Chiefy ended up sick. Currently I am writing to you from the quarantined confines of my little house. The TV hasn't switched from Food Network in two days and I am pretty sure if I don't get up and move soon, my bedsores will develop bedsores. Yes, the little white house in north Moorhead is one big festering pile of germs and bacteria. Someone pass me the Lysol.

So while you're buying stock in tissues and disinfectant, read up on these ways to avoid turning into an incubator for nasty, nasty germs.

Catch dem z's

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We are preaching to the choir, but hear me out.

Sometimes when your girlfriends want to go out for dinner in Horace, N.D., to celebrate beans, you just gotta do it. Even if you are feeling miserable and wish your head would shrink back to its normal size, beans and girlfriends are more important. Also, it's fall and fall means we look cute, obviously.

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Emma Jean and the Bean Queens

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But no Bean Days picture is worth the 72 hours of death that followed. Just a few hours after the debut of Emma Jean and the Bean Queens, Emma Jean (which is me) made it back to Moorhead in time for the fever chills and shakes to set in. Black Death had found me, and it demanded I sleep for 14 hours.

Unfortunately for me, on Sunday night, poor baby Chooflin came down with kennel cough. Which meant my second night of aggressive sleep was met with all-night puppy coughs that sounded worse than mine and heading to work Monday morning running on three hours of sleep. No bueno.

Sick baby Chooflin is battling kennel cough this week. Emma Vatnsdal / The Forum
Sick baby Chooflin is battling kennel cough this week. Emma Vatnsdal / The Forum

Listen, sleep is essential to help your body heal. It may not be the cure-all, but sleeping allows your immune system to fight off the nastiness. Also, you don't realize how terrible you feel when you're sleeping, so, you know, win-win.

Water, water, water!

The last thing you want to do when your throat is hurting and you're too weak to move is sitting up to drink liquids, but you gotta. Flush that nastiness out of your system!

Water, juices and other liquids can help to keep you hydrated and (hopefully) feeling up to snuff, while warm liquids — think teas, broths and the like — help to loosen congestion. Since developing what I can only describe as the second coming of the bubonic plague, I have been surrounded by a Powerade, grape juice and a bottle of water. I hate it.

Doctors on the internet say it's a good thing to do, though, so I guess that's what I'm doing. Ishta. Drink your fluids.

Chicken Nood Soup

If Gramma Noods cure stress, then obviously Mamma's Chicken Nood Soup is the cure for the sick. At least that's what she tells me.

Basically, you cook some chicken, chop some veggies and boil them all together with egg noodles. It's simple but delicious, and I ate four bowls the night I made it. 'Nuff said.

Quality tube time

You know, sometimes you just are sick of sleeping. Fortunately, daytime television exists.

To combat non-sleepy sick-boredom as a child, young Emma would adhere to the following schedule of television,while sipping on her Sprite and munching on cinnamon sugar toast: "The Today Show," "Live with Regis and Kelly" and "The Price is Right." After that, it was time to take another nap until Papa Corwin got home for lunch.

Nowadays, sick time means hurry up and get healthy because there is work to do and money to make — meaning you better try your darndest to get sick at night once you're done with the workday. In that case, just flip to Food Network. "Chopped" will keep you going until it's time to hit the hay.

Poor baby

All of these tips give you ways to survive cold and flu season, but there is one surefire way to make sickness just a little more bearable: Find someone to take care of you.

Being sick is no fun. You have aches, chills, fevers and sore throats that can all be fixed with sleep, fluids and medicine, but sometimes it's kind of nice to regress to childhood and have someone take care of you. Mamma V calls it "poor babies," and I am a master at receiving them.

Sometimes it feels nice to regress to a hermit, childlike state. It's even better when you have a sick puppy to give you snuggles. John Miller / The Forum
Sometimes it feels nice to regress to a hermit, childlike state. It's even better when you have a sick puppy to give you snuggles. John Miller / The Forum

Stay healthy, folks. Cold and flu season is coming up quick.


Friday 5 is a weekly column featuring quick tips, tricks, ideas and more — all in bunches of five. Readers can reach Forum reporter Emma Vatnsdal at 701-241-5517.