Sick day Top Ten

I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.

But here’s some advice after spending about two weeks sick and in recovery this flu season—have a plan for your entertainment.

Oh sure, lay in a stock of cold medications, cough syrups, juice, tissues and antibacterial wipes to handle the symptoms and to keep the sick quarantined from the rest of the household. But take it from me, you don’t just want to be at the whim of surfing the cable channels while you’re stuck on the couch under a pile of blankets and a snoozing schnauzer keeping you warm. Daytime television can only get you through a few hours before you want to throw the remote directly into the screen and stop the inane talk.

I have a playlist that I’ve created after years of research. The requirements are simple. First, I must be able to follow along with the storyline in a cold medicine haze, so that takes out any new movies I may have on my watching list. When you’re sick, you really don’t have the energy to keep up with a complicated plot.

Second, they can’t be too funny, or I’ll laugh myself into a coughing fit, thus defeating the recuperating purpose of the sick day. And finally, they must at some point lull me into a nap with a cozy feeling of bliss.

And so, I present to you my watch list for your cold and flu recovery.

1. “Murder, She Wrote”—With a mug of tea and fuzzy pajamas, you can safely lull yourself into a coma as Jessica Fletcher neatly solves a crime for the professionals in the days before forensic crime scene detectives, evidence handling protocols and proper prosecutory procedures. This show should have been called, “Mistrial, She Wrote.”

2. “M*A*S*H”—Everything just feels better when Col. Potter is in charge.

3. “Clue”—It’s funny, but not too funny. And at least I’m not dead in the conservatory from a candlestick to the head. Just sick on the couch.

4. “McClintock”—One of two John Wayne movies on my list, I secretly wonder if I could throw a cowboy hat onto a roof and catch the wind vane.

5. “The Quiet Man”—It’s a love story, wrapped in a coming home story, seasoned with a fight scene and whiskey. What’s not to love?

6. “The Dukes of Hazzard”—I’ve written about my love of the Duke boys before in this space. (See: “The boys are back in town” at Waylon Jennings’ voice is probably the best lullaby next to an auctioneer’s chant.

7. “Goonies”—I’m a child of the 1980s. It’s practically a law I must watch this while sick.

8. “The Price is Right”—Sick days aren’t complete without shouting at the television, “Where are you shopping, lady? That’s not how much that costs.”

9. “Jeopardy”—Because, you have to have a little bit of culture and education while you’re laid up.

10. “Gunsmoke”—Doctors still prescribe laudanum, right?

In all seriousness, this flu strain, H3N2, that’s hit the nation is no laughing matter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports high activity in 26 states since Jan. 1. Many hospitals are strained at capacity and this strain causes especially severe symptoms that can kill. This flu is especially serious in persons age 65 years and older; the very young; those with underlying health issues, such as heart disease; and anyone who is immunocompromised. If you got the flu vaccine, like I did, doctors say you have a better chance of easing the severity of this virus.

But take this from me, a non-doctor—if you or your loved ones are sick, please see a real doctor. Waiting this out, like most of us are prone to do, could have deadly consequences.

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Besides, while you’re in the store getting that antiviral prescription filled, you can take a peek at the discount DVD bin for your own playlist.

Good luck and I hope you feel better.

Jennifer M. Latzke can be reached at 620-227-1807 or [email protected].