How to ball like Bueller when you’re bedridden

Sick days used to be the sickest things.

You think you’re going to be the next Ferris Bueller, bowling along in great cars with your friends and singing on a float in the middle of a parade. You have visions of lying in bed all day, being fawned over by your family members as they fan you and feed you Minstrels by hand, watching 18+ movies because you’re ill and everybody feels sorry for you and listens to all your whims and fancies. Being sick – what a legendary thing. What a dream. What possibilities!

Well let me tell you – the “sick dream” is a scam, if you’re actually sick. Then being sick sucks. Particularly when you’re an Adult, as my birth certificate decrees.

Still, the Bueller feeling is hard to shake – even when you’re a fogey at the ripe old age of 22. Your first instinct is to feel just a teeny, tiny ounce of joy when you wake up with phlegm-throat – you don’t have to don any makeup! You don’t have to look at your wrinkled carcass in the mirror at all! You don’t have to get out of your pyjamas! (Though I do recommend that you do circa day three, before you start to fester in them.)

These splendid feelings are quickly vanquished once the romanticism of staying at home runs dry.

Two hours into the day and you’re lying, immobile, on your couch, trying to type with two sweaty claws (your hands) and notably hating everything – because (in my case) you’re a writer, which means that, unless you’re literally dying or are currently being suspended from a cliff/bridge/mountain, you can’t not work if you have access to the internet.

Adults, too, often find themselves worrying about their responsibilities when they fall sick. People do not ordinarily account for maybe being sick in their everyday lives, and are still trying to function at 3000 miles an hour. Cue Emily from Devil Wears Prada basically nearly dying on several occasions:


Emily Charlton cube of cheese diet

We are all Emily, in one way or another – stressing out to the max because we simply can’t be in sick in the manic humdrum that is our lives. It’s how we truly learn – being sick is not cool or fun like it kind of is when you’re a kid. Being sick is not totally Bueller. Being sick is a big fat bummer, and you’ve got shit to do.

You have to find your own remedies, too. No-one will be drip-feeding you Calpol or rubbing your feet. We, the young adult community, have to have each other’s backs – if we’re going to even ball like a fraction of Bueller when we’re bedridden, we’ve got to teach each other how.

Hence the purpose of this blog.

I was sick last week when I ate a dodgy mackerel and, behind my bleary eyes and constant trips to the loo, I felt a simmering determination. A determination to spread my sickness wisdom to the world. To teach you what I know.

Which is this.

When you’re ill, try doing these:

  1. Eat anything from the Dairy Milk’s Marvellous Creations selection. You know, those chocolate bars they produced with jelly beans and marshmallows in them – heaven. “The first time ever I saw your face” plays in my head every time I pass them in the co-op.
  2. Wrap yourself up in around 3 – 4 blankets. A strong blanket game is helpful when you’re ill. DOESN’T MATTER if it’s roasting hot outside. Just wear your beer hat with two ice cold cups of water in either side, and you’re golden. It’s the emotional merit of the blankets that’s crucial, man.
  3. Stick your sweaty head under a warm faucet. Try and have a shower. Please. Hot water is your friend.
  4. Think about a soothing musical genius. And listen to them. Quietly. Whatever relaxes you – stick it on. Rammstein. Mozart. Frou Frou. William Hung. Honestly whatever, just try and you should feel a bit more zen.
  5. Drink pop. This wisdom probably found root in a lie. When I was a kid, lying on my couch watching Tom & Jerry box-sets and wondering how much I could mince my cold to make my sick leave last about a fortnight, my nana used to tell me to drink loads of Fanta. Pop was her miracle cure for sickness. Now that I’m an adult, I don’t actually know if I believe her, but you’re supposed to take one or two things your grandma has taught you as gospel and this is the special rule I’ve chosen to carry with me through life (the other rule is, if you don’t want to receive letters anymore, tape up your letterbox with one strip of duct tape. That’ll teach ‘em).

Maybe these will help you to feel that, actually, sick days can be bearable – and you can calm down for a bit.

The world won’t implode if you have a day in bed. Your bosses and colleagues and friends all want you to get better, so if you drop off the radar for a cool 24 hours, it’s okay. Just calm down. Eat a Cadbury Creation. Drink pop. Pee into the wind.

I also think that moaning a LOT to your mother on the phone, significant other or strangers walking past your window helps, though you might be making them a little sick in the process.

Also, maybe invest in an ostrich head pillow. We must never forget the ostrich head pillow.



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