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15 Shows Worthy of Sick Day Binge-Watching

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t really fun being stuck sick at home–especially if it happens frequently. Here are fifteen of my favorite shows that help me get through sick days.


Psych is the best. A mixture of clever crime solving and ridiculous antics, it just about broke my heart when they took Psych off Netflix. No it did break my heart.



Granted this might not be a great one if you’re feeling squeamish, but there’s nothing like Bones to make a day fly by. In fact, Bones got me through my gallbladder surgery recovery this summer.




I’m not sure if Leverage is on Netflix anymore but if it is, it is definitely worth spending a sick day or five on. It combines the smoothness of White Collar with the ridiculousness of Psych.


Everybody Loves Raymond

An oldy but a goody– Everybody Loves Raymond got me through my sinus surgery recovery.


Parks and Recreation

IMG_0036I was first introduced to Parks and Rec just over a year ago and since then I have watched it and rewatched it and rewatched it again. My sisters and I basically communicate via P&R quotes now. It’s so funny it might just heal you.



The Office

Also heartwarming and hilarious, The Office is a fool-proof choice. Though some of the episodes are just too hard to watch because Michael is so embarrassing.IMG_0033.GIF


The Good Place

The Good Place is a new favorite; it’s goofy, ridiculous and hilarious just for the sake of it–so basically it’s the best. As of about a month ago when we discovered it, The Good Place has become the official Friday-night-infusion show.


White CollarIMG_0032

Clever crime solving + humour + Neal Caffrey’s face = you can’t lose with this one. I
watched White Collar when I was at my sickest with gastroparesis.


Hawaii Five-0

I started watching this show because of the pretty views of Hawaii, but I soon got sucked into it hardcore. It has made me second-guess my desire to visit Hawaii though–there’s an awful lot of crime. Especially terrorist plots it would seem.


Studio C

Studio C is a sketch comedy show on BYU TV. If you have a pretty goofy funny-bone then you’ll get a lot of good laughs from Studio C.


Downton Abbey

If you love zombie apocalypse shows, then Downton Abbey is for you. But really I got into Downton recently because I’m taking WWI Lit and Downton is one of the few shows/movies that covers the WWI time period. It’s super interesting historically–like looking at animals in a zoo. Plus Cousin Violet aka Mcgoncall is hilarious and profound at the same time.IMG_0031.GIF


Gilmore Girls

I have to admit Gilmore Girls is a hard one for me. I was watching it when I first got sick with gastroparesis and so it is tied to some rather unpleasant memories. Still, it is undeniably awesome, funny and there’s like a gillion seasons (plus the reboot show).



I once thought that there could be no better casting for Sherlock Holmes than RDJ, but IMG_0030.GIFthen Benedict Cumerbatch came along and changed my mind. Sherlock is cerebral, intense and funny (sometimes). Unfortunately it’s produced at a rate of about three episodes every three years–but don’t worry it is a British show so each episode is like a mini movie.


The Great British Baking Show

Ok don’t laugh. I am not British, nor do I particularly like to bake, but I love this show. British baking traditions are so different than American ones, it’s super interesting. Plus it’s a nice change from American baking/cooking contest where everyone is so brutal–The British Baking Show is competitive, but not contentious. Also for some unknown reason this was my niece Aiva’s favorite show when she was 3-5 months old. So funny.


Once Upon a Time

Ok so good old Once has gotten weird lately. I stopped watching a couple seasons ago. BUT the first few seasons were really good and still worth a sick day watch. The clever twist on classic fairy tales is fun and makes you a little nostalgic.


How to Help a Loved One with Whooping Cough (As Told by a Two-Year-Old)

I’ve been coughing for about six weeks now and in that time my two year old niece (who I live with) has developed a fool-proof treatment plan for Aunty’s whooping cough.

Treatment 1: Back PatsIMG_0027

The first and most important part of treating a loved one’s whooping cough is to always be on hand to pat them on the back while they cough. This means constant vigilance–you must always be listening and prepared to run as fast as you can to them whenever you hear coughing. Additionally, you must tailor the intensity of your back pats to the intensity of their coughing– if they are only coughing a little than a gentle, slow pat will do, but if they are coughing very hard you will need to hit their back much faster and really throw your weight into each one. Finally, if they are somewhere you cannot reach them, say in the bathroom, and you hear them coughing it is perfectly suitable to freak out and expect something horrible will happen because you are unable to pat their back as they cough.

Treatment 2: Keep Vomit Bags on Hand

As I have said before, hospital vomit bags have been super handy for catching whatever comes up during a coughing fit. Your role as a loved one then, is to always make sure their bag is right by them. If they leave it in their room and are watching tv in the living room, you must go and get it for them. If they leave it on the floor and they are on the couch, you must hand it to them. It is also important to note that in order to make them feel less gross about carrying around a vomit bag, you should probably come up with another name for it such as “yucky baba.”


A yucky baba


Treatment 3: Bear Hugs

IMG_0026This past Thursday I had the worst coughing fit I’ve had yet. I guess good old pertussis wanted to prove it still had some power of misery over me. To make it worse, the whole choking, gasping, vomiting repeatedly thing happened right in front of my niece. She was super worried about me and didn’t understand why her mom kept taking her out of the room. As I sat on the floor catching my breath afterwards she escaped from her mom and came barreling into my room to give me a high-velocity bear hug. And let me tell you, being love-tackled by thirty compact pounds of adorable did make me feel rather better.

Treatment 4: Share your Toys

Later that same day I was sitting on my bed watching Downton Abbey–still recovering from that horrible fit– when my niece broke into my room again. She walked up to my bed matter-of-factly holding her little wooden camel in one hand and her little wooden rooster… between her teeth. She placed first the camel, then the slobbery rooster into my hand and climbed up to sit on the bed with me. So you see the key here is 1) share your toys, 2) the more slobbery they are the more love bestowed, and 3) just be there for them.


Well there you have it, four ways you can take care of a loved one with whooping cough!ms-F7fOC7

It’ll Pass

One of my favorite book series is Anne of Green Gables. In one of the later books after Anne is married she befriends the old sailor Captain Jim that runs the local lighthouse. Captain Jim is a lovably simple fella, but sometimes he says things deeply profound. One of those quotes, which I am sure I will butcher, has stuck with me and always comes to mind on particularly rough days. He said something along the lines of “Even on those days when I’m hurtin real bad I feel sorta cheerful cus I know sooner or later it’ll pass.”

Sooner or later it’ll pass.

Captain Jim would know–he weathered plenty of storms in his time as a sailor.

So far in my life I’ve always found this to be true. All the pain I’ve felt–migraines, broken bones, surgeries, sprains, strains, infections, gallbladder attacks, unbearable cramps, gastroparesis, depression–no matter what the pain or the cause of it, always it has passed.

Sometimes in the moment of extreme pain you can’t imagine it ever will. It seems it will last forever–that there never has been and never will be anything except this all-encompassing pain. Hundreds of times I’ve felt like I couldn’t make it til it passed, I couldn’t handle one more second of pain. Somehow I always did. Always do. And then eventually it always eases. Always passes.

I’ve been thinking about that with this cough. I’ve already been sick for more than a month. It seems so long and yet it could last for much longer still.

At the absolute worst point–when the coughing fits came about 40-50 times a day and each one left me gasping, choking, crying and each cough was agony to my ribs–I felt then I couldn’t handle it. Each time I felt like I couldn’t take even one more coughing fit. I wondered how I was supposed to keep going with my classes–or at all really. Each of the jabillion times I woke up in the night to cough and choke and choke and cough one thought kept going through my mind. This Sucks.

But each time I handled just one more coughing fit. One more day. One more night.

And then this past week something awesome happened. All the sudden it started to ease. Coughing fits were less intense. I stopped needing my handy vomit bags so much. I felt like eating more (something about regularly coughing up part of whatever you last ate makes it not very appealing…). Then coughing fits came less frequently. Somehow by the middle of the week I could go an hour, or two even without a single fit! Suddenly I could go to all of my classes and it was hard, but doable. Without even realizing it at first I had made it through the worst and it started to ease.

Believe it or not, it looks like even whooping cough passes. And it might even do so before the hundred day mark!

So head up, feet forward and be a little cheerful, cus sooner or later it’ll pass.

A Baby Disease Busted My Rib

Ok so remember how I said I had a bad case of bronchitis and then disappeared a couple weeks ago? Well it turns out I did not have bronchitis. I do almost definitely have whooping cough.

Technically the swab results from my seven hour stop off at the ER this past Wednesday


A rare action shot of an ER patient hoping that the footsteps she hears is someone coming to tell her something useful. Also yes I’m doing hw. French.

haven’t come back yet, but my symptoms are dead on AND there has been a verified case of whooping cough at my school. Add to that my incompetent immune system that doesn’t gain immunity from vacccines annndddd. Boom. You’ve got a twenty-two-year-old with a full-blown case of whooping cough.

From the very first week of school there’s been a bad “cold” going around. I’m thinking that really, most people have had a watered-down case of whooping cough. But luckily for me, other zebras and new-borns, you don’t need to have a full case of whooping cough to give the full-blown thing to someone else.

So what does a full-blown case of whooping cough look like in an adult?

Well first you get a “cold.” It’s really not even that bad of a cold. Then after about a week you start getting a nagging cough. That gets worse for a couple weeks until you find yourself having anywhere from 15-50 coughing fits a day that are so intense you throw up and gasp for air as seemingly infinite amounts of sticky mucus obscure your airways. (In my case the very worst of the attacks only lasted for a little over a week.) Then things get just a little better. Your coughing fits are less frequent. You aren’t choking, gasping and throwing up quite so much when you cough. You stop feeling like you’re going to black out with each coughing fit. That’s where I’m at now. Apparently this bit can last anywhere from 2-10 weeks.

Oh yeah and I forgot to mention–you might cough so hard that you break, bruise or dislocate a rib or so. It freakin hurts, but don’t worry there’s not much they can do about it.

That’s maybe the worst thing about whooping cough–there’s almost nothing that can be done. If caught early enough a course of antibiotics can lessen the severity of the case, but otherwise you basically just have to ride it out.

In China whooping cough is known as the 100 days cough, because it often lasts for three months or longer. So I pulled out my calendar and counted 100 days from the day I got sick. According to Chinese tradition I should be better by December 19th, give or take a few days. I have no idea why I thought that would help. I guess I can start a count down or something. At this point I’m at least a month in so… only 70 more days to go!

This is definitely not how I wanted to start off the semester. Or finish it… But it is what it is. It’s not going to make for the smoothest semester, that’s for sure, but I’ll do my best. And that includes making a sincere effort not to vomit or pass out in class 😉


We swiped a bunch of the ER vomit bags so we could feel like our trip hadn’t been a total waste. I carry one around everywhere to catch whatever comes up during a coughing fit.


Doing the nebulizer. This thing is almost as old as I am and it’s still kickin! We call it the Darth Vader machine.