For Those Who Live Alone--Dealing With Norovirus

I am not sick.

But, when my Parents were alive, I once contracted Norovirus.
Terrible.

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For those of you who live alone, and also had Norovirus, do you have tips on how to cope?**

Please note–I have no close friends to turn to, and no family for hundreds of miles.

I would talk to the Doctor. Maybe a hospital stay is warranted if you’re not able to cope. I mean, if you can’t care for yourself. It would seem to be a wise decision.

A good first post.
Any more ideas.

You could get a reference from your doctor for an agency that provides home health care aides, see if the hourly rates would be in reach for someone to come in for a few hours a day. That would of course be if you needed some help but weren’t completely incapacitated.

I’m currently only living alone about half the time, but it’s something I’ve handled alone before on more than one occasion. On average it only lasts 1-3 days and people usually get through it without any treatment needed. It makes for an awful few days of feeling miserable in bed, probably with a bucket or trash bin within reach, trying to keep as hydrated as possible while it passes, but unless you have extenuating circumstances it’s probably not serious enough to worry too much about if you aren’t actually sick. You could certainly keep a phone within reach in case you did need to get help, for instance if you couldn’t keep water down for long enough that it became dangerous.

don’t eat. go to the drugstore and get one or more bottles of pedialyte. sip it throughout the day. and don’t go to work.

I saw several hikers self quarantine in their tent on my AT thru hike, others made it into town and took up a room at the Super 8 in Erwin TN. Either way it seemed horrible and I’m glad I was spared that.

A norovirus infection is only one circumstance that would be a problem for those of us who live alone. When I had my wisdom teeth extracted under general anesthesia, I needed to be taken home by someone else. (Fortunately, my parents were visiting at the time.) And now my physician wants me to schedule a colonoscopy, which is, I believe, another procedure for which you need someone to take you home (and ideally keep an eye on you).

I went to the doctors Monday. I had a high temp, I was in pain from a UTI. When they checked my blood pressure was high. I am insulin dependant type 1 diabetic. So, of course they freaked. I got Tylenol and pain shot and an antibiotic shot. They checked and rechecked my sugar. My pee was pretty nasty. They decided I had a full out kidney infection. Man, was I sick. Until the pain meds kicked in, my sugar stabilised. My blood pressure and fever went down. They wouldn’t let me leave. My husband had to come get me. I don’t know what they would’ve done if I was all alone.

I’ve done norovirus (or something similar - three days of not keeping much down) living alone.

Put a bucket next to the bed. Put a case of Sprite next to the bed. Put your phone next to the bed to call 911 if needed. Drink Sprite, Throw Up, Go to bathroom, Dump bucket in toilet, rinse, dump again. Sleep…repeat for about three days (fortunately, after the first six hours, you aren’t throwing up anything but Sprite). After two days you might be able to move to the couch and watch TV, but take your bucket. If you can’t make it to the bathroom to dump the bucket, its time to call 911.

The result of doing this living alone is that I always have a case of Sprite tucked away - you don’t want to have to go to the store for it. Pedialyte is a better idea, even Gatorade would be better than Sprite (but not red gatorade, its really gross coming up) - but I was 23 year old and not wise enough to know that.

I live alone and I’ve gotten norovirus every year for the past 3 years. My parents live nearby but due to the contagious nature of the diesease, there’s an unwritten rule that nobody will come help me.

Dangerosa is spot on that you need to have Gatorade around the house at all times. I keep a container of powdered Gatorade around but these last 2 times I’ve managed to have the liquid stuff in my fridge. Gatorade will be your saving grace with norovirus.

Soda crackers are of course good to have for the aftermath but they are harder to keep in long term storage. I had a huge box of crackers in my pantry for the 2016 Event but they were stale as fuck and useless. I usually end up eating dry toast as I recover.

You have to suffer the indignity of cleaning up after yourself as soon as you’re able. Have Clorox wipes on hand to wipe down your bathroom and kitchen. Wipe off all your light switches and doorknobs and the fridge handle and cabinets. And the phone and TV remotes if you used them. Clean your toothbrush in boiling water or toss it and use a new one. Wipe down your glasses with alcohol even.

You have to clean all your bedding and pajamas, and underwear, in hot water. Add liquid Lysol to the wash, which you should also have on hand.

Norovirus is the pits when you live alone but know that it doesn’t last that long and as long as you have Gatorade you will survive. You will truly be in trouble if you don’t hydrate. Be sure to rest and don’t push yourself, and don’t expect to get back to eating right away even if you have stopped expelling your insides.

Also remember no matter how bad it sucks to not have anyone there to help you, consider yourself lucky that you don’t have to take care of anyone else while you’re sick, or clean up anyone else’s sick mess. I honestly don’t know how parents do it!

I don’t live alone, but this thread got me thinking about if/when I ever do. We have Amazon Prime Now in our area and they’ll deliver Gatorade within a few hours. Just in case that might be an option for someone.

One experience doing this by myself with no Gatorade available convinced me to always keep some on hand just in case. The acute phase lasted only 36 hours. A miserable 36 hours, but survivable. But not having the Gatorade on hand did make it take longer to rebound fully and looking back, I maybe should have gone to urgent care–my heart rate didn’t drop below 120 for over three days due to dehydration, which was uncomfortable. But then I felt well enough to drive to get some Gatorade and recovered quickly after that.

Do you have any coworkers who might be willing to help out in a pinch?

You may have have to hire somebody.
Where I live, there are companies that provide home-nursing aides. They usually work with elderly people, making daily visits to the home. But you can also pay for a single visit, or one-day service, say, to drive you home and stay with you for a couple hours.
Also, at hospitals, there are often nurses (often retirees) who you can hire informally to “babysit” you, just like parents hire a local teenager to watch their kids… At the nearest hospital, just go into one of the wards and ask at the nurse’s station if they know somebody who wants to make a few extra bucks for accompanying a colonoscopy patient home.They may give you the phone number of a co-worker.

When you live alone, you’ve got to keep a barf box in the pantry. The barf box has a week’s worth of necessities that you are not allowed to use up at any time other than when you are disabled from illness.

It should have Gatorade powder, Campbell’s chicken soup, tea, saltine crackers, aspirin/acetaminophen, and a bag of white rice. As somebody said above, check the expiry date when you change the clocks. If you have long hair, maybe add a soft scrunchie or two, because there’s never one around when you really need it.

I’m really not sure what it is you would want someone else to do for you when you have norovirus. I want everybody to stay the heck away from me.

The hardest part for me has always been what happens to the house while I am sick. It’s amazing the damage one can do just making soup and tea, and watching daytime TV. It often takes me weeks to get the place company-safe again.

Yep - keep hydrated and try to balance your electrolytes - keep trying to drink clear fluids, because you will be throwing up - and dry heaving is horrible (although arguably a little safer than vomiting liquid, but you have to drink).

And yes - a bucket - because also, there may be times when you are exploding at both ends simultanesouly - point the head end at the bucket; sit the other end on the toilet.

Where I live there are doctor affiliated car services where you make a reservation for the drop off and the office staff will call them when you’re for pick up. I don’t see how that’s any safer than an Uber but that’s the only way I’ve been able to get to and from my many, many dental surgeries. As far as colonoscopies, I can see why they wouldn’t want one to drive themselves home but it’s not as if you need someone to care for you. These days they’re really no big deal.

I do not live alone, but unlike many people when I’m sick I wish I did live alone. My gf likes to be cared for and pampered when she is ill, so I do that for her. I, on the other hand, would rather suffer alone. She has a hard time understanding this.

In the early throes of Norovirus, you can’t leave the house. You can barely get from bed to the bathroom.

I’ve lived alone for 20+ years. I have to have someone pick me up after a colonoscopy, but not stay with me. I agree with keeping the powdered Gatorade around. I also live in the middle of town on purpose so I’m not stranded out in the country alone and sick. I pay more, but I like living like this. I can’t really think of anything anyone could do for me when I’m sick. Maybe change the sheets while I take a shower, but that’s just luxury.