You need a system for documenting what
medication you’re taking and when you’re taking it.
 Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN


Are you feeling under the weather lately? No matter how busy life gets, it’s crucial to know what steps you need to take good care of yourself.


In this week’s episode, you’ll learn about:

  • Three tips to manage your illness at home, whether it’s COVID-19 or not.


Part One of ‘Three Tips For Managing Being Sick At Home’

Tip #1: Write Things Down:
The first tip is that you need to have some system for documenting what medication you are taking and when you’re taking it. If you are taking multiple medications, you need to keep track of the date and time you have a bowel movement (particularly if you’re on pain medication, because that can make you constipated).


Have a plan BEFORE you get sick.
– Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN


If you’re an older adult (or maybe even not so old), remember that having bowel movements is pretty essential for your brain and your ability to think. But usually, when you’re sick, you don’t remember what you did, and you tend to forget the last time you took pain medication. If you haven’t had a bowel movement in three days, you need to let your healthcare provider know about it.


Part Two of ‘Three Tips For Managing Being Sick At Home’

Tip #2: Things to know about taking your temperature:
The second thing I want to talk to you about is taking your temperature. You may be saying to yourself, “We all know how to take our temperature.” And that’s probably true. But you do need to know where your thermometer is. Before you use it, you need to be sure that you use alcohol with cotton pads. Make sure it’s clean before using it.


If you’re eating or drinking, you want to wait about
15 minutes before you take your oral temperature.
– Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN


Take your temperature before you eat or drink or wait at least 15 minutes before taking your temperature by mouth if you do. If you forget, or don’t have time to wait, you can do an axillary (arm pit) temperature.  Write down if you take your temperature by mouth or axillary, because there are slight differences (like a half degree to a full degree) between an oral temperature and your axillary temperature. Your provider may need this information later.


Tip #3: Efficient Bed Making:
The third tip is how to prepare your bed so you can rest well. When you have a high fever, and you’re taking care of yourself with no one around you, you don’t have a lot of energy to spend. Simply fold your blanket halfway, so it’s easy to pull it back up (demonstration in video version of podcast at 7:25 min mark).This energy saver is totally worth it and a simple little trick to do when you aren’t feeling well – or anytime!

Keeping track of what’s going on is a critical step
for getting better quicker?
Download this free Medication Tracking Sheet!





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About Melissa:

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN. I am a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse researcher with over 25 years of experience in the aging and long-term care healthcare space. You can visit my website at to learn more about me, how you can work with me directly,
and/or support future episodes of the podcast. Within the first 18 months of launching this podcast, we reached a ranking of top 10% globally. I have all of you who’ve been with me on this journey so far to thank for that!

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Find out more about her work HERE.