It’s cold and flu season, which means all of Influenza’s horrible distant relatives will soon show up en masse: Chills, Fever, Sneezes, Sniffles (and yes, I’m aware they sound like cheesy eighties nicknames). Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who hasn’t yet fallen victim to the misery, living with a sick person can be just as draining. Here are a few ways to know if you’re cohabiting with one, despite their many attempts to tell you through a completely snot-filled nose “I’m dyingggg.”
1. Tissue Mountains: On the floor and bedside table, in the garbage can, and in a trail down the hallway like the viral breadcrumbs of a very ill Hanzel or Gretel.
2. Drugs Everywhere: You can’t turn the corner without finding a rogue bottle of NyQuil, nose spray, Mucinex or Vicks VapoRub.
3. Strange Noises: No, that high-pitched squeaking noise is not a tea kettle. It’s the sound of your significant other attempting to breathe out of his or her nose. And that dog barking? That’s mucus coming up.
4. Sink Avalanche: Don’t expect them to be able to eat soup from a bowl, drink tea from a mug and cough phlegm up into a plastic cup AND wash it. Warning: This will be a disgusting sight.
5. No More TP: Every time you restock the toilet paper, it’s gone again because Sicky McGee has used it all to blow his/her nose.
6. Misery Weeps: You can’t even hear the answers to “Jeopardy” through all the woe-is-me moans and cries coming from the bedroom.
7. Demands: Suddenly your name is “SOUP, I NEED SOUPPP.”
8. Sticky Residue: There’s Emergen-C residue in all of your cups even after you’ve washed them, orange cough syrup rings on your dresser and something unknown on the bathroom counter.
9. You’ve Memorized The “Law & Order” Theme Song: They’re bedridden, which means they have L&O on a loop all day long, even during their naps. The theme song has seeped into a dark place in your subconscious.
10. Darth Vader Invasion: Heavy mouth breathing is the only thing you hear when everything else in the world is silent.
11. A Stale Smell: You’re not entirely sure if it’s bad breath, body odor or various bodily fluids, but your bedroom smells like your grandparent’s house.