No one likes being sick, but it is something that happens to everybody eventually. However, as professional drivers, being at home when you are ill is not often an option. Moreover, if you fall sick while on the road, you need to know what to do to manage your condition and possibly get even better.
There is no doubt that being sick on the road sucks big time. However, seeing as it can happen to anyone, anticipating it is often the best approach. The following tips, therefore, should help you weather the illness until you can either get help or get better by yourself.
Always Have a First Aid Kit
You know how you carry your safety and emergency kits in the cab when you are on the road? Well, you need to do that with your first aid kit. Speak to your doctor at home and get the necessary prescriptions for all the meds that you would be packing in your first aid kit.
Your first aid kit can often bet the difference between being in excruciating pain and discomfort throughout your journey and having some relief until you get proper medical attention –if necessary.
Have Some Salt, Honey Or Sugar in the Cab
You will not know how important this is until you have a case of diarrhea. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are about what you eat, this is a real possibility when you are on the road. So, make sure that you have that in your cab. It will help you stay hydrated and provide some relief from the diarrhea.
Mix one teaspoon of salt with four teaspoons of sugar or honey in a 50cl bottle of water to make an ORT and drink intermittently. This is how you stay hydrated. We recommend taking nothing else while you are drinking this. However, if you do get hungry, take <em>only </em>bread and/or bananas. Nothing more. On the other hand, you can get some rehydration tabs that you can take on the road.
Adopt the BRAT Diet
The BRAT diet is made up of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. You can alternate between each of them or combine two or more of them. It is your choice. This is effective if you have a stomach bug while on the road. Avoid eating anything else as this will exacerbate your stomach condition.
You might want to stay on that diet for a few more days after the stomach bug has cleared. For some reason, switching from this diet and eating anything else – dairy foods in particular – will cause a recurrence.
Avoid Antibiotics or Strong Pain Relief Meds
While we will not stop you from taking mild antibiotics, we would strongly recommend that you avoid strong antibiotics and pain relief meds. If you are experiencing severe muscle or joint pain, try using analgesic creams as against heavy pain relief meds.
These meds tend to compromise your motor skills – this is why the manufacturers advice against operating heavy machinery while taking them – which makes you a danger to other road users. However, if you must take antibiotics, speak to a health expert and see if they can prescribe something that will provide some relief without affecting your driving.
Contact Your Health Insurance Company
This is one of the reasons why you need to do your research properly before getting health insurance. As a trucker, your health insurance should cover treatments while you are on the road – seeing as you may not spend much time at home.
So, contact your medical insurance provider for approved doctors that you can see in your location. This is important if there’s no improvement in your condition after trying all the aforementioned tips and you cannot wait until you get back home.
Oscar King is a health blogger with a particular focus on the trucking industry and the unique problems facing long-haulers. For those truckers concerned about their health, he highly recommends Driver Physicals to find a local DOT certified doctor for a physical evaluation. You can learn more about Oscar on Google+.