So this past week I was sick. Like super sick. Like I was down for the count, this is what death must feel like, how am I ever going to get through this? sick. (Sidenote: I am also a giant wimp-baby so take my complaining with a grain of salt.)
When I am sick I am grumpy and impatient and I want nothing to do with anybody and just want this sickness to go away already and why is it not gone yet and I am going to cry and bah-humbug. Ask my boyfriend, I am a treat.
What made this worse is I just started a brand new job and the last thing I wanted to do was call in sick. So I sucked it up. And sucked it up again. And finally on day 3 I had to wave a white flag, surrender, and stay home. So much for a good first impression. (Just kidding. I love my new job, these people are the best and they seem to like me so WEEEEEEEEEEEE.)
I couldn’t breath through my nostrils and my attempt at sleep was restless and jittery and failing. I was cold, then hot, then cold. My head felt like it was on the brink of explosion and my ears had a nice, constant ring to them. My poor boyfriend was quarantined to the couch for three nights. It was the worst.
I have a few friends who like to remind me that I “get sick all the time” and to those friends I say 1. Really? I don’t think ALL THE TIME. I’m not a crazy hypochondriac or anything. I feel like I just get sick at inopportune times, like during vacations or holidays or on the first week at a new job. It’s not so much that it happens often, it is just memorable. And 2. Like, screw you for saying that! Do you think I like being sick? It’s bad enough I am not feeling well and have to change my schedule around because of it (which is something I HATE doing. I like my plans and don’t like when things don’t go according to them) that I don’t need a guilt trip piled on to my already shitty mood. I have been sick the last two Christmases and have a deep, deep rooted fear in catching something on the day of my wedding, so please don’t make me feel bad with your passive “that’s so Ali” bullshit. And 3. I don’t know why this happens. I wish I had a stronger immune system (suggestions welcom). I feel like I take care of myself. I bathe on the regular. I wash my hands. I work out and drink water. I drink Emergen-C when I get on airplanes. Shit like that. It hurts to know friends feel this way about me. I’d rather be known for something else. Like my flawlessly good looks. Or my on point intellect. Or that I like Ben Affleck.
I wish I was a millionaire with a doctor who could just shoot me up with something every time I have the sniffles. Alas, I am a poor person who gets shuffled around from one urgent care to the next because “the don’t accept my insurance” and “they don’t know where my insurance will be accepted” and my insurance company’s website is “under construction with their directory of nearby urgent cares” and my insurance company’s customer service line is “closed for the day.” It’s fun stuff. We have a great health care system here in America. THUMBS UP TO HEALTH CARE.
So yesterday, after all the saga that was my illness, I stayed home to kill this mother effer once and for all.
I had my traditional three glasses of liquid by my bed, (water, juice, and medicine), opened my laptop to play some lifetime nonsense, and snoozed until my heart’s content.
Around 5pm I woke up.
And I felt better.
It’s super easy to focus on the horribleness that is being sick. But if there ever was a silver lining to it, it’s that moment that you don’t feel sick anymore.
And what a wonderful moment it is.
I can’t quite describe the feeling of not feeling sick anymore. If anything, it’s just that you are feeling like your normal self again. But in that brief moment, feeling better is so much more than that. And it should be celebrated.
And that’s what I want to write about today.
When you wake up better after a few days of illness, you feel like a god. EMBRACE THAT MOMENT. Every movement you make is a victory lap, from taking the warmest of showers to proudly stripping you bed of old bed sheets. Walking to the dumpster with bags of old Kleenexes is so wonderfully cleansing, putting on clean clothes is like a giant exhale. It’s awe-inspiring to discover that you could feel this good, like clearing your nose or popping you ear. Ah, sweet, sweet ear pop. It’s important to bottle that feeling, and to refer to it as a way to appreciate your body for feeling normal on a daily basis. It’s very zen to remember that feel better moment at times when you’re annoyed with your body, be it because of how it looks or how it occasionally has restrictions. After all, it’s quite remarkable how much work you body does to feel normal. There mere fact that your body can fight off a virus and come back should be treasured. Be grateful for being well. You are a god, after all.
After my shower, I slowly brushed my hair and drank some delicious tea that I could finally taste. I breathed a little slower and fuller, happy to taste the sweet, sweet spankity goodness of clean air. I cracked my neck, stretched my arms, and lotioned my dry skin with the good lotion that I save for times on the mend.
I felt at peace with the world. It was as if I just survived a crazy, exhausting battle when all I really did was slept a ton. I felt like the sun was brighter, music was soothy-er, and water was more delicious than ever.
And when my boyfriend came home, we celebrated with a big bowl of ice cream complete with hot fudge and sprinkles.
It is good to feel alive. It is good to feel better.
Remember that the next time you have a fucking cold.
- One L
“Medicine head? Should have taken Sudafed.”