Well. I’ll fess up. I’m sick. Blah. Of course, right now, I’m on some miracle drug that Carolyn finally made me take. This evening as she cooked dinner, I lay on the couch shivering under a blanket. She said, “You tired of being a martyr? Take this.” and offered me a little red pill – Food Lion’s version of Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Snot Stoppers.
I hate being sick. I rarely get sick. But when it hits, it hits hard and fast.
Here are the stages of my usual sickness:
- Something happens. Usually, with me it’s upper respiratory. My nose starts running, or my contacts start getting scratchy. Last night, I had blown my nose and seen the equivalent of a gerbil come out. It was followed by a bloody nose. Yeah, gross. But of course, I had to show it like a trophy to the women in the house. “Look at this!” I gleefully said. It was truly amazing. I still felt relatively good.
- The denial phase. My body tries to clue me in to slow down. I refuse to listen. Today, I woke up and got ready for the day, knowing that I had tossed and turned all night. My throat was rawly sore, but I convinced myself that coffee would burn out the soreness. After the womenfolk left for school, I read some and journaled, but I couldn’t get my mind into it. I was dragging. I lay down on the couch and before I realized it, it was 11:00 a.m. I woke up drenched with sweat.
The denial phase, part 2. I kept telling myself – “Self, you’re not sick. You just slept poorly and needed to catch up. You’re sweating because it’s hot in the house.” So I bounced up and went to lunch with a ministry friend. (He’ll thank me later for being the male version of Typhoid Mary).
After lunch, I went to Barnes & Noble to read and return emails, refusing to acknowledge that I was still sweating. Then… (here’s where I get really clever), I thought, “As long as I’m sweating, I’ll go run.” I figured I’d convince my body I was fine through exercise. After running, I returned home.
- Assume that denial has worked and carry on as usual. (The stupid phase). When I got home, I dove into a flurry of house cleaning – vacuuming, emptying trash, straightening, etc. Sam is coming home tonight for spring break, and Carolyn was still at work, so I thought I’d help. I was sweating more than Donald Trump at the last Republican Debate, but as long as I was being productive, I thought, my body would forget it’s trying to be sick.
- Give up and assume the fetal position. After I took my shower, I had to wave the white flag. I was still blowing interesting things out of my nose. I was tiiiiiirred. I had hit a wall. I crawled onto the couch and just… succumbed. That’s where Carolyn found me when she came home. That’s when she made me take a magic pill. While I lay shivering under a blanket (again), she whipped up an incredible dinner of pork chops, green beans and sweet potato wedges. The pill took effect in just enough time to be able to enjoy dinner and then to blog (which is what sick nerds always do).