I was plagued by influenza for the past eight days.
And wow, did that suck.
I’m still not fully recovered. My body is achy, this cough continues to linger and even going back to work today is taking it’s toll, but I’m nowhere near as bad as I was the past week and a half, and for that, I am ridiculously thankful. I can’t remember the last time I was that sick. I’ve definitely never been sick in that kind of way before; to the point where your body is literally so weak, you can’t actually function. You can’t move, you barely have the energy to eat, let alone do things like shower or walk from room to room. Your entire body aches and becomes sore. I felt like I was coughing up a lung every time I coughed and, towards the end, struggled enough to need an inhaler, just to help after a really bad coughing spell.
Oh, I was also on my period and couldn’t stop focusing on the consequences of being practically bedridden for past two weeks.
Trust me, you don’t need anxiety and stress on top of not feeling well, but I had it in droves, particularly about missing work. Though I had a doctor’s note and I very obviously should not be in public with anyone, lest I infect them, too, and spread this unhappiness around, I kept worrying–like I do–that I was going to lose my job for something completely out of my control. Which obviously wasn’t going to happen, yet that stress was there, too. Not to mention I fell behind on everything: writing, reading, blogging. And I missed all the fun things, like two DnD sessions and a family gathering I’d been looking forward to all week.
Saying that the last week and a half sucked feels like an understatement and I’m not even 100% healthy, yet. Yet it also was a needed reminder, even if I wouldn’t have minded getting the reminder in a different manner.
In a blink of an eye, my life was swept out from under me and suddenly I was ill as ill can be. The entire To-Do List I made for the week? Unaccomplished. Goals I’d set? Forget about them. I missed meetings and work, phone dates and time with family, hanging out with friends and even just going outside. All of these things are things I enjoy doing…most of the time.
Lately, I’ve found myself complaining a little more than usual. Not wanting to go to work, just out of laziness. Not wanting to work towards my two main goals–working out and writing–out of laziness and fear, respectively. So sometimes I’d be lazy or sometimes I’d complain, wishing I could do something else or wishing that I didn’t have to work for the things I wanted.
And then, with this flu, all choice was taken away. I had to lay there, in agony, and do nothing. It didn’t matter what I wanted.
Of course, it’s a really intense flu season right now and cases are being taken a bit more seriously thanks to the severity and the magnitude of the outbreak. When my chest started hurting, I’m sure it’s no surprise to you, with the anxiety like mine, that I feared hospitalization or perhaps even death (because my mind always goes to the worse case scenario) and all I could think about was everything I haven’t accomplished yet and how much I still want to do; how much I missed living. I kept thinking how lucky I have it, to have a job that provides for me, that I enjoy and can count on. I have dreams that I know how to chase and I’m taking the steps to do so, even if that’s hard to do, sometimes. Sure, sometimes I’d love to just spend the day at home playing PS4 all day, instead of working. Sure, I have complaints and bad days.
But damn, compared to suffering from whatever strand of the flu I had, I have the best life in the world.
Going forward, I’m hoping to remember that. Of course, there are still going to be days where I complain or days where I’m not feeling it. There are going to be days where laziness and fear and apathy and doubt win out over passion and creativity and hope and motivation. There will still be days when I take things for granted. But I’d like to lessen how often that happens by choosing to work, choosing to be grateful, choosing to remember how quickly everything can change and suddenly, choice is the last option available to me.
Stay healthy, friends.
PS: Also, a quick shout out is in order, both generally and then specifically. When you get that sick, you also get really lucky to know how much people care about you. To my family and my friends who reached out to me and wished me well, including my parents, people from work, my Grandma, my writing group and then still others, I can’t tell you how much that was appreciated and how much that made me feel loved. So thank you.
But I also got to thank my boyfriend, who I don’t think likes public adoration very much, but he doesn’t read my blog, so he won’t get embarrassed by me gushing on him for a bit. 😉 I’ve never had a boyfriend when I’ve been sick before and I never realized how amazing it can be to have someone take care of you when you can barely move; someone who does your laundry and runs to the store and buys everything on your list (and then some); someone who checks in on you and adds another blanket when you get cold and makes you eggs a billion times in one week, because you’re craving it and can keep it down; who doesn’t complain when you keep them up all night coughing, who takes off work to take you to the doctor when you’re too weak to drive, who stays up late playing Borderlands with you after you slept all day and can’t sleep any longer.
Babe, you’re amazing and I don’t deserve you, and I will never be able to thank you enough. You’re positively wonderful.