Sunday, February 6, 2011

Oh, the huge manatee.

Well, friends, this is the first time in several days that I've been upright for longer than 30 minutes without feeling the urge to lie down RIGHT NOW. I have been the lucky recipient of the Stomach Virus from Hell, which put me out of commission for about a week. A whole week.

Now, see here - I don't get sick, at least not for more than a couple days at a time, so this has been one of those head-scratching experiences. When the trouble started early last Sunday morning, I thought it was just a case of overeating the day before. We'd had friends over during the day, then went to a party that night, so I nibbled and noshed all day. I took a couple of ginger capsules and figured that would be the end of it. Yes, folks, ginger and peppermint are two natural remedies that really do work for minor indigestion, but when I spent all day Sunday lying on the sofa, I thought maybe there was more to it than eating too much. (There usually is when the ginger doesn't work.)

I stayed home from work Monday, again lying on the sofa all day. (I'm glad we have a big DVD collection, because the offerings on daytime teevee are poor at best.) Tuesday morning I went to see the doc, and here's the funny part. I couldn't see my regular doc because she was going home sick with the stomach crud. That should have been my first clue. So I got poked and prodded and they took a sample of this and that and sent me home with a couple of scrips in case it was a bacterial thing, blahblahblah.

I made it through the whole day on Wednesday and thought I was getting better, till Wednesday night when things got worse again. And here's another funny part - Mister was doing the prep thing for That Test Guys Over 50 Have To Take, so we were certainly a pitiful pair. Thursday morning I called my doc's office back, pleading that Something Has To Be Done NOW, please, for the love of all that's holy. They finally called me back at 5:30 that evening to let me know I didn't have any nasty bacteria, just a virus, so hey, you're stuck with it till it decides to leave. Lay off the antibiotics and get you some Imodium.

Gee, thanks, Doc.

Anyhow. Friday I tried to go to work. I lasted all of an hour and a half. I just could not stay upright without feeling like I was going to hurl. I had to get home and lie down, which I did for the rest of the day.

Are you keeping score here? By this time I've taken nearly 4 whole days off work for a stomach bug. I don't think I've ever taken that much time off work for one illness in the 20+ years I've been working. I just don't take sick time unless I absolutely have to, thanks to an overgrown sense of responsibility. When people are counting on me to be there, I hate to let them down. But here's the crux of the matter: sometimes you have to take care of yourself, otherwise you're of no use to anyone else.

I've always been one of those people who would push through being sick, and most of the time that works out all right. Lately, though, I've come to realize it's not always necessary to push through. Sometimes it's necessary to lie down on the sofa all day. Maybe if I'd stayed home on Wednesday instead of pushing through, I might have got better sooner instead of worse again, although I realize there's really no way to tell. I feel like I've learned to listen to my body better, but even so, I don't always pay attention like I should, because I feel like I should be Out There Getting Stuff Done. Rawr!

Stuff will wait, though. It's flightless. It's not going anywhere. I'm fortunate to have a job that lets me stay home when I'm sick, and I know there are people in my office who have my back if I need them. Mister will pick up some of my house chores for a day or two, and the laundry --- well, like I said, it's flightless.

We don't have to buy into the Get Everything Done NOW mentality that our Insta-World has thrust upon us. Is it any wonder we're getting sicker, fatter, more stressed out? Sure, there are things that have to get done on a regular basis - I know that - but the Universe won't collapse if a meeting gets canceled, or a project deadline has to be pushed back a day or two. We owe it to ourselves to take care of us, too. If we don't take care of us, nothing will get done at all, and then we'd really be up a creek.

So listen to your body. Is it telling you to slow down? Then slow down a little. Is it telling you to cancel that dinner date and get a nap instead? Do it. Is it telling you to go ahead and have ICE CREAM for supper? Yes, you can do that too.

Till next time - y'all be nice to yourselves.

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