Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It's Tough Being Sick

Here I sit in bed on my second sick day while the rest of the world is out getting some sun and air after being iced in for a week. My big accomplishment for Monday was finding the prescription I'd lost so I could cure whatever is ailing me. My big accomplishment for yesterday was getting the prescription filled and deciding to start taking the medicine.
When I get sick I have spend a lot of mental energy figuring out just how sick I am and how to divide my time between resting (healing) and doing something useful. I still feel sorry for myself when I have to do stuff for the kids, like picking them up from daycare--or worse, taking them to the doctor--when I'm sick, myself. I could feel grateful that I haven't been struck down so bad that I can't do stuff for the kids, but usually I go for the self-pity instead.
First I have to figure out how sick I am. I used to try to delegate this to someone else. I'd go around looking miserable, waiting for someone, preferably my boss, to say, "You look terrible. You should go right home and get in bed." Or I'd lie in bed and moan and groan, waiting for my husband to bend over me with a look of concern and say, "Are you okay? Do you need me to take care of the kids this morning and bring you some hot tea?"
This didn't usually work. At least not with my husband, whose usual response goes along the lines of, "Geez, what's wrong with you now?" in a digusted tone. Now I lie in bed and think and journal and listen to my body. I'll ask myself questions, wondering if I can get by with OTCs or if I need a prescription.
Then I'll get up and dressed and put on some make up so I don't look so much like the plague when I go out in search of medicine. If I'm sick enough, I'll end up spending more than half the day in the doctor's office and then at the pharmacy, so I only have an hour or two to rest before the evening drill begins.
On those bronchitis/sinus infection/strep days, when I'm out and about getting diagnosed and filling prescriptions, I wonder why I have to put out so much energy before I can tuck myself in bed with a good book. Whatever happened to the good old days, when, if you were sick enough to call the doctor, all you had to do was change the sheets and put on a nice nightgown and have him (or her) come to you, call in your prescription so it could be delivered by the same teenagers who deliver pizza?
And heaven help the mom who has the nerve to get sick! Do you think the kids are going to look concerned and say, "Mom's sick. Let's be quiet. Let's wash the dishes." Of course not! They're going to run around like maniacs because you're too tired to maintain any order, and then announce that they're hungry and ask when dinner is.
I haven't found it too helpful to waste a lot of time feeling sorry for myself when I'm under the weather, though. I figure if I'm sick then I can spend as much time as I can getting well, do what absolutely must get done, and leave the rest till I'm better. It's difficult. Some kind souls will be concerned about me, but the rest will just wonder why my work isn't getting done faster. It doesn't matter. I'm doing anyone any good running myself into the ground, so I might as well take as much time as I can for healing.

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