I pride myself on not getting ill that much. Both of us do; and with me working in a university and Phil working in a hospital, we frequently come in contact with bug carrying customers and colleagues. Yet still, whilst others around us snivel and cough, we mostly seem to get away with it......that is until now.
Phil succumbed first just before the weekend with a full gambit of sore throat, aching, snot and tiredness and I have to say he soldiered on pretty well for a man. The washing line was full of newly washed hankies and the weekend kept to a quiet plod as a result but on the whole he suffered in quiet dignity and got most of it out of the way come Monday morning. The baton was then passed on to me starting with the uneasy grating at the back of my throat. However, despite this and Phil's continuing but slow recovery, we both managed to drag ourselves into the Monday morning mayhem of work. To be honest, I thought I'd got away with it.
Tuesday morning arrived with a thud (to the head) and a fresh bag of cotton wool balls stuffed into every orifice of my head. I was going nowhere apart from dragging my sorry arse down to the phone as soon as the alarm went off at 6.30am to leave a message for my boss. I was in shock. I don't get ill. I don't even get hangovers (although people don't believe me when I tell them this). Why was this happening now? The past 18 months had been a blur of stress for various reasons but most of that was now in the past. If anything was going to 'get me' it was more likely then not now. But then, isn't that often the way? The fact of the matter was that I could relax more now and my immune system decided to go on holiday as a result too. Phil hit the nail on the cotton wall head when he said "This is how I get you to chill out".
So yesterday morning, when I finally woke up, I did a lot of staring out the window as the wind lashed the rain against the glass. It was all I could do and you know what, it was almost wonderful. I wasn't thinking about work, about family issues, about what I hadn't done in the garden yet, about the camper van we have yet to find, about my next big crazy project, about accounts, about anything that normally and continously fills up my overactive mind. I was just staring. Being ill had made me stop and I could do nothing about it. I had taken a 'Ch-ill' pill.
By the afternoon I was showing improvement and my mind swiftly took advantage. There was washing up to be done and my devil mind was whispering as much in my muted ear. I succumbed and with washing up done, noticed that perhaps I could just finish off my accounts and then tidy up some paperwork that was sitting there too. After all that had been there for more than two days already and surely that was too long. An hour later, the devil mind had done its work and I was once again knackered. I should have followed the instructions on the 'Ch-ill' pill prescription instead.
It's a really hard lesson for me to learn. As soon as I start feeling better, my mind needs to be occupied and I'm off again, too quickly, in a turmoil of things to be done. I have the same problem with my bad back; as soon as it starts to feel normal again I start acting like a puppy and heaving stuff around.
I blame my parents. Both are in their 70's, both are recovering from cancer in the past year, both are pretty active for their ages but both find it hard to accept their limitations. My dad, who is almost 77 and in the final stages of treatment for prostate cancer, will come home from his treatment and then clean the windows before going to do some more work up on his vegetable plot. Then he complains he is tired. My mum (71) meanwhile, who underwent major surgery in January which is meant to take at least 6 months to recover from, will do the washing, make dinner, have a potter in the garden and oh, did I mention that is after both of them have taken the dog for a two hour walk. They may be slightly nuts but I admire them for their stuborn, 'get up and go' willpower, even when they do complain afterwards of tiredness.
So I need to learn to find the balance. I want to get stuff done, I want to be active but I also don't want to be ill to make me understand that it is okay to chill out too. So how does this crazy woman, who as a kid did her homework at lunchtimes so I could do my own thing when I got home, learn to 'chillax' a bit more? Answers on a postcard please......
...oh and good luck with that as it's day two of me being ill and here I am at home in bed writing this blogpost in the face of ever increasing throat glands when I have a feeling I would be better off doing some staring out the window!