We’ve all been there at one point or another. The tickle in the back of your throat hits, coupled with the overall feeling that something isn’t right… then it hits. Your energy levels are zapped, feels like you need a nap after doing anything remotely strenuous, and the feeling of dread as you wonder…’am I ever going to get over this?’ We’ve all been there. Typically, I’m one of those so-called ‘healthy’ people. I rarely get sick but when I do it knocks me on my ass. The past few months I’ve certainly not been the picture-perfect version of health, at least this go round was just an annoying cold… unlike the flu I had just a few months earlier. For those of you doped up on cold meds right now, I sympathize with you. Here are my top ten reasons why being sick is the worst.
I. In addition to feeling awful, you also get to deal with a major decrease in energy. I’m almost ashamed to admit the number of times I’d run to Walgreen’s for more meds looking like I was trying to rival people of Wal-Mart. House shoes are totally an acceptable form of footwear and there’s no need for a bra if you layer enough sweaters… Getting ready is too much work for when you’re sick. Bring on the jammies and slippers.
II. Remember when you could easily breathe through both nostrils? Oh… how we long for those days. It seems nothing on this earth can relieve the pressure for good, and those days of care free non-mouth-breathing that you took for granted… seems like eons ago.
III. Is that an ice-pick in my eye? Sonofamuffintart… make it stop! As someone prone to headaches with a history of particularly vicious migraines, you know it’s bad when I’m immobilized by one. Sick headaches are the worst. Migraine meets awful sinus headache… which then spawns the cluster headache. It’s times like these that I would greet a firing squad with open arms and aiming lasers… just to make sure. I can deal with feeling fatigued and weak, I can deal with the general symptoms… but no, fuck this. Headaches suck and are even worse when they mutate and morph into a headache hybrid due to being sick.
IV. The delicate dance between the desire for food and zero appetite. Okay, so we all know that to get better we need to increase our fluids, water, tea, juice, broth, etc.. The same goes for food, we have to keep nutrition in our bodies to keep us going and help our immune system continue to fight. Here’s my problem… I’m not hungry. When I’m ill I literally have to force myself to eat. If there’s ever a hunger strike competition against meth-heads.. I’m fairly certain I could win it…. provided I was sick at the time. Not eating is something that I shouldn’t do, especially with low blood sugar issues and hypoglycemia. Queue the chicken noodle soup, at least most of that I can drink with a straw.
V. Let’s get super real for a minute… what is it about being sick, even just the common cold, that makes the inside of your mouth just flat-out nasty? I’m a stickler for dental hygiene and there are few things in this world that I detest more than the ‘fuzzy slipper’ feeling on your teeth. What is it about being sick that perpetuates this feeling?! I can brush my teeth and moments later that feeling is back. What is it about being sick that causes this? I just don’t understand, especially when I’m brushing my teeth twice as much, perhaps it’s a side effect from cold medicine. At any rate, this is a side effect of being sick that kicks my ocd into high gear. Fuck the ‘fuzzy slipper’ feeling. It can fuck right off.
VI. Can one purchase temporary stock in Kleenex? The amount of tissues you go through in the short illness time frame is downright excessive. Amiright? God forbid you get cozy in bed before setting up your bedside table with the necessities. Even worse is the unexpected sneeze, the one where you’re totally unprepared and have to rush to find a tissue. Also up there is sneezing whilst eating. There are many reasons why I shut myself off from the outside world… this is one of those albeit less frequent reasons. No one should see me like this… no one.
VII. I’m of the understanding that one has to medicate and drug oneself just to get comfortable enough to sleep. When I’ve got something I find it damned near impossible to get comfy. Mixed between the coughing fits, surprise sneezes, and bone splitting headaches, are stretches of time where I just toss and turn. Sure, in theory I should be comfortable… I’ve got my warm and heavenly soft blanket, the comfiest of all pajamas on, cuddly cats… yet I can’t get comfortable. One moment I’m overheating, the next I can’t get warm. This must be one of life’s sick little jokes. If it weren’t for sleepytime tea, copious amounts of Benadryl and/or NyQuil.. I don’t think I’d be able to sleep at all.
VIII. When the sickness finally begins to let up, that or the drugs start working, and you get a little teensy bit overconfident… I mean, first off, obviously the consequences of that always come back to bite you in the ass, but what really leads us down that twisted rabbit hole is the false sense of security we get from over-medicating. Am I drunk on NyQuil? I wouldn’t rule it out as a possibility. We’re already all scatter-brained from dealing with the multitude of symptoms, the inconvenience of it all… hell, let’s get a little Quil-buzz going… because that’s a good idea. It never fails, my brain goes to some bizarre places when under the weather and rereading the previous nights texts usually offer up some pretty hysterical gems. Laughter is the best medicine, right? Right?
IX. I need a damn maid. Like any good ocd woman, I now have to disinfect everything. I don’t want any visitors picking this up, nor do I want to keep myself in a never-ending cycle in the fifth layer of hell. For me, the disinfection day is usually a day or two after the day of overconfidence… sometimes the same day. So begins the deep clean of the house, bedroom, bathroom, there’s a detox shower involved, everything gets cleaned with high-powered disinfectant. I’m not simply talking about a quick once over either… no, this is a deep clean, all nooks and crannies. Maybe I’m paranoid, but maybe there’s something to it. As I stated, I rarely ever get sick, perhaps this is why? There are times I think my major disinfect-all-of-the-things day is really just an exercise in futility. If I’m over the majority of the illness, but still not 100%… does it make sense to clean? Seems like I’d just spread everything around more, but I have to trust the cleaner does it’s job. About that maid….
X. Last but certainly not least on this list… being sick never happens at an opportune time. Now, I’m not saying that there is a specific time I would prefer to get sick.. I’m not that sadistic y’all… but why is it when we get sick it’s during the week when all the best events or happenings are taking place? Either it’s a major crunch to meet a particular deadline at work, or your favorite band is in town, or there’s a chic event going on at the swanky cocktail lounge downtown, or your favorite restaurant is doing a special tasting menu… It.never.fails. Being sick is the worst, you can’t taste anything due to all the sinus blockage. Even if you aren’t contagious it’s not worth attending these events. You won’t be able to taste anything, that red stuffy nose and irritated eyes are so sexy… let me tell you… Your favorite band? Yeah, they’ll sound like they’re playing underwater. When you feel that first sniffle… the denial starts, too bad refusing to be sick doesn’t work either. Clear your schedule now kids, you’re about to rain check your life for the next week or two.
Get to feeling better soon, stay hydrated, dose yourself on the goods, and rest up. I’m finally beginning to feel like my normal self again… but I could also nap for twelve days. Decisions, decisions.