I was sick last week. The sickest I have EVER been, and I have had pneumonia and strep and bronchitis multiple times, and an enraged, infected gallbladder that nearly killed me.
I was COMPLETELY out of commission for 4 days.
It started Monday afternoon.
At first, I thought I was getting a headache because I had gone a little too long between meals.
I am learning how to listen to my body and am intermittently fasting.
But when I went to go eat something, I couldn’t. I looked at the food I grabbed like it was alien and poison.
Monday night, was the first night I thought I was going to die last week.
Tuesday night was the second.
Wednesday night was the third.
By Thursday night, I was ready to end my suffering on behalf of whatever virus took hold.
After I got Covid last July, up until about November, whenever I did something that made me exert a lot of energy, I’d be completely wiped out for 2 days.
2 hours of cleaning house? 2 days on the couch.
5-mile hike? 2 days on the couch.
10yo had a storm? 2 days on the couch.
And not just, “I am sleepy”, wiped out.
Nope. I was, “I need to enter a coma for two days”, wiped out.
I couldn’t work, I couldn’t create, I couldn’t move. I could read though, and that is partly why I read so many damn books last year.
The week before last was my busiest, heaviest, most chaotic week since probably Pre-Pandemic times.
I had something to do nearly every single day. Actually, I think I did have something, or multiple things, to do every single day.
So, it could be possible, that my insane schedule the week before last, is what triggered my desire to die and end my suffering last week.
Every single neuron, every single fiber, every single twitch and bone and joint, screamed at me for hours on end.
Ibuprofen wasn’t working. Nyquil barely made a dent. Dayquil must have been a placebo.
I couldn’t breathe without hurting.
I couldn’t yawn without my brain trying to escape my forehead.
I couldn’t lie down, I couldn’t sit up, I definitely couldn’t stand up.
I finally remembered extra-strength Tylenol exists on day 3. But that just gave me a false sense of hope because all the pain came back tenfold and then some.
The chills started. Oh man, the chills. I had them the first night and then they disappeared, thankfully, till day 4 when they returned in full force, able to take down an army.
But I am just one person.
So I shivered, and I shivered, and I shivered. I asked for another blanket, and then another.
I thought my teeth were going to all break based on how hard I was chattering.
My husband reminds me every time that I need to “SWEAT IT OUT.”
Easy for you to say, honey. And it is easy for him. He can roll up into a self-made burrito and sweat for 8 hours and it’s like he was never even sick. Jerk.
I cannot sleep with a full blanket covering me in the middle of winter when I am healthy.
Hell, I wake up most nights with all my blankets on the ground, nowhere near me.
Would this hell have disappeared by day 2 if I had “sweated it out?”
I don’t know.
But Thursday night, I was forced to suck it up. 3 heavy blankets and a self-made burrito later, it took me an hour to warm up, a shot of Nyquil and a pop of melatonin, and 8 hours of sweating, sweating, more sweating.
Don’t tell my husband, but it worked.
On that Monday, it just started with a migraine. Something that I have been getting almost daily since my Papa passed away.
Migraines and I go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s hard to think of my life without a migraine.
So, Monday’s migraine, didn’t phase me. I chalked it up to just being another one, and continued on with my day.
Until I started getting nauseous. And dizzy. And pain gripped every cell in my body.
That was the beginning of the end. Thank goodness for the Magic Gel Migraine Ice Head Wrap back in 2021. The 10yo and I both use it religiously when we have migraines.
The one at the link is not the same version as the one I have. This one looks updated. I may have to buy a new one…
Pre-Pandemic, I ran ragged and on fumes daily, weekly, monthly. It was our life. Go, go, keep going.
But I always kept going. Sick, migraine, gnarly infected gallbladder – I kept going. Nothing could stop me.
Because when I stopped, the world around me stopped. Dishes, laundry, house cleaning, kids, it all piled up.
Then the pandemic hit and everything stopped. It was a blessing. My girls had time to emotionally heal, developmentally mature, and flourish.
But now that we are learning how to get back into the swing of things, and get back to the things we want to do, I am curious if this virus wasn’t a necessary reminder that we can’t live like we did Pre-Pandemic.
I have been working on finding balance. And after last week, I think I need to re-evaluate how I am spending my time outside of the house.
It was just a coincidence that everything just so happened to happen in the same 7-day period.
So, whether I picked up the virus from one of the many things I did two weeks ago, or this was just a lovely long-haul Covid symptom, I need to slow down.
With that being said, on Friday, I was weak but no longer wished my cells would just die already.
And, while I was weak, I was able to write in my Vibe Time journal.
And what I realized, is that I was COMPLETELY out of commission for four days and the world didn’t end.
The dirty laundry and dishes were still there, sure.
But the only thing I did do during those 4 days when I had any sort of energy and couldn’t sleep another minute, was read.
I didn’t shame myself for not just sucking it up and doing something. Even if it was to take out the trash.
I didn’t hate myself for not getting a single thing done on my Habitica to-do list, a list that grows daily, even when I was sick.
I didn’t fall into a downward spiral for failing because I was too sick to do even the bare basics, like brushing my teeth.
I didn’t even give up when I missed a Photo Of The Day. Because my goal is no longer to do it every single day NO MATTER WHAT OR I’M A FAILURE.
My goal is to have fun. And sometimes, that means pushing pause on something, but that does not mean giving up.
If I didn’t get back to it once my body was fully rested and recharged – I would be choosing to react in a negative way to what happened to me, and there’s no room for that in my life anymore.
It took me till day 5 to realize that I gave myself the grace and patience and understanding that the moment I felt good enough to do something, mark off a to-do task, or brush my teeth – I would.
Pre-Pandemic, when I got sick, I would have recovered health-wise, but I would have spiraled out of control, straight into darkness, because everything was piling up and I’d never catch up so what’s the point of even trying to get back on track?
Well, turns out, when you don’t spend the entire time you are out of commission berating yourself, yelling at yourself, belittling yourself, getting back on track isn’t hard.
The things that piled up? Yeah, they may be there, but slow and steady wins the race.
I used to get so pissed when I would get sick. I didn’t have time for that shit. Literally.
But last week, our 13yo woke up, got in the shower, got ready for school, took her meds, AND made it to the bus on time WITHOUT me 2 days in a row because I was dead to the world. Figuratively, of course.
The 10yo didn’t go to school because she ended up sick, and by day 3, the 13yo stayed home too because she was sick.
And guess what? I think this was the best time we had while we 3 were sick.
No chores were required, unless you had a pile of snacks that the dogs could get ahold of.
We didn’t spend time together, as we were all comfortable in our own space. But we didn’t expect anything from anyone. I made sure the girls took meds, but I didn’t expect anything else from them.
I don’t know where I am headed in this post, so I’m gonna wrap this up.
If your body is screaming at you to stop, rest, recharge – listen to it.
And when you are stopping, resting, recharging – don’t beat yourself up. You are doing exactly what you should be doing.
And when you are doing exactly what you should be doing – there is zero room for guilt, shame, downward spirals. There just isn’t.
Because if you make space for the negative, choose the bad as a result of what happened to you, you will stay there, in that negativity spiral.
It’s no fun there.
But, if you give yourself grace, space, and embrace that all those to-dos will still be there when you have the spoons, you will keep going, and you will be choosing the good, where the fun exists.
Remember, the fates control you, but you control your reaction. Choose the good.
In the meantime, Adventure on with Curiosity,
~Kelly “Beast” Steele
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