I’m not used to being sick because I rarely get sick (knock knock to you too, wooden surface). So when it happens, not only do I face the effects of being ill but also the shock of realization that I’m not well enough to carry on with my normal day-to-day destruction.
Upon arriving back into the good ‘ol USA from my work adventure in Israel, I figured that the trip itself, the jet lag, the hummus withdrawal, and the lack of steady rest on the flight were what tore me down upon landing. It wasn’t until I attempted a dance class on my first Saturday back that I knew something was amiss.
I just didn’t feel like dancing (gasp!).
I stuck it out, and by the end of class I felt slightly more energized, enough so to help a friend move apartments and get a bad haircut (at $18, I’m not complaining that much).
It was that evening, after my friend bribed me with drinks and a free dinner that the fatigue hit me like a bird in the path of a 747. I thought I would fall asleep in the restaurant booth face first into my chopped salad. Fortunately, no such event occurred; my friend had also brought along her boyfriend and they proceeded to violate all rules of PDA, keeping me just nauseous enough to stay awake and scold them for being inappropriately gropey and hormone-driven.
Turns out, the fatigue was just the beginning. The tickle in my throat started innocently enough towards the end of the dinner and up until bedtime. But before I knew it, I was up at each hour with what I was sure were my cat’s claws at my throat but what really turned out to be my compromised immune system fighting off the invasion of a cold.
The next morning, the throat still ached but I managed a run. Upon reentry into my apartment from my run, I was unable to move from the floor for about 30 minutes which made me realize that the act of physical fitness had been an error of judgement.
The throat burn left and the mucus congregated in my nose and reproduced until there were too many party-goers to all hang up there. Breathing became arduous which made sleeping a losing battle.
Despite the lack of Zzzz’s and the light-headedness, I woke up early, anticipating a routine of running, shower, breakfast, work, only to be defeated to pick up some laundry, not throw-up my coffee, and drag my feet to work.
For the first three hours of work, I thought I wasn’t going to make it. I started writing down who would receive my prized possessions, like my Kate Spade purse and Anne of Green Gables book collection, and where my debt could be passed onto, when miraculously, despite the clogged breathing passages, I worked through it and made a fairly productive day of work. Not happily, but I did it.
The next morning, which brings us to today, I am breathing more normally, but now my chest is oppressed by a herd of majestic elephants. The coughing has begun. I hate when people cough and I hate it only a little less when I’m the one doing it.
Now it’s a waiting game of getting healthy with fluids, and drugs, and fruit, and even more whining. I’ve done my part spreading the bacteria through the office, to my friends, and to all my neighbours on the El Al flight from Tel Aviv (you all probably gave it to me first anyway). Now I sit back and see if I commenced an epidemic and if I will indeed recover from this cold in the summer when I so adeptly avoided one in the winter.