I'm just so sick of being sick

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

This getting old business is, well, getting old. And never has it gotten as old as it did this last week.

For years I've prided myself on being able to avoid being sick. Yes, I get a cold here or there, and while I may feel bad for a day or so, it is never anything that lingers for a long period of time. But that was before the gray hairs starting popping up, the joints started hurting and I started referring to young people as "kids these days."

So confident I was in my ability to avoid sickness that I often made fun of people who got flu shots. Why would anyone volunteer to have themselves poked with a needle? Especially when the shot doesn't guarantee that you won't get the flu. Really, who gets a shot so they don't get too sick? It seemed ridiculous.

Not anymore. You see, Mr. Flu kicked my butt last week and I'm still trying to recover.

It started out so innocently. A little sore throat mixed with a sniffle. Of course, I thought no big deal. I'll take it easy for a day, take some aspirin and be good as new.

Well, then that little sore throat and sniffle turned into a fever, cough, sore throat and sniffle. I was a little surprised but hey, I am getting a little bit older and I thought it might take my body an extra day to shake it off. Nothing a little bit of rest couldn't cure, right?

So I headed for bed. Unfortunately for me, it is really hard to get any rest when you have a fever, cough, sore throat and sniffle. As a matter of fact, as light a sleeper as I am, it is impossible. So I stayed in bed staring at the ceiling, thinking tomorrow would be better.

It wasn't. It was worse. A higher fever, worse cough, no chance of breathing through my nose and now sneezing was factoring into the equation. Even my dogs would just take one look at me and go into the other room. They didn't want any part of me.

I thought I certainly had to get better the next day, but once again I was wrong. I figured this out when I found myself on my bathroom floor, barely able to breathe with my entire body so cramped I couldn't move. You see, a high fever and lack of sleep does crazy things to your body. I never knew this since I've hardly had a fever since I was a little kid.

So as I flopped around on the floor, thinking I was going to die, I realized that I wasn't young anymore. I also realized God has a sense of humor. Of all the times I've made fun of the "I've fallen and can't get up" commercials, they now didn't seem so funny. With my hands cramped, I couldn't have called 9-1-1 if I had wanted. I would have given anything for one of those alert things, but instead I just stayed on the floor and willed myself to start breathing right again. Then I eventually willed my fever to break and I'm slowly getting better, although I still haven't completely recovered.

A friend asked me if I had a life-changing moment and if I was now going to do good for society and that type of junk. Of course, that won't ever happen but I did make a couple of life changing decisions as Mr. Flu was kicking my butt on that bathroom floor. I have to start cleaning behind the toilet and I will now be first in line to get a flu shot. That and maybe I'll think about getting one of those alert button things.

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