This week I did something I rarely, ever do. It involved spending inordinate amounts of time in bed, lots of gasping and moaning and virtually no sleep. I got totally sweaty and my hair was a pony-tailed, bed-head mess. You’d think that one night of hitting the sheets before dark would be enough, but nooooo…three nights in a row and it still wasn’t enough and oh my God, those nights were endless.
You know what I was doing, right? Wait, what? No…not that…I wish.
I got sick with a god-awful cold that snuck up on me like a mugger with a broken bottle. It hit me hard. This was no lady-like, delicate sniffle, pat-pat of the tissue, pink nosed kind of cold. This was The Big One – a cold so ominous and threatening, it laid me out. One minute I was fine and the next…face down and miserable with coughing, hacking, and buckets of snot. I dry-swallowed ibuprofen and popped Sudafed like a junkie. I daydreamed about nose tampons as I emptied box after box of tissues. It startled my kids, worried my husband and frightened my dogs. This cold was a mother-fu*#er and not in the best sense of the term.
Why am I blogging about this? Because being sick this week made me feel totally sorry for myself. It made me whiny and pitiful and turned me into a poor, poor excuse for a human being. But it also provided a rare opportunity for me to stop everything, quit being productive, and fuggedabout taking care of anyone else. This cold took the week I intended to be brilliant, creative and filled with profitable and beneficial activities and blew that plan to back forty. Instead, this week became all about me and that is a rare, rare moment in any mother’s life
When, after several days, I finally got out of bed and took a look in the mirror, I was smacked with a stark reality check. It was a snap shot moment of who I am right now and it was not pretty. After I took a good hard look though at my puffy, weepy face and sweaty, snarly hair, I gave myself a little wink and said to myself, “Honey, this is us at our worst, in all our booger-crusted glory, clutching the inhaler, addicted to cough drops, wheezing, dripping, red eyed and migrainie. Take a good look because guess what: We’re all right. In fact, we’re doing just fine.”
Sure, I looked and felt like crap, but I saw this as an opportunity to hit the skids (in a sober kind of way), sink deep into my healing place and plug in with my need to rest, nurture myself and get better. I wrote myself a prescription for ample doses of cheap reading material and TV on my laptop. I napped, dozed and yes, wrote, but I did it from bed. I was completely unprofessional and told my coworkers and clients that I was sick, slow and a wee bit stupid. I hoped they’d be kind about it. They were. And the world kept spinning.
For someone who writes an awful lot about health and wellness, you’d think blogging about sickness might be contraindicated. But our body’s ability to heal itself combined with a commitment to self-care is at the heart of what makes us healthy. Sometimes you just have to get good and sick to remind yourself of that.