I write this post almost on the mend and feeling thankful that I can now get out of bed because I have been very ill. I used to consider myself one of those people with an immune system of steel. One who has been exposed to all sorts of germs and bugs working with young children for many years. I never got the flu shot because I never got the flu. I even kind of boasted about this at times.
It all started a few weeks ago, with the bustle of the season. I was excited and joyous, as per usual this time of year. I had written out my card and gift list, menu for what I was bringing to various functions. Obviously, the Santa Shuffle had me pumped, as well as planning a girls holiday brunch I was hosting at my place the next day and a dinner for my sister, her fiance and my parents later in the week. Work was busy too, as we hustled to get the class ready for Winter Fest and a performance for their parents. Making sure the children don’t cry, don’t stand still like deer caught in headlights when the curtain is drawn and at least sing parts of the song is always a priority. Of course, my condo had to be sparkling clean and decorated with all the necessary festive touches too. All the while, a sore little tickle began in my throat, which I simply brushed aside. This little tickle turned into coughing mainly at night. Coughing now? Are you kidding me? Coughing did not fit in this equation. To top if off, I continued with my workouts, hitting the weights in beast mode, and justifying being at the gym. I really only cough at night right? I sneeze in a napkin, wash my hands before I touch the equipment and always spray down the benches after I use them. I was doing the exact thing I frown upon. Showing up to a shared facility where equipment is used in close quarters and doing so while sick. Not good and rather selfish of me. Please don’t ban me Women’s Fitness Club if you happen to be reading this. I promise not to do so again. Then let’s just say the demands of the season caught up with me. Christmas can be stressful. Shopping, parties, cooking, prepping, various commitments, etc, can all be too much on one’s plate.
My first mistake was ignoring my nagging cough a few weeks ago and pressing on with my plans like I was fine. I took various over-the-counter fare and continued bustling like the little elf that should….until Thursday of last week. I woke up after a night of coughing fits, my chest and throat on fire. I went into work, thinking if I could just hang on until Winter Fest at school that night. That was not to be. I was burning up with fever by lunchtime and Andy picked me up from work. I was bed-ridden from then until Saturday afternoon, not even having the strength to go to the kitchen for a glass of water. I don’t know what I would have done without Andy and my sweet neighbours, who took awesome care of me in my state. Under Andy’s insistence, I finally made it to the walk-in-clinic on Saturday during the season’s first massive snowstorm. There in the waiting room sat many other people in the same state, pale-faced and red-nosed, hunched in their seats and waiting to see the doctor. Dr. Li suggested bed rest and plenty of fluids, as well as a prescription of antibiotics, nasal spray and inhalers to assist with my breathing. In bed I reflected on how silly I was to think I was not allowed to get sick during this time of year, and
thinking hoping that drinking Buckley’s out of the bottle and ignoring my cough would make it suddenly go away. The way I got carried away with the marketed side of the season, gifts, functions, cards, hosting and the like. I totally put aside the true reason for the season for myself, and this quote sums it up best:
“The great challenge is left is to cut through all the glitz and glam of the season that has grown increasingly secular and commercial, and be reminded of the beauty of the One who is Christmas.”
So right now I’m taking a step back and draped in my Snuggie, enjoying some chicken soup made by my wonderful neighbour (thanks Franka, you’re the best). As the snowflakes dance and twirl outside my window, and then settle on the bare branches, I realize that we can’t control when a nasty flu might strike, and we shouldn’t try. The snowflakes take time to finally stop and settle at their final destination and go with the natural flow, and this time, so will I.