One of the biggest problems I have while I’m recovering from being sick is overdoing it the second I feel even a modicum better than before. A week into the flu*, I started feeling a little better. I went to taiji and did a bit of practice. Not much, but by the time I got home after class and grocery shopping, I was exhausted. I was wiped out for the rest of the day, and I felt like shit when I woke up the next morning. I had thought I was being careful, and I had thought I hadn’t overdone it, but I was wrong. I don’t think it’s the taiji part that did me in, but the driving and the shopping. I spent the next week even more worn out than the week before. I started to feel a bit better near the end of the second week, so I went to taii. I made sure to take it very easy, and I only took a few minutes to grocery shop, yet, I was still drained by the time I got home, and I had to spend the rest of the night laid out on the couch.
Another part of the problem is that I have hypothyroidism, which means my auto-immune system isn’t great to begin with. I’ve had bronchitis more times than I care to count, and when I get it, it lingers for months on end. I had it once for nine months, which is enough time to gestate a baby. I haven’t had bronchitis for several years, but I’m still afraid it’s what I’m getting any time I feel the slightest bit ill. This time, however, I knew it was either a cold or the flu. Don’t ask me how I know because I can’t tell you that. I just knew it wasn’t bronchitis, for which I was grateful, but it still felt shitty. In addition, I had just been to my doctor, and we had to adjust my thyroid medication dose. I think I might have gotten sick from going to the clinic (ironic, but often the case), and I had a negative reaction to my new dose of Synthroid**. It had been too high, and she had to lower it. She told me to get it rechecked in six-eight weeks, which meant I had to suffer the repercussions until then.
The last two mornings, I have woken up and not felt like complete shit. I’ve been able to make it to the bathroom without feeling as if I’ve run a marathon, and I’ve made it to and back from taiji without wanting to cry. In addition, I’ve gone grocery shopping without becoming exhausted, and I’ve actually had some decent sleep* for a change. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but after the last two weeks I’ve had, I count it as a victory. I hate getting sick because it reminds me how fragile my body actually is, and no matter how much I work on making it better, it can still falter at any given moment.
I am the biggest baby when I’m sick. I tend to be stoic in nature most of the time for several reasons. I’m Taiwanese; I’m Minnesotan; I was raised that way. When I’m sick, though, all that flies out the window. All I can do is whine about how shitty I’m feeling, and to make matters worse, my cat doesn’t even care! As long as I feed him on time and give him the love he wants, he could care less that I’m languishing on my last legs. I kid, and I’m not entirely fair to him. He helps by sitting on my legs to warm them. Granted, he kneads biscuits for several minutes before actually sitting down, but I’ll take what I can get, cough, cough. He’s not very helpful when I need a cup of tea, either. His lack of opposable thumbs makes it difficult to slice the lemon and ginger and pour the honey, but he could at least pretend he’s willing to do it instead of looking at me disdainfully before licking his asshole.
That’s the one time I wish I had someone living in the house with me–not the licking the asshole part, although….anyway. I mentioned it before that I like living alone, but it’s hard when I’m sick. I don’t want to get off the couch, let alone leave the house. I think part of the reason I get so whiny is that I try to think of others most of the time, but being sick strips all that away. It’s Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs in action. If you don’t have your health, you really can’t think of much else. It’s not a good look, but that’s the upside to living alone–I’m the only witness to my childishness.** If someone had been privy to my inner thoughts during the last two weeks, they would have heard something like this (in a very whiny voice): “I haaaaate being sick. Why do I have to be sick? Ugh. I have no energy. I should just sleep. I can’t sleep. Shadow, don’t sit on my chest. I can’t breathe. Shadow! Get down! Fine. Stay there. I should probably get off the couch. Fuck it.” Continue Reading