Underneath my yellow skin

Trade-offs health-wise I’m willing to take

I think I’m being hit with round 2 of the crud, and I’m fine with it. Wait, Minna, I can hear you say (or make you say in my mind). How can you be fine with it when you hated it so much the last round? I’ll tell you, and thank you for asking and setting me up so nicely.

Let’s backtrack a bit. I was sick for a long time as is my want. I have this loop of getting one thing–say, chills and fever–then getting something else–like sinus problems–before slowly recovering, only to be hit with a third thing–persistent, hacking cough. Then, when I’m finally over it, I pray to the cold and flu gods that I don’t get it again.

That’s what happened this time. I got over the last thing, then felt decent for a week or so, then I was incredibly tired last week. I mean, I’m tired in general most of the time, but I was at the ‘I literally can’t keep my eyes open’ stage for all of last week. For those lucky duckies who’ve never felt it, it’s when you’re doing something innocuous like watching a video, and then you come to with a start and realize you haven’t seen the last ten minutes/half an hour/hour of the video. That kept happening to me, and one particularly bad night, I passed maybe three hours that way, waking up every ten minutes to ever half hour.

Speaking of sleep deprivation, The Try Guys did a series of videos about driving while under the influence in four different ways, including not sleeping for thirty-six hours straight. They have a doctor in each video explaining the ramifications of driving under that particular influence, and in the sleep-deprived one, he said that people who were deprived of sleep for twenty-four hours, they had nearly the same impairment as someone who blows a .1 on a breathalyzer. His advice was, “Don’t drive when you’re sleep deprived.” He also said most people need 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I laughed, albeit it bitterly, because if I followed his advice, I would never drive. I venture that many Americans could say the same. Also, getting seven hours of sleep in one go is not gonna happen for me unless I’m sick. Which, incidentally, is another reason I know I’m getting sick–I slept nearly seven hours (total in two separate chunks)last night after going to bed around midnight.


Yes, I’m used to being tired. Very used to it. But the level of tiredness i experienced last week was epic. It accumulated in me starting to cough Sunday night. Goddamn it. I knew what that meant.

Sure enough, I was coughing randomly throughout the day yesterday. I went to taiji, and I overdid it. It felt good at the time, but I was pretty achy when I got home. I ate my orange which helped, but I started burning up. Alternating with having the chills. No, I don’t think taiji procked this response except maybe it made me relaxed enough to actually notice I was getting sick. Honestly, though, I think it was just coincidence that it happened after taiji as I was already getting sick.

Side note: I’ve mentioned I’ve been having this back/leg problem. It’s a back problem, but the result is pain in my leg. This started several months ago. I would have this searing but brief pain in my right thigh. It would happen randomly and rarely. Sometimes, it would be followed by my thigh tingling or being numb. About a month ago, my right thigh started just feeling numb and/or tingly all the time. Tingly when I touched it, numb when I didn’t. I realized it was a back thing, and I asked my taiji teacher about it. She gave me several exercises to do, and I incorporated them into my morning taiji routine and throughout the day. Yesterday, I was talking about it to my teacher and classmate. They encouraged me (hectored, really, but in a loving way) to see a doctor and/or acupuncture/TCM.

I knew it was a good idea, but I hate doctors for many reasons. One, they never seem to know what’s wrong with me. That makes me feel as if it’s in my head, which is not a pleasant feeling. There are many reasons for this, including that most of Western medicine is aimed at white dudes, and they are all frustrating.

Anyway, last night as I was flashing hot and being miserable in general, something in my back gave way. In a good way, though! I could feel the tension in my right thigh release, and the tingling vastly dissipated. Then, there were a few searing shooting pains, then–nothing. Not numb nothing, but nothing nothing. When I woke up this morning, I felt my leg. The tingling has vastly decreased, and the numbness had gone away. I give all credit to taiji!

Back to the sickness. I’m sick. I haven’t wanted to say it because I’m a bit superstitious in thinking if I do say it, I’ll manifest it. It’s ridiculous, but there you go. Now that I’m sick, I don’t have to worry about that. I’m not happy about beingĀ  sick, obviously, but if that’s the trade-off for my leg feeling so much better, so be it. Yeah, I know that’s not how that works, but that’s how my brain is dealing with the sickness for now.

Also, the achiness is mostly gone. I’m incredibly tired, but my body is mostly back to normal. I hate that as I get older, I can’t ignore my body as much. Or maybe it’s as I do more and more taiji. One goal of taiji is to relax you, and once you start relaxing, it’s more obvious how much tension you carry around. Or how much pain you’re blocking. It’s easy to inure yourself to it if you’re constantly dealing with it.

That’s why it’s difficult to know if all the shit I’m dealing with now is a product of me getting older or if it’s just me becoming more aware of the physical issues I’ve been repressing all my life.

All this said, I know I should go to the doctor and get a general checkup. We’ll see if I actually do it.

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