I rarely get physically sick. I mean, I get sore throats and chesty coughs and period pain and back ache and I have a tricky skin condition but none of these things stop me in my tracks. I am self-employed, I am a solo parent. So my mantra has always been: ‘Oh I can’t get sick’.
So, I don’t.
Until I did.
I was feeling unwell but it was only when I had a dreadful night of feverish all-over body pain and vomiting that I agreed to go to a doctor. My sister insisted. My friend brought me. The doctor was so kind. It was actually her sympathy that made me accept that I actually was sick. ‘You have the flu,’ she said. ‘The real thing. It’s a horrible strain and you have a long way to go, I’m sorry to say.’
She was right.
Getting home after the doctor, my friend said: ‘get into bed’ and I remember feeling relief because that was all I was able to do. There was shopping to buy, dinners to make, school runs to arrange and work, yes I had deadlines. But my brain and my body turned to mush and I slept.
Apparently, I slept a lot. I didn’t eat. But I slept and drank fluids and took medication every three hours.
There were two deadlines I couldn’t extend so, after taking meds, I sat up in bed working and then fell asleep again.
My kids managed. They got lifts and they skipped activities and they ordered food. I missed my son’s Xmas concert which was tough. My daughter and my friend went and they sent videos. But I felt so sad not to be there as my boy was the co-MC and it was a big gig for him. I wanted to be there, proud and cheering and beaming. For him. For me. But I wasn’t.
Acceptance is key.
And then, I started to feel less dreadful. Nauseous after the meds but the pains all over my body were easing.
Lords, I almost felt like a human again!
The house was a mess. Dishes and food and clothes (clean, dirty and everything in between!) and teenage stuff (!) everywhere. I brought a load of washing to the launderette. I did a shop. I made my deadlines. I walked the dog. I ate a little.
We all survived.
There is no Xmas tree up yet. And now, my son isn’t well and my daughter isn’t feeling too good either. But I am stronger. I can mind them. I can drag the decorations out of the attic. I can walk the dog and oh, the joy of looking up at the trees and down to the sand and sea - fabulous. And I had a veggie brunch yesterday and my goodness, I was grinning like a fool because it was so tasty.
It’s the simple things, sometimes, isn’t it?
I wish you all good health. And for anyone, feeling dreadful physically or mentally today, please remind yourself: this will pass, this will pass, this will pass…