A Tale of Two Sickies
It was my regular time when I got up and began my regular morning routine. The sun was streaming in through our window, shimmering off the leaves in the backyard, glowing warm and welcoming. I drifted through the fog of half-sleep to my home office to begin my daily pass through the social media universe when all of a sudden my brain came to terms with my body which was still embroiled in a nauseous battle with a high fever. All the messages slamming into my cerebral cortex were saying get horizontal - immediately.
Rather than crashing to the floor right there in my study - which was my first instinct - I stumbled back to bed, where I came to terms with the fact that I was going to have to take a sick day.
It was quite amusing to watch myself having to fulfill the simplest of work duties over the next couple of hours in between the waves of dyspepsia: typing a couple of emails, formatting a news release and fielding a phone call or two. It took everything I had to do the simplest of things.
On the phone with one person, my mouth and my brain just couldn't connect, and I'm certain I was speechless for at least 10 seconds, the combination of a high fever and exertion creating a pool of condensation on top of my head.
Work commitments accomplished, I slept, and slept, and slept some more, being serenaded by the almost 30 mm of rain that fell that day. Apart from the all encompassing weakness, perpetual fever and discomfort in my stomach, it was a delightful way to spend an afternoon - catching up on my horizontal Zen time and letting the bugs in my body work out their issues.
The fever broke, as it always does, sometime in the night and by morning I was right as rain, which was still falling in earnest and in buckets outside my study window where I began to catch up on 24 hours of falling off the social media grid.
As I contemplated the events of the past day, I realized that I couldn't immediately recall a time when Heather was in bed from dusk till dawn battling a flu. For me, succumbing to the sickness - when the family support is around to allow me to do so - is my method of getting through the storm as quickly and surely as possible.
"I think women are built differently," she said. "We just tend to push through things."
At the very least, in comparing the two of us, it's true. Heather can accomplish more with a full on migraine than I can with a mild headache. She has pushed through and overcome enormous health challenges, and is inexplicably able to rise above the pain and discomfort in a way that I'm not sure I would be capable of matching.
Am I a wimp, or just a person with a different set a coping mechanisms? I'd like to think the latter, because admitting to the former might just sicken my sense of self worth.