Illness Intro

Yesterday it was 60 degrees! Hooray! Isn’t that great? 60 degrees is a fantastic temperature, especially in January. I mean, if it were even 45 degrees in January, I’d be happy, but 2017 has proven to be sort of an over-achiever so far.

Except, 60 degrees is not actually that wonderful of a temperature when it was 6 degrees earlier that same week. Because my body had somewhat acclimated to the winter cold and has consequently short-circuited due to the rapid roller coaster of weather.

And it was just about last Friday that I and several people I know suddenly started feeling sick. So, I tell myself it’s the weather’s fault I got sick, because I don’t like to believe that I have any faults, including my immune system. (Fun aside: sometimes I think about red blood cells racing through my veins as Katy Perry’s “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” pumps through some sort of intercom.)

So I’m blaming the jacked up weather for why I’m sick. In very few instances would I ever say I prefer the cold of winter, but in this case, a little gradation would have been appreciated.

Anyway, so being sick kind of sucks, especially when it’s that weird in-between where you’re not healthy, but you’re not sick enough to go to the doctor/call off work. That’s when you have to be a high-functioning sicko and suck it up (or blow it out). Of course, then no one wants to be around you (which is fine by you, because having people around you only heightens your aching head and emphasizes how gross you are in comparison), and you’re not really on your top game, but this is America and if we’re not breaking our backs, we’re not technically even working, so you have to power through.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever called off sick from work more than once in my life, and that was in high school.

Also being sick is a trip because your brain is something else entirely. I don’t know if it’s because I’m high from the cold medicine or if it’s because the sickness itself hijacks my brain, but I am on the next plane of existence when I’m under the weather. Like, spaced out, conjuring the strangest ideas, dreaming up the most wild scenarios. Like, I took a 45-minute nap the other day, and during those brief 45 minutes of rest, I somehow dreamt up a work nightmare (taking an hour to make a hot chocolate for a customer), a social nightmare (some drama ensued between various coworkers and myself, some of the coworkers in the dream not even being actual people I know), a war nightmare (enter a low-flying military helicopter about to unload a slew of soldiers geared up), and a nightmare where I was framed and sent to prison (don’t worry; I texted my mom from prison and she invited my aunt and my friend to come with her to bail me out, sort of as a group outing). On some days, I can’t even manage to fall asleep in 45 minutes, much less experience a feature-length film’s worth of action and drama. I mean, it was a whole epic saga of content in a compact nap’s time. Needless to say, I was sort of panicked and rocked to my very core when I awoke from this experience in a sweaty and snotty stupor. (I know– I paint myself to be such a glamorous character.)

Despite the delusions, my brain really does just want to keep going and going when I’m sick. Mentally, I’m like, “I need to go out! I need to see my friends! I need to complete these tasks! Let’s go! I wanna go!” Physically, I’m like, “Stop dead in your tracks. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.” (But hopefully this cold does not last as long as a game of Monopoly.) (Also, I like how it’s this universally understood joke that Monopoly is some despicably long-winded game that takes fifteen weeks to complete, yet it’s still such a popular game that people continue to play.)

So, that’s what’s been going on in my life. I’ve got a fat stack of tissues in my pocket and a bottle of Mucinex in my purse. Not being able to remember anything from last night because I didn’t do anything last night but sleep. Mind foggy from the cold medicine, nose red from too much blow (blowing my nose, that is). Shaky from feeling too hot and then too cold. A trail of crumpled up tissues strewed across my room’s floor. No appetite because my stomach is queasy from the mucus. I look stellar, I’m telling you. Really, I love January. Ohio weather does me great. Never felt better. Being sick? I don’t even know where to begin; it’s awesome.

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