Vail Daily columnist Linda Stamper Boyne: Eventually the bug will bite
March 5, 2013
Ugh. It got me.
I really thought I was going to get through this winter without catching the crud. I was feeling strong, feeling good. I took all the necessary precautions. I wash my hands a lot, avoid anyone sneezing or coughing, and I got a flu shot.
At the first sign anyone around me has anything, I start taking Airborne. I know a lot of people are partial to Emergen-C, but I swear by Airborne. I have successfully avoided many a cold drinking the fizzing liquid. May be it’s the placebo effect, but I swear it helps.
When the boys start blowing their noses, I ban them from the kitchen so they don’t spread the germs into our food, and more importantly, directly to me.
But I can’t even blame them for this. They’re perfectly healthy. Not like when they were little and I would get everything they came home with. It would inevitably make its way through the entire family.
This bug I seemed to have found all on my own.
I hate that moment when I know I’ve got something. I know my body well enough to realize it, but I still work with denial for as long as I can. You know what I’m talking about, making excuses for all the on-coming symptoms:
“Geez, I’m tired today. Must have stayed up too late last night.”
“I must be dehydrated. My throat is so dry.”
“Man, that 30 minutes on the elliptical really kicked my butt this morning. Must be why my muscles are sore.”
“It is freezing in here today. Why aren’t you wearing your jacket? Where are my Uggs?”
And then that moment I realize I can’t ignore it any longer. Acceptance. I’m sick.
For all the mothers out there, you know we never really get to be sick, right? There’s always someone who needs to be driven somewhere, someone who needs help with homework, someone who wants to be fed, laundry to get done, dirty dishes that pile up.
Apparently we’ve done such a good job taking care of these people that they are incapable of picking up the slack when we’re down. Well done. Makes me rethink my whole caregiving method.
And God forbid you have a job, as well. Trying to cover yourself at work long enough to recuperate presents its own unique set of challenges. Either way, it is hard to give yourself permission to be sick, hence my denial method.
The denial period lasted about a day and half until I gave up and hit my bed. Fully in acceptance the next morning, I called my doctor’s office to make an appointment.
They all know me well there, as I have been in weekly since May getting allergy shots. When I said my last name, the reply was, “Linda? Oh, you don’t sound good at all.” It was actually reaffirming to have someone tell me I sounded awful. The boys hadn’t mentioned it.
My doctor is also one of my best friends. Due to busy lives with families and work and blah blah blah, we don’t get to see each other as we would like. So when she walked into the exam room, I couldn’t help but croaking, “Do you see the lengths I’ll go to spend a little time with you?”
We caught up as she listened to lungs and felt glands. After a fabulously uncomfortable swab, it was confirmed I did not have the flu, but I was to confine myself to bed for 48 hours and instructed to send the boys to their dad’s house.
OK! Doctor’s orders! A quick text to a coworker confirmed she could cover me at work. The stars have aligned! I actually get to be sick like a real person for two whole days!
I missed most of the first day, as I was asleep. I woke up long enough to write this. But I’m really looking forward to holding down the couch and falling asleep with a book on my face on that second day.
I have made a few interesting discovery being sick all alone in my house. First, time becomes very fluid when there is no schedule to keep and I’m in and out of a waking state.
Second, no matter how old I get, I always want my mom when I’m sick. Sniff.
Linda Stamper Boyne of Edwards can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org.