Smorgasbord Sundays: Health Is Wealth

FluMy dad used to say, “Health is wealth.” And how true that simple statement is. If you don’t have good health, everything else seems secondary.

As some of you already know, I’ve been feeling under the weather with a cough, sore throat, fever, and head fuzziness.

The onset of the flu began on Thursday and then intensified on Friday. On Saturday (when I was writing this), my symptoms seemed to be plateauing, so I’m hoping that’s a sign that recovery is close. However, my voice still sounds like what the Grumpy Cat probably sounds like. And my energy level is still low.

My immune system is usually a beast, and I find that I rarely get sick, even when I’m surrounded by people who are coughing and sneezing around me. But this time, it looks like it got me. In the game of Tag, I was apparently “It”.

This is what the transmission electron microscopy of negatively stained influenza virions looks like magnified about 100,000 times. (Image Credit)


I’m writing this post while lying down on my bed because trying to sit up straight at my computer desk seems to be taxing my energy too much.

It has been a long time since I felt sick like this. The last time was probably when I was in high school! (See, my immune system is really very strong!) I had forgotten what it was like to have the flu until now.

Being sick is important, though. It’s reminding me that I took my health for granted. Although my health wasn’t perfect before, at least I didn’t feel vulnerable and weak like this.

I think we all take our health for granted. It’s only when we feel ill that we remember how good it felt just to be ‘normal’, without runny noses, sore throats, headaches, etc.

And having the flu is just a small hurdle compared to people who are dealing with major illnesses like cancer or chronic pain.

It’s all too easy to complain and get cranky when our health takes a dip. And, although I feel like crap right now, I’m grateful for a lot of things.

I am thankful that my body will be able to spring back to good health eventually.

I’m also thankful that I’m employed and that I had the luxury to even take a sick day from work on Friday. Some people have jobs that if you’re sick, there’s no compensation – you just lose out. For instance, my dad was a professional carpet cleaner who worked for himself. If he was sick and couldn’t do the work, not only would he not get paid for the job, but he wouldn’t get sick pay, either.

There are some people who don’t get sick pay and still go in. That puts all their co-workers at risk for catching (and spreading) the illness, too.

I’m also thankful that I have access to modern medicine like Tylenol to help make the illness more bearable. In some places in the world, things as simple as Tylenol are luxuries that can only be afforded by the elite. Here in Canada, we can just go to Shoppers Drug Mart and pick up over-the-counter medication to ease many ailments.

I actually like to let my body try to fend off bugs by itself first. Then, if it gets worse, I’ll take Tylenol. I feel like you shouldn’t just pop a Tylenol at the first instance of discomfort because your body won’t build up its immunity. For me, Tylenol is best for when you REALLY need it. Sadly, on Friday and Saturday, I needed to take Tylenol day and night.

While feeling clammy and achy, I’m reminded of when I was a kid with the flu. My parents would look after me, make chicken-noodle soup, check my temperature with a thermometer, distract me by reading me a book, etc.

If my brother or I was sick, my parents would also give us a little bell to ring in case we were too weak to call out for help if we needed something. Haha, I remember my brother took advantage of that one time when I was in charge of coming to his assistance. He rang the bell probably 10 times in 30 minutes…and once it was ‘just to see if I would come’. I did.

Now that I’m an adult, there’s no one here to make me soup or check up on me. There are no bells to ring and no stories read to me. I have to muster up the energy to go to the store to buy the soup and then make it if I want it. Then I have to force myself to drink it, even if I don’t feel hungry. (You have to feed a cold!)

I was raised by amazing, loving parents who taught me how to care for myself. And it’s at moments like these that I appreciate all they’ve done for me.

Have you been feeling under the weather? What things are you thankful for when you’re sick?


18 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Sundays: Health Is Wealth

  1. Marisa

    So sorry you’re sick Mary! I was very sick around the holidays. It wasn’t the flu, but a very bad cold that made me go to the doctor and end up on antibiotics. I definitely missed being able to eat simple things without worrying about whether it would make me cough. And like you said, I missed “feeling normal.”

    Hope you get better really soon. It was nice reading about how your parents took care of you and your brother as a child.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marisa!

      Getting sick, especially around the holidays must’ve not been fun! Glad that you’re better now!

      Right now, I still feel ill, and having to go out to get some food earlier probably didn’t help. I did bundle up extra warm, though. Haha, I wish I had a Grocery Genie. Then I could just snap my fingers whenever I needed food.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jan T.!

      Thank you!

      If I called some friends, they’d probably be able to pick some things up from the store for me, but I don’t want to bother them or even potentially get them ill from being in contact with me. I ended up going to the store a few hours ago. It was definitely a struggle. It’s interesting how even the simplest tasks can seem overwhelming when you have the flu. Can’t wait to fully recover and to feel strong again.

  2. Icequeen81

    When I was studying in Holland there was nobody who could take care of me, it was afwul there I got sick many times, Nobdoy there to give me a hand, in 2008 I started to get accute pain after eating.
    I didnt understand it. I trought It could be gastritis, but when I went to the excuse for a doctor I had there she said I was stressed.

    How could I be stressed all the time? and after eating ? I started to be my own doctor , analized every meal I had and when I got the pain so I started with a self made diet avoiding sertain foods
    it did help me a bit but the pain at night was stilll there.
    in 2011 when I come back to my land I still had the pain, I was still fallowin my diet but got the pain more and more heavier at night. I come back by my parents home after living many years in Holland.
    One morning when I was ready to go to the school I was working my mom said you are not going anywhere u didn’t sleep at nigh we are going to the doctor now. I went. She a real docter did find out what i had , I had gall stones and that did destroy my gall bladder
    the situation was so advanced that i had to be operated the very next week other wise the gallstone would have explode in my liver. After my operation , had to stay 2 months at home my work did call me every single say to see when I was coming back.
    They didn’t even call to see If made it in the hospital , they only concern was they needed a teacher. I want even paid when I was sick, I came earlier than I had to because they did menace to look for another teacher.

    I’m thankful to God for my parents for helping me, and for this doter who did find out what I had instead of saying that i was stressed, I did stay in Holland maybe I would made it for that stupid woman that doesn’t even deserve to be a Doctor.


      1. Icequeen81

        @ Lizzy yes it was scary to know I was sick , for so many year but she did deny it. Yes I am also glad I got a better doctor

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Icequeen81!

      I’m so sorry to hear that you suffered so much before getting the correct diagnosis! Sadly, I think this happens a lot. There are many doctors who just ‘write off’ ailments as being stress-related. And some doctors don’t take women seriously. I’ve experienced this before, and it’s really disconcerting because you’re going to see the doctor for their expertise, but they just turn you away and make you feel like you’re bothering them (even though it’s their job to be concerned about their patients’ health!). Some doctors (like professionals in any field) can get jaded over time. I think that’s what may have happened to the first doctor you mentioned. I feel like a good doctor will keep trying to find the cause of a patient’s pain instead of writing it off as stress.

      Wow, gallstones are serious! I’ve never had them, but my mom did, and the pain you get from those are excruciating! I’m surprised and disgusted that your first doctor didn’t think to look into that as a possible cause.

      And I’m sorry to hear that your employer treated you like a commodity instead of caring about you as a person. That doesn’t reflect well on them.

      Wow, but on the positive side, I’m glad that there was at least one doctor who was able to help you sort things out in the end!

      1. Icequeen81

        Thank you for your kind words,Now it has been a year I have been operated. I know is not good to hold a grudge on someone but I really dislike my first doctor in Holland..

        And you are right the pain is excruciating.
        It gets not online inside you but it gets also your back and sometimes I got headache and nausea from it

        Hope u get well soon


        1. Mary Post author

          Sure, it’s not good to hold a grudge, but I totally understand why it’s something you won’t forget. It’s pretty major! And, thank goodness you got the care your body needed or things could’ve went from bad to worse!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      Thank you – I hope so, too! I want to get back to work ASAP. I really dislike taking sick days, but if my body feels as weak as it does now, I may be forced to take Monday off. 🙁

  3. Lizzy

    hehehe My dad always used to say “F**k ’em if they can’t take a joke” XD Actually, he still says it. I got my sense of humor from him. Also, thankfully, I got my immune system from him. We very rarely get sick either and when we do we tend to let our bodies handle it. How will it ever learn otherwise?! Germphobes and pill poppers drive me nuts!! Don’t they realize how weak they’re making themselves? Not to mention their poor children… To each their own, I suppose. Hope you feel better soon. *hugs*
    Lizzy recently posted: Sinful Colors: Exotic Green & Super Star

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Lizzy!

      I definitely agree with you – in order to build up your immunity, you need to be exposed to some germs. That’s why I’m concerned about my brother and sister-in-law constantly using sanitary wipes on my niece and nephew. They’re really young kids, and it’s normal for them to come into contact with germs. In fact, it’s pretty much expected that they’ll pick up some kind of bug when they eventually go to school. It’s normal, and it’s natural for the body to build up that immunity. By being overly clean and germophobic, I feel like they may be weakening their immunity.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Barbara!

      Man, I’ve been sleeping so much, I feel like a hibernating bear. Really weird! I’m trying to take care of myself and relax so that I can recuperate faster.

      I almost didn’t post anything today. Sitting up makes me feel sicker, so I had to type all this lying down. And even so, I have to take breaks because my energy seems to get drained very fast.

  4. beachgal

    I am also alone and have been for yrs with chronic disease. I am leaving after this coming week for brain surg (cancer of the brain) and follow up 2nd round of chemo – will need this week to get everything done and pack up to be gone for more than 2 months 500 miles from home with no one to bring me what I forgot or things that come up on the home front. So I empathize with you…I have done this a # of times in the past but it’s getting to me now – it’s harder now. I have to get down to where I will stay once I am an out-pt and stock the little studio I stay in with 1 month of food/supplies — where the heck to get all the oomph to not only get ready on this end – but do all that pre surgery when I get there? Odd as it sounds, I almost wish I would get the flu and this all would get postponed! Feel better – take it easy.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey beachgal!

      Your case is definitely way more complicated than mine. You must be an incredibly strong person to go through all that! I hope that your surgery and chemotherapy are successful. I’m thinking about you and praying for a speedy recovery!

      It puts things in perspective. I just have the flu…You’re going through something intense that I can’t even fathom!


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