My 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?