The most special things are the things that don't really belong anywhere but here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Being Sick

Well, it happened. I am currently experiencing the first of the Fall Crud. I feel achy and snotty and my head is in some chilly fog cloud. Being sick used to be something that I didn't totally hate-- assuming it wasn't putting me in too much physical distress. Dare I say, there could be nice things about being sick. But being sick as an adult is a huge inconvenience. There's not enough time in the day as is to get stuff done, and then when your body slows down, forget it. Reflecting on this made me think of sicknesses past, of all the various benefits and horrors that come When Germs Attack.

The Best: Cold Meds
I remember the first time I realized how great cold medicine was. I was probably 13. I was stuffy and feverish and felt like crap and then took some Tylenol Cold. Suddenly, I felt sort of floaty and very talkative. (Warning: may cause excitability in children.) I understood in that moment why people did drugs.

I'm very sad that cold medicine doesn't seem to do this anymore. They changed it. Now every medicine is either daytime, so it has none of the sleepy/happy stuff in it, or it's nighttime, so it has the thing that knocks you out. Nothing in between? What, am I supposed to do actual drugs now?!

The Worst: Barfing
Don't worry. I'm not going to write long paragraphs detailing various vomit textures. This is about the psychological aspect. You ever eat something and then can't eat it again because you happened to get sick afterwards? One day, I ate an entire bag of baby carrots while watching Rescue 911, threw up that night, and couldn't eat carrots for a year. Thanks for sharing? It's weird though when something non-food is ruined for you, like a song or a movie or a TV show.

In 7th grade, I got the worst stomach flu of my life over Christmas break. I feel like it lasted the entire break, which probably isn't true, but it went on way longer than it should have. My little sister watched a lot of WKAR, so one night as I was laying nauseous and miserable in my parents' bed,  the Wishbone theme song and sequence started playing over and over and over in my head. Nothing else would enter my mind for hours, despite my desperation for any other thought to come to me. Back and forth and back and forth Wishbone walked as I wondered if it was time to get out of bed and lay on the bathroom floor. To this day, I hate it. Show ruined.

The Worst: Being Sick Away From Home
A vomit experience that confuses me today is when I was about ten and went to my friend's birthday party. I had too much movie theater popcorn and threw up in the middle of the night all over my sleeping bag. I had to crawl over sleeping children to wake up her parents in the middle of the night. Her dad did not appreciate it. What I wonder now is why didn't I get up and go to the bathroom? Why did I just lay there? Don't you remember doing that as a kid too, just deciding it was going to happen where it happened? Anyway, I digress. There is nothing worse than getting sick or being sick while away from your own comfort space. I have a hilarious travel story involving diarrhea and a scoliosis back brace, but I've been told that I shouldn't tell that story to everyone, so I won't repeat it here.

The Best: It's an Excuse
My favorite thing to do is sit and stare at something: the TV, a book, the wall. Normally, I may feel like I'm wasting the day if I'm under a blanket watching VH1 Behind the Music marathons, but if I'm sick? Nah. That's to be expected. It's also nice if you're not alone in the house and you can make your voice real small and say, "Heeyy, can you make me some soooooup?" Justified laziness and being waited on is always a good thing.

The Worst: Depression
One night in the late 90's, my sickly cousin and my sickly self were talking on the phone.  Natalie said, "I want to go back to school and see everyone, but I also really don't want to go back to school ever again." I thought that was deeply profound and weird because it was exactly how I felt. You need to be back in the world again, but the longer you're away from it, the less enthusiasm you have towards any type of participation in life. It just gets worse the longer the sickness goes on. Also, with not enough happening in the day, there's less to fill your mind, which doesn't help.

The Best: Miscellaneous
I don't know why, but sweating profusely from a fever makes me feel very accomplished. Those white blood cells workin' hard! Also, something about the raspyness that occurs from a cold or flu is oddly satisfying.

The Worst: Nighttime
Night has never seemed so long, depressing, and dark as when you feel like crap and cannot stop coughing or the tickle in your throat won't go away or your head is throbbing or your stomach is churning. I'm not sure why the human body is like this, but I swear as soon as the sun starts to rise, it's like, "Okay, I'll just put a hold on these symptoms and knock her out." Then an hour later the alarm clock goes off. It's very mean and I don't appreciate it at all.

Well there it is, folks. The best and worst of being sick. As we enter cold and flu season, may you remember that the worst is universal and that there is always a bright side to how shitty you feel.

What did I miss? What would be on your list?

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