“Write about that,” he said, ever helpful.
Well, fine. I will. Hello! I am no longer sick, but I really was sick as a dog for almost a solid week. I haven’t exercised. I haven’t paid attention to my diet. In fact, I have discovered several truisms of sickness that I think are important to note when one is stricken with The Ickies whilst trying to be all healthy and stuff.
Truism the First: Comfort food is bad for you. Just last week I was marveling at how my new diet regimen has come to feel like normal eating, for the most part, and I don’t miss the foods I no longer eat. Then my cold morphed into Secondary Infections: This Time, It’s Mucousy and—as generally happens to me when I’m unwell—I stopped wanting to eat anything at all. But after a couple of days of sipping tea I realized I was only going to continue feeling worse if I didn’t eat some food, so I tried to rally my body for some sustenance. What do you suppose I wanted to eat, then, to tempt my feverish palate?
1) Saltines. Sickness is synonymous with Saltines, in my mind. I crave them. I’ve also yet to meet a wheat-free Saltine, which means I can’t have them. I tried eating some wheat-free crackers I have, but it was not the same. Alas.
2) Soup. Sickness also calls for soup from a can, because I’m sure as heck not making homemade soup when I’m sick. Soup from a can is salty, even if you buy the supposed low-sodium kinds. So I ate soup for a couple of days and then (like a loon) decided to weigh myself, sure that at the very least this horrible virus had surely taken some weight off of me! Well, the scale said I’d gained half a pound. Also, I couldn’t get my rings off. Clearly I was retaining four cans of soup thanks to all the salt. Awesome.
3) Soda. I more or less gave up diet soda on this challenge, and I’ve never been a huge fan of regular soda. But when I’m sick, I want high-octane soda. I had some root beer I found in the back of the fridge and thoroughly enjoyed it, and then nearly went into sugar shock. Hooboy.
Truism the Second: Doctors’ office scales are lying liars and also mean. Was it bad enough that I was so sick I finally relented and went to the doctor, and sat in the “Sick Waiting Room” with people who probably had the flu and ebola and who knows what else? No? I also had to go step on their stupid lying scale that put me at a full four pounds over what I weigh at home. Now, at home I’m minus two pounds for clothing, but the other two pounds? I BLAME MY HMO. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Truism the Third: Being sick ruins everything. I had just gotten into a groove with my exercise. Remember how I hate exercise? I had worked it into my routine. I was almost (not quite) enjoying it. I was staying the course, man. But it’s awfully hard to do the elliptical when you’re dying, and so for a solid week, no exercise. Now I’m better, but still weak, and I feel like I’m starting back at square one, and that sucks. I feel crappy because I haven’t exercised, but I haven’t exercised because I feel crappy. Also, as hard as it was to get that regular exercise into my schedule in a way that worked, it sure didn’t take much time to drop it, huh?
Part of this is that I’m an asthmatic and I have this aversion to not being able to breathe (go figure). I get sick, the asthma flares up, I get on the elliptical, and within 60 seconds I’m wheezing and ready to go back to my life of couch-potato-ism. The other part of this is simply that I don’t like things that are hard, and I’m annoyed that I built up my tolerance and developed a new routine and in the space of one week seem to have shot it all to hell. Hmph.
Truism the Fourth: Sickness comes to an end, and life goes on. I’m almost back to normal, and there’s no way I’m trashing eight weeks of hard work just because I had a cruddy week. Maybe I can’t jump right back into my full routine, but I can get back to it as best I can, even with a fistful of Kleenex.
A very small part of me actually suspects I will bounce back a little more quickly once I get more active again. But another, larger part of me wants to believe that’s a myth that endorphin junkies are perpetuating. We’ll see.