I was out of the office last week with the flu. I started feeling ‘off’ on Sunday, but went in to work anyway the next day. Of course, going into Monday I started to feel like crap (and that is the technical term for it). By lunchtime it was painfully obvious that I wasn’t going to make it through the day. And I went home early. And I let my boss know that that should expect me to come in the next day.
I always prefer having a cold to having the flu. A cold leaves me sick but functional. I can still go to work and do my stuff and keep up. It’s unpleasant, sure, but that’s about it. Having the flu wipes me out. Besides the fever, which can never be a good thing in Houston in July, there’s the whole “I feel weak” thing that attacks without warning. With the flu I’m literally too weak to get out of bed. And that’s something that is not a good thing.
I don’t even have the benefit of being ‘mothered’ by my mother. When one of her children is sick, my mother basically informs us that we’re sick, tells us that we need to take something for it and really should go to the doctor, stays out of our way and asks us how we’re feeling sometime in the next few days. When it’s my brother, the only difference is that she tells him that if he doesn’t start to feel better she’ll take him to the doctor and she asks him at least once a day if he’s feeling better, until she’s pretty sure that he is.
I’m sure that if I focus for a moment I can recall my mother babying me at one point in my life. Maybe when I was very small and always sick. Or maybe that’s when she started to let me be independent. I was a sickly child. My tonsils were always acting up. I was under doctor’s orders to avoid going barefoot, having wet hair, going swimming and other water and/or cold-related activities that might aggravate me. From the time I was five to several years later – when I finally got the tonsils taken out – I was always taking medicine, going to the doctor’s office, visiting hospitals and having tests done. And no, it wasn’t just the tonsillitis, but that made the other things worse. And I eventually ended up taking my bike and going by myself to the doctor’s office to get my shots and stuff. And I developed this I-hate-doctors attitude that doesn’t make my life easy.
I’d like to get pampered every once in a while, even if just because I’m sick. But my migraines get me a lecture on the consequences of caffeine and my sleeplessness get me a lecture on my sleeping habits and getting the flu or a cold gets me isolation until the contagious stage is over. I’m not likely to get coddled anytime soon.
It’s a good thing I recover fast.