I was a sickly child. I’m a sickly adult.
Allergies. Migraines. Delicate stomach. Weak ankles. Anxiety. Problems sleeping. Snoring loudly. Frequent cavities. Arthritis. Mild carpal tunnel. A pinched disc. Colds that last 6+ weeks. And many many other things.
I get sick a lot. I stay sick longer than is usually expected for the malady I’m suffering. And I’m not exaggerating for attention. In my life, being sick is a nuisance, not something that garners special attention.
I’m sick right now. I’ve been sick for nearly a week. I’m really tired of being sick.
I really need to put “sick” into perspective to help you understand here. I’ve had relentless nausea, fever, chills, all of my muscles ache, cramps, my head hurts, I’m exhausted beyond words, wooziness that comes and goes, and I’m having issues concentrating. I’m somewhat aware of what day it is, but I couldn’t remember my phone password earlier.
Can you tell why they tested me for the flu at urgent care? BTW, I don’t have the flu. I also don’t have any of the other things that normally cause these symptoms. And the symptoms I haven’t mentioned here are flummoxing the medical professionals. I’m sick and none of the treatments they’ve given me have worked so far. I’m sick and I’m not actually getting better.
But as I sit here, drinking what I think is my 10th bottle of water today, shivering, squinting against the glare on the computer, I’ve decided to share some things I’ve learned from being a sickly adult (recently and not-so-recently). If you’re easily grossed out, you may want to abandon the post right here.
- You can only use the words “pee” and “poop” with close family members and medical professionals. I don’t care how close your friends are, there is always going to be long-term embarrassment around conversations with those words.
- Most people really think I don’t already know that the need to go pee every 20 minutes isn’t normal. Yes, I’m aware it’s bizarre. No, I don’t want to discuss it. Your need to bring it up is only going to embarrass me. It’s also going to ensure that I never go out with you anywhere ever again. (And it’s not really every 20 minutes, but some days it’s not much of an exaggeration.)
- After 5+ days of severe constipation, diarrhea counts as a bowel movement.
- After 5+ days of severe constipation, bowel movements are going to hurt. There’s no way around it.
- I can’t do an enema on myself. Finding someone to do an enema on you is a test of true love.
- You can’t get in for an appointment with your regular doctor in less than a week. Give it up. It’s not going to happen.
- Urgent care is only good for a very few items. They’re almost always going to tell you to go to the ER or to see your primary care physician. Make sure you know how much the visit is going to cost you before you go.
- Vaseline is my new best friend.
- Nausea could be a form of torture.
- It’s possible not to remember the last time you ate.
- Modesty becomes optional the worse you feel. I walked from my room to the bathroom without pants or even underwear — yelling that no one should look. It’s possible that the dogs were sitting outside my room at that point, but I’m not sure.
- It’s possible to sleep comfortably on the bathroom floor with enough towels.
- There is nothing on television, but it doesn’t matter. If you’re actually sick, you’re not going to stay awake to watch whatever is on.
There’s more. I know there’s more. I’m just too tired to keep typing.