I have been sick. Like, actually sick. For four days. And it’s killing me.
Well, it’s not actually killing me. That is the point of this post.
After having a vague sore throat for a few days, it hit me in the middle of a work day. That “I have to go lay down RIGHT NOW,” feeling. This may be my body’s way of telling me that I’m sick, because I’ve felt it before. So at 3pm on a Thursday, I went home and got into bed, and basically stayed prone for the next 48 hours. I’ve had visits from terrific friends to bring me breakfasts and dinners and movies and well wishes.
This morning a marathon ran past my house. It felt sort of like pouring salt into a wound. There I was, watching hundreds of people run thousands of (cumulative) miles, and I am tired after standing up for 30 minutes.
A good and wise friend told me “the exhaustion is so hard to deal with when you are used to being on the go.” She is quite right.
This makes me realize how spoiled I really am. Every time I’m sick, I think of people who live with this level of exhaustion on a daily basis. I think about those chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia, or chemo or… anything. Exhaustion is a major symptom of so many illnesses, and so often we judge those suffering – claiming it’s “all in their head.” We have developed a bias in our society towards people who don’t need to sleep and can work 20 hour days and be superhuman, that we begin to think that’s real. Or even possible. So someone who isn’t able to do those things is somehow not just deficient, but delinquent.
So here I am, laying on my sofa, blogging (first world problems, anyone?), feeling sorry for myself because my house isn’t as clean as it should be and I have to go back to work tomorrow after not having a “real” weekend. And disappointed because I wasn’t out running 13 or 26 miles this morning. When did it become ok to feel that being sick makes me deficient? As opposed to simply human. Mortal.
When is our hubris going to catch up with us, as a society? When is my hubris going to catch up with me, as a sane human being?