Hello MOGULS! I'm writing this while wearing bonafide adult cotton underwear! A vast improvement from the past week. As you may know, I got hit with a very severe upper respiratory infection coupled with a sinus infection and the worst coughing I've ever experienced (I almost blacked out). I'm excited to say I can take a deep breath without coughing and the congestion fog is finally lifting. Looking back at the 10 days of icky sicky hell, I realized I learned some lessons along the way. Here they are:
- Getting sick is the universe's way of telling you to slow down - Prior to getting sick I was running around like a chicken without a head. Pardon the cliche but that is about as accurate as I can be right now. I had every moment of every day packed with some sort of project, obligation or activity. As I started to feel ill, I pushed myself to drive to Virginia to surprise my parents for their birthdays. Then, I drove back up to Philly and hopped on a plane to Boston for a 24 hour video shoot. Getting sick was like a sucker punch to the gut. I felt the world told me "sit down, shut up and heal." (Or maybe even heel...).
- Ask for Help - When your body decides it wants to shut down, it is best to ask for help when you need it. I hate asking for help because I hate inconveniencing other people. (I know, I have to work on that). Fortunately, despite the guilt, I was blessed to ask my parents to care for my dog while I was sick. I missed the snuggles but it was a huge relief not having to walk him in the rain or freezing temperatures while sick. I could just focus on taking care of myself and know he was being cared for.
- Appreciate Wellness - I did not appreciate the gift of a gulp of fresh air until I couldn't take one without violent coughing. I was nowhere near dying, but I swear I'm having a true "It's a Wonderful Life" moment and appreciating every wonderful thing my body can do (like move and breathe).
- Get over the Guilt - This past weekend I slept until 1pm on Saturday and 12pm on Sunday. Typically that behavior would induce a tidal wave of guilt in my psyche. I hate wasting time. In fact, sometimes I get so preoccupied with time (and the loss of it), that is becomes a borderline obsession. Getting sick gave me the power to just "let go" and "let be." I surrendered control and told myself I needed the downtime to repair my body and get better. Releasing that guilt was quite freeing.
- Know How Your Sickness Impacts Others - I was selfish. I'll admit it. I went to work sick and three of my colleagues came down with something similar to what I had. I flew on a plane despite a terrible cough (granted, I had a seat to myself on both flights so...silver lining?). Sometimes when you're sick, you have to take yourself out of the equation. My Urgent Care doc was livid when she found out I was flying in my condition. I was senselessly exposing innocent people to my sickness instead of admitting defeat and staying home.
- Enjoy the Love - I live alone but I had many friends call or text to ask how I was feeling. I spared them my germs but it felt good to be loved when I felt so vulnerable and weak. I'll be sure to repay them for their attention in the future.
- Teachable Moments - More handwashing. Less face touching. More nose blowing. Daily sinus wash. More vitamins. These are all steps I plan to take as the sick season continues. I have my flu shot! But, I'll be taking many preventative measures to protect myself going forward. I do not want to go through that hell again.
- Unexpected Benefits - Due to the illness, I lost some weight. I was actively trying to lose weight the healthy way prior to the icky sickies. So...that is a plus! I kickstarted some weight loss for March! Also, the humbling experience of purchasing and wearing adult diapers proved to be great fodder for my writing. I also had the time to disinfect my entire house and it is immaculately clean.