snotfest '07, the recovery

We spent the whole weekend resting. No housework, no outings (except to see Steve on Friday night but we were home by seven), Grace has had two naps a day and I've had one or two myself. Simple healthy food. We're trying to be nice to each other too. Not always easy when you're sick and grumpy and a bit tired of it all. Or you're only two and you don't understand why you can't run all the time.

I decided not to go to work today. And felt a bit guilty. Then when I rang one of the teamleaders this afternoon to say that I was taking tommorrow off as well, I found out that four people had called in sick today, which in a small office like ours is quite a lot. So if I'd gone to work, it would have been really hard, more guilt. But basically I felt like shit unless I was lying down. Lying down is OK. As is looking at Flickr, messing with the camera and reading blogs, but only for a little while. Anyway my teamleader asked if I'd been to the doctor, he has to ask because we have an attendance strategy, and I said that I couldn't get an appointment until Tuesday. But that if I miracloulously felt better, I'd ring in the morning and let them know that I was coming to work. I then told him that I'd been sick for three weeks (he's been on holiday) and that I was well and truly over it, that I seemed to be catching every new bug that walked in the door, and that Grace and Gerard had it now as well. And that I was beyond soldiering on. He sighed.

But truly, I worked out tonight that I've actually had this cold for four weeks. I know I'm not the only one, the supermarket this afternoon was full of people who looked like the walking dead. Why do we keep going? I know a cold isn't that serious for most people, but this soldiering on for weeks is rubbish. A few days, OK. If I'd stayed at home in the first place I mightn't have passed it on, I wouldn't have let my system get so run down. I wouldn't have had so many weeks of feeling like crap warmed up. It's crossed my mind that if there was a really serious influenza outbreak that it'd probably start like this, with everybody still going to work, still going out and about.

Being sick is innately depressing too and I was starting to feel my moods slip below what's normal for me. Little things were throwing me and big things were devastating. Now that I've had four days in a row with at least ten hours sleep (8 at night, 2 napping) my mental state has gone from precarious to fine. I still feel physically ill and a bit sad because it's September, but I don't feel on the edge. In fact, I'd say that lightness and a sense of optimism are returning. Happiness even. Alongside the sadness. Indeed I seem to be able to feel the sadness properly, if that makes sense. Let this be a lesson to me.

And can I just say a heartfelt thank-you to those who commented, emailed or otherwise shared about my last post. Sometimes it all tumbles out and it really does help to have a place for it to fall.


Kris said...

When we were all sick I kept thinking about an add from ny childhood with the jingle "soldier on with Codril soldier on ...". I agree Janet, it's not a good strategy and I think we need to shake off the guilt of prioritising our health and that of our families over the workings of an office (easy to say, I know). But also as you point out, it's a public health issue - if we stay in we're protecting others.

daisies said...

take care of you honey, soldiering on is not the remedy, lots of rest and care goes a long way ... thinking of you and sending you all kinds of love ... xoxox

Penni said...

I don't believe in medicating a cold, I believe in rest and liquids and nourishing broth and daytime tellie. It's hard when you've got kids though, you do find yourself pushing through it constantly. I'm sure Una gets better fastest because she just cries when she feels like crap and sleeps when she's tired.
We're FINALLY on the mend though. Last night Fred had dinner, dessert and then asked for a sandwich with cheese, tomato and leaves (spinach) in it which is just unheard of on a few levels (for her to eat so much, and for her to request extra veggies). I am still fluey but my symptoms are diminishing into a more manageable version. I don't for example feel like I'm swallowing razorblades anymore.
When Martin worked at Seek they implemented an honesty policy with sick leave. No certificates required and limitless days available. I think it was an effective measure.
Getting sick is almost worth it for the big mental spring clean when you realise you are better.
Sorry, this was the blahiest and most fragmented comment and all about me.