I awoke today with this great sense of self-awareness. I was ready to begin with the vigor that most people see in their day-to-day.
Like if you snapped out of your dream from the night and ‘New Slang’ by the Shins faded in to wake you up, and you just kind of looked at life and thought to yourself:
‘This is the day. I’m gonna do all the things today.’
That’s what happened this morning.
Then I barfed at a diner.
It was actually quite interesting.
You see the new year has been really going quite solid for me so far. Nothing unbelievably out of the ordinary or life-altering. I pinned a few more things to my secret wedding board on Pinterest, I started this blog, and I have maintained my day-to-day interactions with the world around me.
But I have been sick for two weeks now.
Not like…’Guys, we need to have a talk’ sick….
…but sick none the less. You see for me being sick isn’t really a thing. I am not a fan of the doctors and I don’t really go as often as I probably should. It is what it is but waiting rooms creep me out. Anyway, I rarely get sick, and when I do I pretend its like not happening and it usually goes away. We’re talking like once in a blue moon, honestly.
But when I do get sick, it is bad. Incapacitating-bad.
Like…”Mom, do everything for me and can you pour that glass of juice down my gullet because I’m too weak to fend for myself here”-bad.
But since New Years I just kind of assumed that I was basically getting all of my yearly illnesses out of my system. Who the hell wants to be sick sporadically throughout the year anyway. Give me all of it at the beginning of the year. Set me up with the Noro Virus, pink-eye, and a chest cold all at once. I will absolutely be that guy that gets over it and spends the rest of the year watching people get super pukey because their immune systems aren’t used to the toxins of the everyday world.
Like maybe get off your Play Stations and see the world!
Don’t you people know you’re supposed to beat the shit out of your body so you get used to the crummy stuff that flies around day in and day out?
As I have gotten older though, I have noticed my regimen for taking care of myself has changed from the beginning, whence I was a baby boy. Back in the golden years my mother and father had one of those nifty measuring spoons you poured the medicine into the handle where it measured the quantity, and then you passed it along to your child who regrettably downed it in hopes that the color of the medicine was going to match the flavor, which it never did.
By my teen years I was fully accepting of trips to the doctor where he would have general conversation regarding my genitalia and how it was changing and then he would prescribe me a Z pack to take care of basically anything my body could have gotten into when I was younger.
But now, as an adult, there is all this expectation that you’re supposed to take care of your body and you’re on your own in doing so. And who the fuck came up with that idea because it sucks.
My doctor is on the opposite side of town and getting there is a pain in the ass so I wait until its at the point that no one is going to want to stand within a five foot diameter of me before I will concede and agree to go sit at an urgent care facility nearby. The doctor will feign his interest in my symptoms and prescribe me something I have never heard of that most likely generally cover a wide array of illnesses.
Well for all that effort I would rather take care of all these illnesses myself! I’m stubborn enough as it is and I don’t really want to take a medical professional’s opinion to heart today. I’d rather say it’s probably this or it’s probably that.
All I know is they make medicine for the day time, the night time, and the kind where you just need to get away from the symptoms. That sounds pretty self explanatory and I know for a fact that the guy next to me on the CDTA is getting irritated with me sucking snot out the back of my throat day after day, so bring on the Mucinex.
Well New Years’ midnight stroke passes and I wake up New Years day with the abdominal pains of what I can only relate to child birth…like really uncomfortable but not all that bad in the grand scheme…
…right ladies? That’s accurate?
Anyway I proceed to spend the whole day evacuating liquids and solids from my system because, and lets be honest, who wanted them there in the first place? I do the responsible thing and call my parents in Florida to cry over the phone and complain about how life is ending and the world has no light anymore…the usual.
I reach out to my overly-happy and in-love house guests for the holidays, and request they pick me up the biggest vat of gatorade they can find, and some bananas. I’m not sure what the bananas do but my dad said to get it and honestly I haven’t kept anything else down so it’s worth a shot since they’re mushy if they have to come back up.
I am very specific that in my request that I do not want the yellow gatorade because it tastes disgusting and if you disagree we have nothing in common and you should stop reading this now. I don’t pay them back because I’m cheap and miserable and they’re happy and in love so it seems like a fair trade. My bartering skills are top notch.
Somewhere in the following day around noon, my body clams up and decides we’re all set and we can start keeping things inside again…
Then I settle into my cubicle at work the following monday, alive, awake, alert and enthusiastic.
And then I cough.
And then I cough again and its crunchy this time.
About an hour later my eyeballs start getting warm. I made this point the other day to some friends and they looked at me like I had eight heads, but if you’ve ever been sick…which you should have unless you’re Bruce Willis in ‘Unbreakable’, which you’re not…you absolutely understand what that symptom is like.
So I go home and lay on the couch and put on some Boys II Men, and sob softly into the terry-cloth blanket now draped over my face, because I have come to terms with the fact that I am getting sick and I am by myself. Two fever blockers, some melatonin and it’s off to bed for this pretty pretty princess.
The next two days are about as happy as me watching my cat hump the aforementioned terry-cloth blanket while I shovel saltines into my mouth. My face is evacuating pretty much all fluids that are built up inside of it, and the cough that was once crunchy has turned wet and solid at certain points. My body feels basically like someone backed over me with a tractor trailer and I can’t focus on anything because there is steam coming out of those little pink nippley things in the corner of your eyes.
So heres how this goes-25 years old and coming to terms with the fact that you’re not healthy:
You get approached by several co-workers asking if you’re taking anything.
Then they ask if you need them to donate sick time to you.
Then you get the point.
You are officially that asshole at the workplace.
So you take two days off and you make your way over to the rite-aid where you purchase a handle of orange juice, the least expensive cough drops you can find, and two bottles of the store brand ‘Tussin’ that contains absolutely zero alcohol.
And so the next four days of your life are going to be a hazy, exhausting, and terrible barrage of tissues, mucus and regrettable text messages where you come across exceptionally whiney and helpless.
And here we are!
The cough is gone. The mucus is gone too.
And you wake up with every intention of furthering your frequenting of diners on the weekends. You meet your coworker. You order your usual rye toast, coffee, and side of bacon.
Then you get light headed, and a quick a minor sweat sets in and you realize you wore a tank top and a hoodie to brunch and there is absolutely no logical reason you should be a furnace at the moment. So you make your way to the bathroom, excusing yourself politely, and come to terms with the fact that there is a person pooping in the only stall available (by the way this is a huge problem in my opinion…what if more than one person has to go?) and the man standing at the urinal is unfortunately going to have to watch you toss it like a prom queen into the garbage.
It was embarrassing and I composed myself pretty well for being that guy in the bathroom at a diner throwing up the only food he had put into his body today. But then you get back home and you sit and you realize, what if you’re back to the stomach virus?
What if you just keep getting sick?
What if this is a never-ending circle of doom and gloom for your insides and you just gotta get it out?
Well, personally…it is not making me look very forward to the week ahead.
But it is making me re-think my tactics for healthcare at this point in my life.
Look at you 2014. Teaching all kinds of lessons.