When I was young sick days only happened after I went to school and spent time in the nurses office and farmer dad would stop the tractors and come get me. We would hop in his dirty hay covered 1987 red ford pick up and drive to the local clinic where everyone knew us. Then we would go to the pharmacy and he would let me stay in the car while he went in to grab prescriptions always coming out with some sort of candy bar and by request Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Sick half days were awesome because it was just my dad and me watching full house, Step by Step, Boy Meets World, and Home Improvement until the rest of the gang came home then he went back to the fields.
Sick days as an adult are nothing like sick days as a kid. First, for me it’s the struggle of feeling guilty not going to work. Then the “I can take care of myself” kicks in and I start self prescribing what I have based on what my friends have kicks in. Then after all that medication fails it is the question of what doctor to see and heaven forbid if you forget your insurance card even if you’re a patient there they treat you like they have never seen you before. Being sick is so complicated it’s one big “think for yourself and figure it out,” which in itself can be daunting while sick.
Last week I painfully reflected on my lack of running the previous week summarizing why I didn’t run at all which I thought was due to stress, weather, and a dash of feeling lazy. It turns out my body was sending me signals that week which were followed by some serious feeling ailments. Interestingly enough before I could jump back into the running saddle like I was craving my body decided to confine me to a sick bubble.
I woke up last Wednesday with burning in my lungs, ears popping, and head feeling like it was going to explode. I would have rather run two marathons in one day then experience the pain I had gotten myself into. I thought I had a cold no big deal everyone has a cold right now so I thought this is the cold. Then after I realized I couldn’t breath I finally came to my senses and went to see my internal medicine doctor later that day. After my evaluation and a scan my doctor looked at me like I was crazy.
The final diagnosis was scary I have waking pneumonia, double ear infection, and a sinus infection. My mouth dropped knowing all that sounded way worse than a common cold. The inevitable truth was that I would have to stop running until I can breathe without having to use my inhaler daily. Inhaler? I asked and yes… This never had an asthma attack marathon runner has to use an inhaler at lest twice a day and in between as needed. On top of that I have to take a bunch of other drugs that have made me sick, dizzy, forgetful, delirious, etc..so its been just wonderful in my world over here.
This past week has been a blur of crazy dreams from my medication and bad bad bad daytime TV. I resisted the urge to blog or get on social media because I tried to focus on getting myself well so I’m sorry for my disappearing act and lack of communication. I did however think way too much about running and I may have done way too much shopping (sales of course).
Needless to say I miss the good old sick days with my dad and I even sort of crave the smell of hay when I’m sick – it comforts me. It’s too bad these days being sick can’t be just that your sick so drop everything. I’m glad I took this last week and this week easy and I’m planning on getting back into routine next week. In the end no matter what our philosophy is on treating a sickness it will likely never be as good as we had it when we were kids.
I have to say the support from everyone was so uplifting and every get well message was appreciated. So thank you all so much for checking in on me.
What were sick days like for you as a kid? or what do you do with your kids when they are sick?
How do you treat yourself when you are sick, do you have guilty feelings about missing work?