My Body has Betrayed Me: That Time I Got a Cold

I had to take the afternoon off from work today. For you see, I am unwell.

  1. Yes. I am very brave. That was astute of you to notice.
  2. I get the “I should be working” guilt something awful. At least with a half day, I know if something is actively exploding, it’s not my bad.

The anatomy of my cool-lady tray table on a sick day: hot water with lemon and sliced clementines, cough drops, motivational cough drop wrappers, clementines because vitamin C or something, Day Time, the generic version of DayQuil, Mucus relief because when you have to talk about mucus, why beat around the bush, the serious book I’ve been meaning to finish, and then the book I ditch the first one for that’s more fun to read on a sick day.

The thing is, for someone who has had crohn’s disease for two decades and is no stranger to feeling under the weather, when any other illness strikes, I don’t handle it well. Some would even say I handle it badly.

I don’t get non-crohnie sick often, so when I do, I forget how to do it. While part of me was excited about not spending four hours at my desk, but curled up in my comfy pants reading, I forgot that adult sick days are very different.

No one brings you soup. No one goes to the store for you. No one pays you compliments, because even sick people need to feel good about themselves.

And what if you’re out of soup? And don’t want to spend money on more soup? Because you just spent what feels like an inappropriate amount money on a bottle labeled “mucus relief” and medicine whose shade of orange rivals the majestic Cheeto, all under the pretense of “needing to breath”?

Despite devoting 20 minutes to wondering if you just yelled loud enough and long enough would someone bring you tea and free soup and Price is Right DVDs because you don’t have cable, I usually come down on the side of, don’t yell for the neighbors.

They might bring the wrong soup.

Luckily this soup conundrum was solved by me getting distracted as I wrote an ode to comfy pants (just repeat “comfy pants” to the tune of “It’s Raining Men” until you forget how the song ends and stop singing) and taking an accidental four hour nap.

As it’s a common misconception that four hour naps will fix everything, let me clarify, they do not. It feels like what I would expect those astronauts in Sci-Fi movies feel like after they wake up from hyper-sleep on their way to a distant galaxy. You wake up and think, “who am I? Where am I? Is this Mars?” And then you remember that it’s not Mars. It’s the Wisconsin suburbs, and your sinuses are trying to kill you.

Good thing I’m so brave and stoic.

But seriously, I’ve spent a couple weeks now hearing coughing from my officemate, from our office neighbors, from offices up and down the hall. Seeing coworkers call in sick, and seeing the uncomfortable faces of people talking to people who should have called in sick.

All in all, it was just a matter of time before the coughing came for me.

And speaking of time, how long is this going to take? As we’ve mentioned, I’ve had all the soup in a yelling radius. I’ve had 42 cups of hot water with lemon, like, in the last hour. I took a four hour nap! I own a bottle of medicine labeled “mucus relief!” What more do you want from me?

Get it together, body. It’s time to be fine. My digestive system likes to be the center of attention, and doesn’t like the lungs getting all press. I worry about tantrums. Because that’s how biology works.

As a reminder: Wash your hands. Stop coughing directly on door knobs. Stop coughing directly on anything that isn’t your elbow, while we’re at it. Get lots of sleep. It’s nasty out there.

I just ate a sweet potato while simultaneously trying not to choke on my cough drop that I forgot I was already eating.

I am very bad at this.

3 thoughts on “My Body has Betrayed Me: That Time I Got a Cold

  1. Awww. You need your Mommy! I hope your body cooperates and you feel better soon. I am certainly glad your illness has not taken your wonderful sense of humor! Oh and just so you feel good about yourself, you look great in comfy pants. Hallelujah! 😊

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