That I am Sudden Sick

I’ve got a bunch of posts coming, I think.  It’s been a few days, and I would prefer to be posting every day.  On the other hand, I don’t want to just post crap for the sake of posting, so I’ve held off.

This week has been quite busy for me.  I had thought, when I quit my full-time (hated, office) job in June, that I would be drowning in free time and would be constantly unmotivated by my lack of deadlines and would perhaps risk starvation.  What happened instead, is that I’ve been employed in various theatrical pursuits constantly since then.  I think the most time I’ve had off in a row was 4 days.

It is glorious.

That said, I always experience this grass-is-always-greener phenomenon:  when I’m working all the time and have specific deadlines and feel a little overwhelmed, I think, “Oh, if only I had a week off!  I just wish I could sit around the house and do nothing all day!”  When I have time off, however, I think, “ARRRGH!  There’s so much I wish I were doing!  If only I had a deadline to make me get off my ass!”

The truth is that I work better under considerable pressure.  I’m a last-minute-er.  Much to the consternation of people capable of planning ahead (like Paul), I always wrote papers 4-5 hours before they were due, usually after crying for 1-2 hours about how I’d been procrastinating doing them.  And then I’d get an “A”, which was pretty standard for me but very annoying to people who’d been working on theirs for two weeks.

Tip your waitresses!

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all the week.

The flip side of this coin is that I’m worthless without a deadline.  If I’m supposed to prepare for a class, for example, I find myself stressing about it for a couple of months, but only actually doing anything for it the day before I start teaching.  I really dislike this about myself, but so far there hasn’t been a deadline for a personality change, so I’m still procrastinating doing anything about it.  And, of course, if I keep getting praised and rewarded for the work I do this way, there’s little motivation to behave differently.  (I hesitate to write that, ’cause I obviously don’t want to be accountable for a higher level of work.  But I write it anyway ’cause I hate that gnawing feeling of being a fraud that comes along with getting complimented on something I feel I half-assed.)

I’m the pig in this metaphor.

Where was I going with all this?

Oh yes, so the week has been pretty busy, despite the fact that I don’t technically have a full-time job.  (Instead, I have 4 jobs that are allegedly part-time but that I spend a great deal of time working on outside of the actual job site.)  Until yesterday.

On Thursday, I had gotten about 6 hours of sleep, due in part to a restless mind and in part to a restless puppy.  I woke up tired and very cranky.  My computer was misbehaving, my USB WiFi was misbehaving, and my muscles were sore for some reason.  The whole day, I just felt like I was wandering through a fog — groggy, confused, angry (that being my default state).

Yesterday morning, I figured out why.  I was getting sick!  My throat was scratchy Thursday night, and when I woke up Friday morning, it was in so-sore-I-didn’t-want-to-swallow-and-DEFINITELY-no-talking mode.  My muscles were still achy, but I think that’s due to teaching 4 hours of combat on Wednesday and not to anything like the flu.

Yesterday and today, I ate soup and drank tea and cuddled my puppy all day, and I’m actually feeling a little better.  My nose is kinda runny, and my throat’s still sore, but I don’t think I’ll be down for long.

To what do I attribute my speedy recovery in situations like this, you ask with bated breath?  (And then I wonder how you talk while you’re holding your breath.)

Well, I’ll risk sounding like a pompous know-it-all and tell you my Illness-Avoidance Regimen:

I start this regimen when:

  • I start feeling a twinge of illness:  sniffles, cough, sore throat, etc.
  • Someone with whom I’ve been in close proximity recently gets ill.
  • I’ve got a big event coming up and I’m adamant about not being sick for it.

The regimen consists of some things which probably have scientific merit and some which are probably just Old Spouses’ Tales, but if nothing else, the placebo effect is strong with this one.  At the first hint of danger:

  • I start taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C once or twice daily.  If available, I take this in the form of Emergen-C (or the store brand of same), simply because I like fizzy, fruity things.
  • I eat and drink lots of warm liquids like soups and teas.  I go for decaf green tea with lemon juice and honey usually, although rooibos is also high in antioxidants, and I LOVE rooibos.  Allegedly, drinking warm things sorta rinses the disease-causing critters out of the mouth and throat and into the stomach, where they are, I presume, drawn and quartered.
  • I use a saline nasal spray 2-3 times per day.  Similar idea about washing the beasties out of my sinuses.  (Again, I don’t know if this is pseudo-scientific hooey, but please don’t tell me it doesn’t work ’cause then I’ll know and it won’t.)
  • I gargle with warm salt water or antiseptic mouth rinse twice a day.
  • I eat a clove of raw garlic once or twice a day.  This is very unpleasant.  The first time, I actually chewed it up, which was horrendous; it stung, and it gave me three full days of garlic breath.  My most recent system is to chop up the garlic finely and then swallow it like pills, with water.
  • I eat citrus fruits.  This is as much because they taste refreshing as anything else — I mean, I’m already peeing out 900 mg of vitamin C, so I probably don’t need any more of that.
  • I drink ginger ale.  This has nothing to do with medical treatment (and probably quite the opposite due to the high sugar content) but instead just makes me feel better.
  • I watch Winnie the Pooh — the old animated Disney version.  And I mumble along to the songs.

“I wasn’ gonna eat it. I was jus’ gonna taste it.”

So far, this illness, I haven’t done garlic, ginger ale, or Pooh.  I assume that’s why I’m still sick.  😉


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