I have been spoiled rotten.
I haven’t had a “regular” illness in over 4 years. For serious. No cold or flu or anything like that. This started in fall of 2008, when my godmother was in the last months of her battle with lung cancer. I begged God to keep me healthy and non-contagious, so that I’d be able to be with her as much as I can. I guess prayer really works!
On Tuesday after I taught catechism, my voice was a little scratchy. I chalked it up to “yelling” at the kids to keep the volume down. However, by Wednesday morning, it was clear that I was getting a case of laryngitis — and it HURT! Add to this the fact that I work in a call center currently and have to talk on the phone all day. Ouch! I went up to my boss, so she could see how bad I was getting, but she had no sympathy at all and just shrugged and said that she got that all the time. She’s one of those who looks at you like “Seriously?” if you try to say you’re sick, and I’m one of those who will continue working until someone sends me home, so I suffered through the workday.
Thursday, I was feeling worse. My throat was very painful and I was squeaking like crazy. By 3 pm, I had had enough. The patients calling in couldn’t understand me and I was sure that they were deathly afraid of catching my germs over the telephone lines. I asked a coworker to call my PCP’s office to see if I could be seen. They had an appointment in 20 minutes, across town — across downtown Ann Arbor. I asked my boss if I could leave and got permission to go. I called the doctor’s office on the way to my car and took that 3:20 spot. I could be up to 20 minutes late. I got there at 3:30 pm.
When I saw my PCP, I only had symptoms of laryngitis, although my left ear was starting to close up — always a sign of worse impending sickness. But I truly didn’t feel bad otherwise. My doctor wrote me a note to allow me to be off work on Friday, since resting my voice would help me to get it back faster.
Over the weekend, I got a lot sicker. It became a full-on cold and a pretty nasty one at that. I don’t really recall the weekend that much, except that I spent most of it in bed and didn’t make it to Mass on Sunday. You might be thinking that a cold, while uncomfortable isn’t really a big deal, and this is normally true. However, because of my other health issues, it causes problems. My doctors have told me before that I’m not allowed to get sick again, and here I am, doing what I shouldn’t! Typical. 🙂 So while I normally get short of breath, this was exacerbated and I could only take small “sips” of air at a time. This also caused me to get tachycardic quite a bit.
Since my doctor’s note only covered for Friday, I went back to work on Monday. And Tuesday. And since my boss was out the rest of the week, I felt obligated to come in. And I was miserable and resentful the whole time. Each day, I could manage for a few hours, but the last 6 hours were pure torture. I got a runny nose and used so many of our cheap Kleenex that my nose became chapped and raw. Once that subsided, I developed horrible coughing. I thought I was going to rupture something and my throat again became very swollen and painful, until I didn’t want to eat or drink anything.
I was doing a pretty bad job of eating and drinking in general, although I tried. My house was getting dirtier and all of my dishes were in the sink and I was so upset that I didn’t have help. When you are sick, you realize some things about your character. Turns out, when I’m sick I get whiny (thankfully, usually only in my head) and cranky (again, usually I can keep my comments to myself) and want attention.
[Here I am, finally editing this post to publish, and I am sick again! Ugh! This sucks! But hopefully I won’t get as sick as I did here in November (it’s April 2013 now). I ended up in the ER for dehydration – is how this tale ends. I know that eventually I will get better, just as I eventually recovered from this, but the living through it is difficult. Working while sick is pretty miserable too! My sympathies and prayers to all those out there who are also sick.]