My family left me on Boxing Day to visit the grandparents and I stayed here in the city to get things done, those things that require no one under foot (purging closets and wardrobes), writing, and work.
Too bad my body didn't agree with this solitary break.
About two weeks ago I developed what seemed like a normal cold. I felt crappy, nothing horrible, just general yuck. So I took some daytime cold medicine and went on my merry way. At night I'd take lots of vitamin C and Cold-FX, drink my fluids and get plenty of sleep, just like momma ordered.
But I just couldn't shake it. My chest was heavy, an annoying cough developed and threatened to make me produce snot-bubbles in public, plus my eyes felt like they were on fire. It hurt to blink which was no exaggeration. It felt like sand and broken glass were under my lids so I consulted those medical types and started treatment for pink eye. Personally I haven't experienced pink eye in eons but our 5yo gets it at least once a year so I knew the drill. Wash all the pillowcases, keep the hands clean, and for the love of Pete, DON'T TOUCH YOUR EYES. Usually after a couple days of treatment it goes away but instead mine seemed to get worse.
The odd day was taken off from work, some days I worked from home, and honestly I really did take good care of myself yet nothing worked. Christmas came and I woke up sick as ever with family about to arrive on our doorstep for turkey time. I would have rather rolled over and stayed in bed but no such luck. Turkey won't cook itself yanno.
But I survived the day and that evening I crawled back to bed knowing full well that the family was leaving tomorrow and that all the sleep very much needed would be soon achieved.
Sleep I did not get. Instead I woke up with eyes worse than ever, swollen completely shut, so I made my way to urgent care in hopes that they had a miracle cure (ten years I worked in the hospitals and I still believe the myth that they can cure all that ails you. I'm such a glass-half-full person.) Quick exam after a long wait and the ENT specialist informed me that what I had was untreatable. The sound I made at that pronouncement sounded like a wounded animal death wail.
He obviously felt sorry for me and after some consultation on his iPhone app that I presumed was for difficult patients, he said he would write a script for a stronger antibiotic plus an antihistamine that can be applied directly to the eyes.
'You have a drug plan, right?' were his parting words.
After a trip to the pharmacy, I understood the last statement. Ouch, even with the drug plan.
Yet despite his negative nancy attitude, the drugs did work and lo' behold, days later my eyes were nearly back to normal.
But guess what? That very evening I developed a deep cough. A cough so deep and heavy that I felt like my chest was being crushed by an elephant. Then I felt cold, oh so very cold, yet my face was flushed. I staggered to the hall closet and found the digital thermometer and discovered my temp was 102. AWE. SOME.
|I'm gonna get ya|
To bed I went, getting nothing done on my list since the idea of just lifting my head seemed impossible.
As I lay there, too uncomfortable to sleep, pushing the cat away who kept sticking his paw in my mouth (no lie, why did he keep doing that?), I remembered what it was like to live on my own. For years I lived on my own, no roommates, with just a phone as my lifeline. I love being on my own which is why I look forward to this annual week alone event each year.
I am a solitary person, a loner if you will, despite the fact that I have many friends. Anyone who really knows me, knows that I'd rather be on my own any day. Sure, I love my family and friends so much so that if I could teleport them back right now, I'd do it, but it doesn't change the fact that I need lots of "me time".
I know many people who cannot stand being alone. They are constantly planning get-togethers, events, and making sure that every last minute is filled with friends and family. Good for them though I sometimes wonder if they are scared to be alone? Being alone means being alone with your thoughts (though in my case being alone means being with two crotchety old cats who like to stick their paws in my mouth when I'm snoring). Being alone allows for self-reflection and I could not, would not, trade those small epiphanies for anything. Self-reflection can and will change your life and keeping the time to do this at bay because of a fear of being alone can be detrimental. If you don't know yourself, how can others get to know you?
Trust me, I know this from experience.
Maybe you don't need a week alone to sort out life. But I do wonder how many people out there do take the time -- an hour, day, or week -- to find themselves, ground themselves, and set the ship on the right course? My body may have rebelled against me from getting things done this week but at least the alone time brought me some all important mental health.
Do you take this all important time for yourself? Do it. If you don't my cat will come over and stick his paw in your mouth.