I can't remember the last time I was sick, but it hit me this weekend with a vengeance. Nasty sore throat radiating into the ears, swollen glands, and that horrible have-to-swallow-every-ten-seconds-even-though-it-hurts-like-crazy feeling. I know it will be a full-blown cold by tomorrow.
I did what I rarely do and declared myself defeated, took today off work, and went to bed with a stack of books, a pitcher of grape juice, and about a bucket and a half of butterscotch to suck on. I'm now hopped up on sugar but the throat is starting to ease a little, and yes, the cold is following close behind, as predicted.
Why is it that, when I call in sick to work, even if I really am sick, I feel like I'm fibbing? Is it because I'm admitting to frailty? Is it because I know there are sicker people in the world than I? I mean, yes, if I had to, if the fate of the world depended on it, I could drag myself down to the bus stop and go to work. I could sit with my head on my desk and be present in the office. Even though the office says they want us to stay home if we're sick, there's still the fact of all that work waiting for me, piling up like snow drifts, that I'll have to shovel when I go back. There's the guilt of letting down the team, feeling like a big wimp. I have to stay in bed today and drink chicken broth because my throat is ouchy. With a whimper thrown in for good measure...
When other people I know are ill, they seem to have no problem staying under the covers and telling the rest of the world to leave them alone. I think maybe three times in my entire adult life I've actually stayed sick in bed and let other people carry on for me. Even after I had surgery, I was still up every few hours to let the dogs out. (And that was a fun thing, let me tell you. Maple can't do stairs, and I wasn't supposed to lift anything over ten pounds, so I would coax the poor dog onto a cushion and then shove it with my foot and he'd toboggan down the stairs... But I digress.)
Why is it so hard to sit out for a day? Why is it so hard to admit I'm human? What is it in me that hates having other people bustling around me, cleaning and cooking and carrying on with life, while I have to stay put? What exactly is it that I feel guilty about? It's not as if I don't pull my weight every other day... Ah, but see, it's my weight to pull. I don't like other people having to fill in for me, and it's difficult to accept help.
And here we are, back again at the same topic I've expounded on before. Maybe it stems from a need to feel irreplaceable. Maybe it's just micromanaging. Maybe...odd thought...I like the hustle and bustle and scrape and mash of everyday life. I miss it. And so I'll rejoin it.
Right after I snuggle under the blanket and watch Chocolat for the eighteenth time.