Getting used to being ill

I don’t remember being ill much as a kid, teenager, or even in my early working years. But that all seems to have changed lately.

The last two weeks, since getting back from Greenbelt, have been one physical problem after another. Starting with what appeared to be food poisoning or a stomach bug of some sort, morphing into a “flu-like virus” which has kept me in bed for most of this week, and then, having finally recovered from that, I did my back in, to the extent that I could hardly move last night (and I almost certainly shouldn’t be using a computer right now).

I’ve been sick, aching, tired, emotionally drained and now in a huge amount of pain, for nearly two weeks. Add this to the couple of weeks I had off earlier in the year for my stress/depression (I’ll write a “whatever happened to post at some point”), and it’s been a pretty bad year for me health-wise.

Yet, there are positives to take from all of this. When I first started having my flu-like symptoms I said to Sally “I’m not very good at being ill”. By which I meant that, my response to being unwell isn’t always very good. I feel like I give up quite easily, but in reality I think I push myself too hard when I’m ill. I’m NOT good at stopping and resting and doing nothing. I feel guilty about not being at work and so I throw myself back into it too quickly.

But I’ve been learning about these things. I started to recover last weekend and took up too much too quickly and the bug came back to get me as a result. So I had a whole week off, and even when I started to feel myself again I made use of the doctor’s sick note and rested.

I’ve learned to leave alone things that need doing around the house (it’s a bit of a tip at the moment but I don’t care!!!). I’ve learned the pleasure of sitting still and reading a book. I’ve learned not to feel guilty about not being at work – the world continues to turn even when I’m sat in bed doing nothing.

I’ve prayed a lot, I’ve chilled out a lot. Sally’s been fantastic, as have others who have rallied round to help me out. It’s taken a long time but I do think it’s nearly over and I’m looking forward to carrying on normally, but with a few lessons learned.