You’re Sick

This past weekend I came down with something that threatened to be strep throat. Have no fear, the CVS Minute Clinic promised that they would tell me if the strep test came back positive…and not tell me if it came back negative. So by the power of assumption, not having heard from them, I think I can safely say that I’m strep-free and feeling better for the most part.

How is it that I forget what it’s actually like to be sick pretty much as soon as I get well? Sometimes, during stressful periods, I dream about coming down with something so I would have an excuse not to do anything but sleep, read, and watch movies. In my imagination being sick involves curling up under a blanket with a hot cup of tea and a steaming bowl of soup, the latest George R. R. Martin book in one hand and “Ghostbusters” on the screen in front of me. In real life, being sick involves a lot of the same things, except I’m too tired to pay attention to the book, my throat hurts every time I swallow, I don’t really want to eat or drink anything and I’m preoccupied with how miserable I feel and with all of the things I’m neglecting in my life.

They say that people in pain and illness have a hard time unwrapping their brains from whatever it is that hurts to relate to others. Which makes sense–our brains don’t want us blithely ignoring that gunshot wound to make sure that the guilt-wracked shooter doesn’t start sobbing. (And other likely scenarios.) I found this to be true. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who were concerned for my wellbeing, but I definitely found myself resenting those selfish souls who didn’t ask how I was doing–who had the temerity NOT TO KNOW that my throat’s lymph nodes were swollen to the size of golf balls and that I shouldn’t be speaking out loud.

But seriously, thank you for taking care of me, everyone. I did manage to clean my entire apartment, send some necessary emails, take a long bath, drink cheddar-encrusted tomato soup (thanks Harrison!), and watch “Spaceballs.” I don’t think I could have spent the weekend before my month of Rocky Horror madness in a better way, sore throat or no.

And now I’ve used up the “sick” excuse for staying in, I need some help coming up with other acceptable socialization-dodges. Think I could convince JK Rowling to come out with one more Harry Potter book as a personal favor?

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