How to Have a Sick Day

Friday, January 9, 2015

Seems like everyone I know got the flu over the holiday season. For my part, close calls abounded: I hung out with a friend who came down with it not 12 hours later; I went to a Christmas Eve dinner attended by my aunt & cousins while my uncle & his germs stayed at home. I felt absolutely sure I was going to get it, as is the way of the worrier.

I didn't.

And then, last night, I sneezed five times in a row, & when all the sneezing was done... I was sick. Just like that, like someone flipped a switch. Now, I don't think it's the flu - that's not how the flu works - but I do think my sinuses have finally, like, caved in on me.

I took a sick day today, which I haven't done for quite some time. Here's how it went.
  1. Slept for eight solid hours, thanks to the glory that is NyQuil gelcaps. Did not hear the dog leave my bed, the sounds of my mom getting ready for work, or any other signs of the outside world.
  1. "Woke up" circa 8am, eyelids heavier than cinderblocks, to shoot off an email written like a telegram: "Woke up really sick. [Stop] Going back to sleep. [Stop] Some social media already scheduled. [Stop]" Proceeded to fall back asleep for four & a half more hours, again dead to the world.
  1. Upon second awakening, sat up in bed to respond to exactly four work-related emails before becoming exhausted & giving up. All the while, mumbled grouchy sentiments such as, "I deserve a sick day when I'm sick!" To be clear, no one was saying any differently; I just felt that strange sense of guilt & obligation that comes with A) being sick, B) working from home, & C) being tethered to our work via technology at all times.
  1. Finally, hauled myself out of bed and trudged downstairs in grey sweatpants, a grey hoodie, & grey slippers, an outfit that closely resembled the sort I assume is assigned to patients at insane asylums. Watched half an episode of The Americans before retrieving my iPad, a book, & the latest issue of Glamour & retreating to bed.
  1. Laid in bed breathing heavily, but not in a sexy way, making stuffed-nose noises & acting truly, truly pitiful. Read a quarter of my friend's new book & wasted an hour or so on Instagram before falling back asleep.
  1. Talked to my mom on the phone; learned that on her lunch break, she bought me DayQuil - the liquid kind. Hung up the phone & launched into a full-blown solo temper tantrum about this terrible disaster because WHO TAKES LIQUID MEDICINE? I am a pill-swallowing adult who happens to hate liquid medicine more than just about anything, ever. Give me some gelcaps.  
  1. But no, seriously: had a full-blown temper tantrum about liquid DayQuil
  1. Sat on the stairs & sobbed loudly for at least 10 minutes, for no apparent reason other than the lack of DayQuil gelcaps & my inability to breathe through my nose. Added lots of other reasons to the mix, none of which were entirely relevant, but sometimes when you're mid-cry, you just really want to pile it on yourself, yanno?
  1. Braved the elements (-15°!) to travel two miles down the road to a CVS, where I purchased a small can of Pringles, two boxes of Cool Touch Kleenex (a sick-day necessity), &, of course, DayQuil gelcaps. Returned home feeling like I had just run my first marathon, minus the pride & exhilaration that I assume accompanies such an accomplishment.
  1. Returned to bed, where I continued to read, contemplated napping, & consumed two mugs full of Sleepytime Tea (another sick-day necessity) before my mom got home, took pity on me, & made me a bowl of tortellini for dinner. (Thanks, Mom.)
  1. Settled in on the couch, the hood of my hood pulled over my head, a laptop on my lap, & a miniature wheel of Brie at my side. Watched lots of embarrassingly bad TV with my mother, including Last Man Standing, Cristela, & Shark Tank, complaining all the while but sort of enjoying all three of them. 
  1. Made another mug of tea, but this time added honey, brown sugar, cinnamon... & 1.5 oz. of Jameson. Consumed entire mug of boozy brew in fewer than five minutes.
  1. Realized that, in my sickness-induced stupor, I bought myself the wrong kind of DayQuil. I didn't buy the liquid kind, obviously, but... turns out I didn't buy gelcaps, either. The irony of it all almost hurts. But not as much as my throat & my head & my pride.

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