Being sick is a buzz kill!
At first, I thought it was allergies. When allergy medicine was not improving things, I took the first to two at-home Covid tests. Both came back negative. Finally on Sunday, when the coughing would not stop and I had developed pinkeye, I went to urgent care. Diagnosed with acute bronchitis and acute conjunctivitis. This has been exhausting, both physically and emotionally.
I was raised with the mantra
“I AM HEALTHY, I AM STRONG, NOTHING ABOUT ME WILL GO WRONG.”
Seriously, if I didn’t feel well, I was supposed to “snap out of it,” “get over it,” and repeat that mantra. Once, when my mother was away, my dad decided to take all three of us kids to the county fair. I had a stomachache and did not feel much like riding the rides. “Snap out of it,” he said. “You will be alright.” I tried. My mother got home the next day, took my temperature and took me to the doctor. They rushed me to the hospital for an appendectomy. I guess I could not have “snapped out” of that.
I still believe(d) that sickness is a sign of weakness. When this current episode started coming on last week, I was determined to beat it. I meditated and visualized my antibodies fighting with the germs and winning. I took hot baths and drank hot tea. I took extra vitamins. I repeated my mantra. And in spite of everything, I got sicker. Everyday, coughing more, less and less of a voice. It was draining.
Finally, I had to give in. I would get up in the morning, take a shower and be ready for a nap. UGH. This was not like me. But at that moment, it was all I could do.
I am looking forward to being able to breathe once more, cough less and find my voice again.
So what have I learned from my walk-about with bronchitis?
- Illness is not a sign of weakness; it is an illness. Listen to my body and get the rest I need, rather than fighting it.
- So many people care. I had many offers of help and wishes for recovery. Being such an independent woman that was hard for me to accept, and it was nice to take in.
- When I went down the rabbit hole of despair and felt like I would never stop coughing, no matter what I did, I called a friend. In my very raspy voice, I spoke my misery and he very kindly listened and encouraged me that I would get better.
- I realized that my belief that illness was a sign of weakness not only hurts me, but it also hurts others. I apologized to my boyfriend for being so impatient with him the last time he did not feel well.
I am hoping to resume my real walkabouts next week. Stay tuned.