My dad was a big baby about getting sick. Luckily he didn’t get sick often – mostly when my mom would just be recovering from something. Right about the time she was feeling a bit better, he would come down with whatever bug had afflicted her. My sister and I had always joked about it but then it got really funny the summer before my junior year when he caught my mom’s “persistent stomach flu” and it turned out she was actually pregnant.
That old trope about women marrying men like their fathers hit a little too close to home with my second was-band. He was pathetic and unbelievably whiny when he was ill – to the point that I was usually out of patience within the first 24 hours. Me!
With these shining examples, I’ve pretty much always kept my sicknesses to myself. Since my doctors figured out my adult-onset allergies, I’ve actually been quite healthy for the last 20 years, including managing to get through pandemic so far without contracting any of the variants. Then last week I came down with a cold (yep, just a cold; I’ve tested twice). It’s the first time I’ve had a cold in at least 10 years.
Being retired, I didn’t need to call in sick so except for an occasional “stuck with a summer cold” text, I was pretty much just laying low. As the weekend approached, I realized I might have a couple of conflicts that didn’t jive well with having a bad cold. First was my other book club that was scheduled at my house on Saturday morning. One of the members is a little fragile; didn’t want to her to catch the cold and honestly I wasn’t up to cooking and getting the place picked up. On Friday morning I contacted everybody and re-scheduled. Was still hoping to attend Steve’s celebration in person – tripled masked and standing in the back of the room. Saturday morning I was still too symptomatic so switched to the virtual celebration.
It made me feel a little silly, bowing out of commitments I had made, just because of a cold, and I worried a bit that I was blowing my cold out of proportion, acting like my dad or my was-band. But if pandemic has done anything good, it’s made me realize that I really shouldn’t drag my contagious germs around and expose innocent folks, even if it’s “just a cold”. And I did put on a dressy shirt and earrings for the virtual!
Guess I have a couple more days of laying low and looking up silly sick memes.
How do you take care of yourself when you’re sick?