I’m grateful to say that I’m not someone who has traditionally spent a lot of time out sick. When I was a kid and I got sick enough to stay home, my mom was great— making special food, consoling me— my nieces and nephews could also tell you that she really shines when you’re sick. When I got to college, nobody did anything for you when you were sick. They were afraid you’d get them sick, or they were so busy with their… whatever that they couldn’t be bothered. As a result, I started to only really get sick enough to stay home on my breaks.
That has largely continued into adulthood. My office started closing for the last 10 days or so of the year several years ago, and almost without fail, I will get epically sick during that 10 days. One year, while decorating my tree, I made a dish for lunch, left it on the stove to cool, and nuked it for dinner. Ended up laid low with a nasty case of food poisoning. Other years, it’s a stomach virus. This year, I was running hard in the run-up to this week. I interviewed twice for a job, (which I got! yay!) gave notice, wrapped up the major part of a large project… and felt myself start to get really sick starting Saturday afternoon. I thought it was just a cold, but yesterday, it layered on a lovely stomach aspect. And this morning, I got a substantial (though not too high) fever.
It’s been an adventure with the dog. I’ve had to ask for help, because I normally walk him more than 5 miles a day, and yesterday and today especially, I just couldn’t manage it. It’s not that there’s something about the number, but he’s a puppy and he needs a certain amount of exercise or he’s restless and mischievous. It’s cold and snowy here, and I’m weak and with the icy walks— I asked my neighbor to walk him last night, which he did, and today, I took him to doggie day care, so he could be his sweet puppy self without pressure from me to lay down and be quiet. A former co-worker is going to stop by and walk him some more in a bit.
It makes me a little crazy to ask for help— only a control freak would time her meltdowns the way I appear to— but one of the things I started to recognize when we were losing my dad was that the opportunity for someone to do something for you, especially if you are the sort of person who seldom lets anyone do for you, can be its own kind of gift. And learning to graciously receive that help is a lesson I’m trying to learn before it needs to be beaten into my thick skull.