Amid this season of little to no sleep, I’ve also been exposed to a lot of germs, my flatmate’s family was over this week with horrendous coughs and colds and one quite possibly had the flu! My flatmate is not a hand washer (that is a whole other issue!) and with my propensity to develop pneumonia (by age 28 I’d had it seven times) due to a lung condition, I was just hoping I would stay healthy.
Roll on yesterday afternoon and I quickly began to feel tired, within an hour I was burning up, an hour later I was coughing up a storm, my ears were throbbing/pulsating, my throat had welts and felt like there was a knife there when I swallowed and my body could not stop physically shaking. Needless to say, instead of being kept awake due to noise, I was awake due to illness.
I began to not feel at all graceful, thoughts were running through my head about why people would come over when they had coughs, colds, flu, why people don’t wash their hands with proper soap (!), why I could hear snoring from 9pm in the next room and some people were able to sleep so soundly when they created chaos! Around 3am as my fever hit 105, I was feeling low and I realized I had to stop. These feelings of “this really is not fair” were not helping and in the grand scheme of things, it was fair. So right there at 3am I decided I needed to cope better with this situation and set to work!
Between coughing fits, being sick and shaking I listed as many situations as I could that were not fair – people who were homeless, children dying of starvation, AIDS, domestic abuse, cancer, heart disease, losing a child, becoming a widow, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, having burns, being in car accidents and brain damage. I sat there and said “God, all I have is the flu, it isn’t nice, I may have complications, but it is just the flu and one week of no sleep”. I am fine!
I then decided I needed to manage to do a few things to care for me, while I was exceptionally dizzy I decided I could make orange juice, which I did, I could drink a glass of water and I could make a compress for my ear. While none of these things took my symptoms away, they did bring some relief!
About 20 minutes later I was feeling less dizzy so I made a bare bones list of what I needed to accomplish today, I have my second (or technically third!) interview tomorrow, so I cancelled all my plans for today and simply made a simple list of a few essential things related to interview prep! Knowing I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything made me feel a lot less anxious!
Next I decided to look at the things over the last day I needed to be thankful for, one was being able to get to the shops today before this cold/flu hit, another was the fact I had orange juice and water, finally I was thankful I live in a part of the world where pneumonia (if it comes to that!) can be treated and while the last bout left my Consultant talking about cutting out part of my lung (eek!), I have a good Dr, a good team and a lot to be thankful for!
I finally fell asleep from 5:30am until my flatmate got up at 6! And you know what? 30 minutes sleep is also something to be thankful for too :) What a great lesson this has been!