Tag: sickness

Sorry Been Sick

coughingSorry I have let it go 5 days between posts.  I’m never sure how that happens! At least this time I have an excuse.  I’m afraid I have had a wicked virus and been quite sick.  I don’t have the strongest immune system and it seems like every year or so I get a whopper of an illness. My whole family is not the strongest when it comes to our immune system.  It is probably partly due to going 48 hours without sleep in New York City but it was worth it.

Some people are what I call high output people.  They seem to be able to accomplish so much and do things like all nighters without it phasing them.  I never could, even when I was in college.  I’ve done all nighters by accident with my insomnia but that is a completely miserable experience and it is hard for me to function.  What is amazing is people who can go, go, go without it wearing them down.  I get sick every time.  Oh well!

Luckily I have a job that I can easily do while sick and that’s a huge blessing.  I also found a new doctor that is covered by my insurance and had a very positive experience.  He prescribed me the biggest pills ever and seemed very attentive.

pillsI did keep up my movie reviews so make sure to check out the movie blog including my review of the new Dreamworks film Home.I also have been doing some fun videos on the channel including a collaboration with an awesome youtuber from London and my favorite movies when I’m sick.  If you aren’t subscribed to my movie blog and my channel please do.  I think you will really enjoy the content and it will be worth your time.

So let’s hope I can kick this illness and be at the top of my game again.  Hope you are all healthy and illness free.

 

Myth of a Sick Day

sick day

Have you ever had a sick day?  I don’t know if I have.  Yes, I’ve certainly been sick and yes, I’ve taken sick days off of work but they aren’t really days off, and I don’t even have kids.

Yesterday was a good example.  I woke up with a stomach ache and spent the morning emptying my stomach.  I had emailed my boss to let him know I would be out for the day.  I answered a few emails and then crashed for about 3 hours.  I have never taken naps even when I was little (my poor Mom).  Pretty much when I take a nap I know I am either sick or on a mission (only time in my life I took naps).

When I woke up I realized I had a notice on my email that estimated tax payments were due that day.  I called my accountant but was having trouble reaching them.  They had told me previously that they weren’t due until July which didn’t seem right but I was so busy with a new job that I shrugged it off.

Sick-Day

Finally I was able to reach the secretary for the accountants and the two of us were able to go through all the figures and thankfully I could make the state and federal payments online.  (The accountants got a piece of my mind don’t you worry!).

This took hours to figure out and the whole time I really just wanted to sleep.  I hadn’t eaten anything all day but finally at about 8 pm I stomached some crackers and ginger ale.  After watching 24 I fell asleep.

I wish I could have taken an entire day off to recover but it nearly always works out this way.  I know I am not alone in this.  In fact, I have it easier than you Mom and Dad’s who really never get a day off to recover.  I guess it’s just being an adult.

I’ve always said the only time I miss my Mom is when I am sick. I’m a pretty independent person but to be taken care of like only a mother can is perhaps the best part of childhood.  My roommate was kind to bring me some crackers but just nothing beats the sympathy and care of a mother for her daughter (even at 33 years old!).

At least with my new job hopefully the work distractions will be fewer.  The downside to accounting is there are deadlines that don’t go away if someone is sick.  Today 5 checks had to be written and it didn’t matter if I was recovering.  The mail had to be gotten and a wire had to be written.  This could not wait.

There are definitely deadlines with marketing but it seems to be a slower pace and be a little more flexible than accounting. I could be wrong but that’s just the vibe I’ve gotten so far.

I know some people have 9 to 5 jobs so when they are home they aren’t at work whether it is the end of the day or a sick day but I think a growing number of us telecommute which means there is no end to the work day, sick or not.

My favorite thing about my job is that I can telecommute.  I am by  no means complaining just talking about my life.

I guess what can be difficult is making sure you get better while still doing all the stuff that still has to be done.  What strategies have you found to be helpful? How do you guys balance work and other demands?  I’d be particularly interested in hearing from other telecommuters.

At least this was just a 24 hour bug and while I was a little tired today it wasn’t too bad.  What was really rough was this last Christmas when I was sick as a dog and had to work the entire time.  I’m sure that is why the illness stretched on for over 9 weeks.  It was brutal.

If only sick days were like this:

A Lousy Sick Person

I remember the good old days when being sick meant chicken soup, movie watching, slurpees and my Mom reading me a story and giving me a hot towel to feel better…Sigh for those days are long ago. (I obviously had a great mother right!)

Working from home is a great blessing but I have a hard time really resting.  I regularly suffer from insomnia and unfortunately this does not decrease when I am sick.  I can’t seem to turn off all of the things left to do and it is so easy to do them, that far too often I do.  I technically took 6 hours of vacation  today but I should not have because I really worked all day.  Sigh…

So here was my sick day.  I woke up and worked solid until about 11.  Then I was coughing so much I had to lie down.

Cough, cough, cough
Trying to rest

I took some cold medicine and read my book club book Macbeth by Shakespeare (very enjoyable).   I still felt antsy and couldn’t relax.  I stopped an answered more emails, all which seemed immediate and I was grateful I had answered them.  (That is my greatest problem.  I am sure they could wait but in the moment it does not feel like they could).

I went to an insomnia specialist on Tuesday and we talked about my anxiety and struggles relaxing.  She challenged me to turn off my cell phone for 4 hours.  As she was saying it I grew involuntarily tense like she had put a spell on me.  I was surprised  by the strength of the response.  She quickly said in alarm ‘we don’t have to do that right away…’.  I want to work on this but not sure how. We’ll see.  I will keep chipping away at it.

Anyway, I decided to make some soup for sick little old me.  It was a lentil soup mix I had that required adding carrots, onions and celery.  I was chopping the ingredients (I had all 3 from bountiful baskets) and cut my finger badly.

Poor sad finger

I was worried I would pass out when I cut it and my whole arm felt tingly.  Luckily it healed up pretty good.

So then I tried to rest some more but I felt guilty for not checking the PO Box for Poler so I went out to get the mail.  Nothing there.  However, I used the chance to go and get my sick tradition- Slurpee (At least some things don’t change!).

Don’t worry sugar free

So now I will try to eat something tonight but I have no appetite when I’m sick.  It is the one time I wish I had a roommate.  Someone who could get me something tasty and comforting….Sigh.

I just hope can recover because there is far too much to do right now.

See what I mean.  I make a lousy sick person!

So there is my sick day.

Best Sick Day Movies

Throughout my life when I push myself I almost always get sick right after (doesn’t bode well if I ever have a honeymoon! 🙂 ).  Even when I was in high school after a swim meet or play I would get sick the next week.  These are not imagined illnesses but real legitimate sicknesses.  It is then no surprise after my 5k that yesterday I felt unwell all day.  I tried to fight it through lunch with an old friend but when I got home it was official.  I was sick.  I wish I could stop this from happening but it seems no matter how hard I try with the positive self-talk my body can only take so much and it becomes vulnerable.

Anyway, today I was sick and despite a few emails (it is impossible for me to not work a little in a day!) I had the whole day to hang around.  What do you do when you aren’t feeling well and need to get in some healing time? Watch some movies of course!

Everyone knows I have a large DVD collection and I have no problem watching a movie again and again.  There are movies I have that I could watch back to back repeatedly.  I have whole scenes memorized.

So what movies do I reach for when I’m sick?

1. Guys and Dolls- The song Adelaide’s Lament is probably the best song ever written about being sick.

2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off- What we all wish we could do on our day off instead of being sick.

3.Disney Nostalgia movies like Parent Trap, Old Yeller, Mary Poppins, Pollyanna, Swiss Family Robinson.  Something about the nostalgic movies are comforting, like a hug from your mother.  I love these types of movies.  I wish that quality family films were more frequently made today.

4. BBC Miniseries- When you are sick you have lots of time in bed so what better than to watch a 7 hour movie from the BBC like good old Downton Abbey, North and South or Pride and Prejudice.  I can’t think of a much better way to spend a day even if you are sick!

5. TV on DVD.  I love to get out my series and watch a bunch of Simpsons, Cosby Show, Reba or The Golden Girls.  You can fall asleep for hours and just start a new episode.

6. Dorris Day romantic movies such as Pillow Talk or Calamity Jane.  Also Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday and Talk of the Town are favorite comedies that I could watch a million times.  Let’s be honest we are all a little depressed when we are sick and good laugh never hurt anyone.

What are some of your favorites?

Also- after a day of rest I’m thankfully feeling much better!

Tonsils

So you won’t believe what I am about to write.  I am sick again!  This year has seriously been the worst year.  I feel like I just can’t catch a break.  I hate to think what’s next because clearly things can always get worse!

It just seems like a cruel irony to me that in the year I’m attempting to be my healthiest and most fit my body decides to go to hell in a handbasket.

When I was 8 years old I had to go through the terrible experience of having my tonsils removed because I had endured 6 cases of strep that year alone.

IT WAS AWFUL.  I remember crying from the pain and my Dad paying me $20 to take my medicine- wonder if that would still work today? 🙂

Little did I know that they had only removed 2 of my 3 tonsils.  Did you know that every human being has 3 sets of tonsils? (I swear I should get an honorary degree with all I’ve learned about the human body this year!).

The first is the Pharyngeal Tonsil (your adenoids), Palatine tonsils (the lovely suckers we can see dangling in the mirror) and lastly the lingual tonsils (these are behind the tongue and impossible to see without a camera.

They typically don’t remove the lingual tonsils because the tongue is a highly vascular area making the surgery risky.  Well, my friends my lovely lingual tonsils are pussy, red, and highly infected.  No wonder I have had a sore throat for weeks.

Evidently the rigorous amoxicillin regiment I went on in September was only enough to pacify the bacteria not make it go away. Gives a whole new meaning to my accomplishments at Slam the Dam– my throat was still probably swollen and fighting infection and yet I finished!

Now the doctors have me on a new antibiotic and with any luck (with this year I’m not holding my breath) I should be feeling better in a couple of days.  At least hopefully I will be able to eat again without tremendous pain.  There’s a thought!

I am grateful that I found a great ear nose and throat doctor and I must admit it was pretty amazing when they stuck the scope through my nose down my throat (they had numbed my nose so it didn’t hurt).  It really looked ghastly but I am sure a regular lingual tonsil would look somewhat gross also! (Honestly, it could have been worse.  It could have been cancer or a tumor.  Thank goodness for some good news!).

It is such a comforting thing when you find a good doctor who you can trust.  I wish I could find an endocrinologist like that.  All I seem to get in that department is people who don’t care and treat me like an assembly line or like ‘another obese person looking for a quick fix’.  It’s very frustrating!

I finally stopped going to my endocrinolgist in Salt Lake.  He didn’t listen or explore alternatives but kept piling on medication after medication.  The final straw was when it took them over 2 and 1/2 months to get my A1c score back last July.  I kept calling and no response.  And this I am paying $50 a visit for!  I don’t think so.  Even if I have to drive to Bountiful or even Logan, I have got to find someone I can trust that will listen.

Anyway, back to my lovely tonsils.  I actually don’t feel that bad. I was feverish on Sunday and had a temperature of 101 but since then I have felt alert and normal.  The only problem is that my throat is on fire.   This has made eating difficult and I have been forced to eat some sugar but am trying to keep it down.  I want to eat cold things so bad.  For instance, nothing tastes better than a slurpee.  I know it is so bad for me so I’ve tried to keep it to a minimum.

Its a real bummer getting tonsillitis this week because I have so much to do with the start of Poler and my other end of month responsibilities.  Luckily my employer is wonderful and flexible.  I am so grateful for my job in moments like these!

Please say a prayer for me that the antibiotic will work and that all will go well.

Thanks for all your love, support and for putting up with all of my moaning and groaning.  It has been a hard time for me!

A Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

When I was little one of my favorite books was Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.  In the book Alexander has a string of bad luck including such tough events as slipping on his skateboard, being stuck in the back on carpool, losing his best friend, and no desert with lunch.  Alexander wishes he could go to Australia and be rid of his bad day.

The thing I enjoy most about the book is there is no happy ending to the day or ice cream cone to make everything better.  It simply says:

“My mom says days are like that…even in Australia.”

Isn’t it the truth? There are some days that just stink and where everything feels hard.  I think it is great to let kids know they are OK if they have a bad day.

Today was a bad day for me.  It actually started last night where my wicked sinus troubles turned into a full-blown ear infection.  My ears hurt like I was descending on an airplane and they were about to burst.  Luckily I had some old drops from a previous ear infection and that helped alleviate some of the pain.  Nevertheless, it was hard to sleep.

Naturally I woke up cranky and less than rested.  I had such visions for the week.  I was going to train every day and be a wiz in the pool for the upcoming meet on Saturday.  Then the meet was going to propel me towards glory in the Slam the Dam race in Vegas next Saturday.

I was caught up with most work projects and was looking forward to a productive, fulfilling work-week as well as a number of social activities.  Then Saturday, the sore throat came, Sunday the cough and by Monday I was a snot-filled, wheezing machine.

“Take the day off Monday.  You’ll bounce back”.  I said with great optimism.  Now Thursday is fast approaching and no training has been done. I am totally unprepared for the meet on Saturday (if I get to attend at all) and my work-week has been thin at best.  (Let’s just say its a miracle I work from home and have been able to squeeze my hours in. )

I also missed church, FHE, visiting teaching, voice lessons, 3 sessions with various trainers and anything else that would be uplifting or exciting during the week. Most importantly I went without crucial training time that I really needed to be ready for my events.  Instead, I’ve spent the last 5 days sniffling through a box of tissues until my nose is raw and sore and watching Toddlers and Tiaras and wondering ‘why anyone who isn’t sick watches these shows?’

So as you can imagine it was a cranky, sore and stuffy Rachel that went to the doctors this morning and as always they were thoroughly unhealthful, unsympathetic and ponderous but provided me with the most-needed prescriptions.  I was on my way.

This is where I made a fatal error.  Last week I had been to my OBGYN who had given me a medicine that is not covered by insurance.  She recommended I fill the prescription at Costco so I decided to fill all 3 of mine today, including the antibiotic.  After spending over $200 (I always do at Costco! ) and waiting over an hour (20 minutes my foot!) I finally got my prescriptions and $196 later I was out the door.  Did the Costco employees box my stuff up like they usually do?  No.  I had to find boxes myself.

Luckily I had some help loading my car which of course was a block away in the massive Costco parking lot.  By the time I got home I was exhausted but could I rest, no.  I had to lug all of the perishables up to my 2nd story apartment without any assistance (Downside to living alone…).

After 3 trips to the car and back I began to put items in the fridge and freezer.  Unfortunately in my haste to be done I inadvertently left the freezer door open and WHACK!  My head and the door met in a loud crack.  Let’s just say while there may not be a concussion, a goose egg there most definitely will be.  With a slam I packed the rest of the perishables in the door and cried.

I, like Alexander, wonder why does everything have to be so freakin hard? Why can’t I just lose weight like a normal person?  How come Jennifer Hudson can lose 100 lbs in a year and have a baby while I am still 262 with PCOS, pre-diabetes, a painful ear infection and a head that’s throbbing like one of those old Looney Toon cartoons after a character gets hit with an anvil?

I also have no relationship or even a dating life (although how one develops a dating life is beyond me! What does that even mean? Please someone tell me what living in a dating life is like? How does anyone actually get together, and even more so, how do all these plus size girls I know meet people?  I find it so difficult and losing the 50 lbs hasn’t helped one bit. In a way, it is easier to be fat and single because at least they aren’t rejecting me for my personality or so I thought…)

In addition, I’m going through money like it is candy (Whoever said exercise/healthy living is cheap is insane. Since the beginning of August I have spent at least $750 on my 2 trainers, equipment, entry fees, and that doesn’t include my gym membership or medical expenses. Not to mention the added expenses healthy eating adds (most of the time at least)).  I don’t have debt but I never seem to be able to save!

Its like I’m a cliched character at the beginning of a romantic comedy except without the sarcastic best friend or the  boy who secretly likes me but ‘we’re just friends’.

I just want to swim in my race and do my best.  Is that too much to ask?  I’m reminded of one of my favorite books by Norah Ephron called I Feel Bad About My Neck.  In one section entitled Exercise she says:

“I would like to be in shape.  I have a friend who gets up every morning at 5 am and essentially does a triathlon.  I’m not exaggerating. She is Ironwoman…A few summers ago I decided to do some swimming, and within a week I had swimmer’s ear.  Have you ever had it? It’s torture…My own theory about Van Gogh is that he cut off his ear because he’d made the mistake of taking up swimming…”

She goes on

“I myself swing between two universes.  I spend time getting into shape; then something breaks, and then I spend time recovering and then something new breaks.  So far, in the breakage department I have managed the following:  I pulled my lower back doing sit ups; I threw  out my right hip on the treadmill; I got shin splints from jogging and I entirely destroyed my neck just from rolling over in bed. ”

“A few years ago I made the mistake of confusing the movie Chicago with an exercise video.  It was, without question, the greatest exercise video I have ever had.  I could lift weights forever while watching it.  For the first time in my exercising life, I was never bored….But after 3 weeks I woke up one morning in horrible pain and I couldn’t move my arms. ”

“Millions of dollars in doctor’s fees later, it turned out that I had not one but two frozen shoulders, the result of lifting too many weights for far too long.  It took 2 years for those frozen shoulders to mostly thaw, and in the meantime, I had pretty much resigned myself to the prospect of never being able to scratch my own back…But I am now exercising again.  I have a trainer.  I have a treadmill.  I have my TV set over the treadmill.  I exercise almost 4 hours a week and I would rather be in Philadelphia (although not in labor!).”

There is something cathartic about reading her words because while I (knock on wood) am not prone to broken bones, it seems the pantheon of other illnesses is awakened when I set a goal or try to push myself in my training.

When I was in college two of my friends entered the St. George Marathon and upon proudly finishing they had to be sent to the hospital for an IV and treatment.  I always found it such a hollow victory when they would say ‘at least we made it to the end’.

Now I get it.  If I am in that race October 1st and they take me to the hospital after I finish it will be a victory- at least I will have ‘made it to the end’.  All of Satan’s minions could try to keep me from that race, but I will swim if it kills me.  Ok.  Maybe not kill me, but still, I get the victory of their hospital-lain achievement and it’s certainly going to take A LOT for me to give up.

Setting and keeping goals is tough because life gets messy.  People have no idea how hard it is to get into shape and on days like these I wish the ‘fat haters’ could walk in my shoes, and feel how I feel especially when they are prone to criticize the obese and heavy.  It’s really hard and the days of agony far outweigh the days of fulfillment.  That’s the way it is.

As Alexander’s mom says “Some days are like that”…

To having a better day tomorrow, to antibiotics working, and to being able to complete my goals somehow, someway.  Thank you everyone for your friendship, love and prayers.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I am going to watch Survivor and the premieres of Modern Family and The Middle- yeah!  Premiere week! On days like this I love TV!  (Except for Toddlers and Tiara’s- it will only make you feel bad about the world!)

I also understand that in the scope of human travails mine are at the bottom of the totem pole but as my aunt Chris once said in a prayer ‘Our problems are small but they are difficult for us and we need help”.

A Cough and Sore Throat

“Alas, the frailty is to blame, not we
For such as we are made of, such we be”

William Shakespeare Twelfth Night

So all week I’ve felt a cold coming on.  I’ve had so much to do that I tried to ignore it.  Getting back from a trip is stressful and there is still a great deal of work, cleaning and laundry to do.  I haven’t even been up to the houses since I got back I’ve been so busy.

In an attempt to ward off illness I got a flu shot on Monday but sadly it was not the all-encompassing vaccination one hopes for because on Thursday I started to feel unwell.  At first I thought it was just fatigue from all the training I’ve been doing.  This Saturday (the 24th) I am swimming in my first swim meet in 13 years!  I can’t wait!  I am going to swim the 400, 200, and 50 free!

Unfortunately as Thursday went into Friday my sore throat got worse and my chest felt more congested.  Nevertheless, I plowed through and did another swim Friday night.  However, it was clear something was wrong because I could barely do a 200 m.  My chest felt constricted and tight, like I couldn’t breath correctly.  By the time I got home I felt the shivers and downright sick.

Yesterday I spent the entire day sleeping and resting and with some dayquil/nyquil got through the day.  Luckily my sister Anna was already planning on using my apartment to cook her anniversary dinner with her boyfriend so she took care of me as well!  She did my shopping and made me sushi. I tried to stay out of their hair but it was still nice to have the company.

Now today is Sunday and I am resting once again.  I debated about going to the Urgent Care but I think I will wait and go to my regular doctor tomorrow if I am still not feeling well.  I’m pretty sure it is just a lovely virus but its always worth checking if it goes on for multiple days.  I just hope that it doesn’t keep me from training next week because I want to be ready for my swim meet.  I also have limited time to prepare for my next open water swim Slam the Dam in Vegas on October 1st.

It’s a longer race (1.2 miles so longer by just a hair) so I need to train!  Let’s just hope my body let’s me!

Sometimes I wish I had a stronger constitution- a body that withstood the virus’ and bacteria of the world.  Sadly, it is not the case. If there is something going around I get it- and usually the more virulent strain of it.   My entire family has somewhat weak constitutions, especially my brother who seems to always get unusual variations of an infection.

My cousin Julia never missed a single day of high school.  Me on the other hand I was gone 1/3rd of the time.  I just got sick more and my mother believed in keeping us home if we are sick.   On a side note there is increasing evidence that we should all stay home when we are sick:

1. We are not productive employees when we are working sick.  A recent study by the Harvard Business School shows that “Employers worry a lot about absenteeism, but new research suggests a bigger threat to productivity is “presenteeism”: sick workers who show up at work but are not fully functioning. U.S. companies may lose $150 billion (yes, that’s billion) annually because of presenteeism, according to some estimates.”

2. You are more likely to get sick from a co-worker/student that  goes to work sick than most any other interaction.  Think about it- you spend 8 hours a day in sometimes very close quarters with these people.

The New York Times says, “In a telephone survey of nearly 1,000 adults conducted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, more than one-third of workers said they felt pressured to go to work when sick. About the same number reported that they had picked up the flu from a colleague in the workplace.”

“We work in a Dilbert environment these days,” said Brett Gorovsky, an analyst at Wolters Kluwer. “We’re in closed office spaces, where germs are a bigger concern. And there’s downsizing. There are fewer people to backfill now, so workers more often feel they have to show up.”

Recently in Utah there was a measles scare and the CDC had to remind everyone that if your child is sick keep them home. We are losing our herd immunity as a society because of those that chose to not vaccinate their children (that’s a topic for another entry. A topic I feel quite strongly about- immunize your kids!).  This means we are all more susceptible to serious infections and can transport those infections to others.  Even conditions like measles, whooping cough, and mumps that were at one time thought eradicated are springing up all over the place.   If we ever get a truly deadly pandemic we will need to have developed the habit of isolating the sick or the effects will be terrible.

This movie looks really good but kind of freaks me out.

Again from New York Times, “In one case, more than 1,000 people were sickened with a gastrointestinal virus at a casino in Reno, Nev., in an outbreak that began with a few sick employees who said their supervisors had pressured them to go to work. The employees, mostly low wage earners, had little or no paid sick leave.”

3.  Disease transmission aside, with rest you are more likely to recover quickly.  I personally would rather have 1 or 2 days in bed than have 2 weeks of a lingering illness.

Anyway, if you are sick STAY HOME!

Today I will be following my own good advice and am sticking to my apartment.  Here’s to hoping I feel better tomorrow!

Btw, the only time I wish I didn’t live alone is when I am sick but I think that is mostly because I wish for someone to complain to and someone to do my shopping.  One time I told my sister “I wish I was married and could have someone to take care of me when I am sick”.  She said “Well, that really doesn’t happen when you are married.  What you want is a mother”.  It’s true.

I guess that’s proof that no matter how independent we feel, each of us at one point or another yearns for our mothers…