I have had a mixed week of fortunes; It started off last weekend with feeling under-the-weather and spending most of my time resting. Sadly, I felt no better by Monday morning and had also developed a very sore and painful throat so I felt that the sensible thing to do would be to take 1 day off work to recover.
Tuesday I felt much, much better and trotted off to work as normal. I was fine all day and came home in a better frame of mind. Positive that I had done the right thing and headed off the germs before they really took hold.
Wednesday however I had a relapse and started to lose my voice. This was worrying as I was due to speak at the Disability Confident conference in Birmingham on Thursday, a huge privilege and something that my colleague Richard and I had been preparing for all week. I really didn’t want to miss this opportunity and let Richard down so I came home after work, had a whisky, lemon and honey hot toddy and went straight to bed knowing that I had to get up at 04.30am on Thursday.
After a great night’s sleep, I felt better and although my voice was still a little gruff it was intact so off I went ready to speak. With the help of some anaesthetic throat spray, I gave my speech at the conference and then spent lunchtime networking with the attendees. I had a few coughing fits which stopped me in my tracks for short periods but I was definitely on a high and thoroughly enjoying myself. I should have known that like “bad” stress, “good” stress can also lay me low and I need to control my energy and emotions better. “Emotional shocks” or new/novel situations when I am out of routine are all big triggers for me and I came home like a demented Tigger. It took me a while to calm down before I collapsed into bed.
During the night however I started to cough badly and was sick several times. This carried on into the morning so that whilst initially I felt able to work from home, it soon became clear that this was not an option. I had no choice but to take another day off work. You can’t focus on work whilst coughing continuously and being sick but I still felt anxious and guilty about staying away. This is the problem about being poorly. I really don’t like it. No one does but after such a great day yesterday it frustrates me that I can be laid so low so quickly. Maybe I was fighting off the worst of the symptoms earlier in the week with excitement and adrenalin and once the event was over, my body relented and the bugs took over in force. I am hoping that this is the case, as it is far preferable than thinking that yesterday directly caused the relapse.
Today has definitely been a “duvet” day. In bed, drinking tea and eating toast supplied by my attentive hubby and sleeping away a good part of the day away. I have done a little writing which has kept me occupied during the periods I was awake but I still have no voice. Hubby knows I have no voice but still keeps asking me questions. Old habits die hard but we are getting quite competent at our own version of sign language. It takes a lot to stop me talking as most people will attest to so this must be some kind of super bug. to lay me so low so quickly.
So, another weekend of rest and recuperation to “look forward” to 😦
It’s very frustrating but let’s hope that this is just a difficult period and that when recovered I will have a prolonged spell of being well.
I, too, often come down sick around major events. I think you’re right in that the adrenalin keeps you going, and when you’re done, your body goes, “Whew, I can relax and quit fighting.” Forcing myself to bed and sleeping is the only thing I’ve found that truly works. The body only does healing chores when you’re asleep. When you’re awake, it’s busy doing other things. This is why I’ve been working so hard on trying to go to bed earlier, but old habits of “abusing” myself, ie, forcing myself to keep going, are difficult to break. Take care of you.
Thanks Judy-it all sounds so familiar but it’s so hard to accept sometimes. Routine is my saviour but struggle with anything outside the “norm” whether it’s work or pleasure. I am really trying to pace myself but maybe I need to try harder! Take care Caroline x
I also find it frustrating whether stress is good or bad it still takes its toll on my body. I plan for recovery after fun events as much as I have to plan for recovery over difficult events.
What you are doing is just amazing. May I suggest to take care of you and have as much compassion for yourself as you would a friend.