All last week, I was on the West Coast of the U.S., in cold, dreary, damp and icy weather. I was working very long hours, and due to the time difference, was waking at 2:30am local time, and not getting back to my hotel room until about 8:30pm each night. I was “running the show,” meaning that I was leading, facilitating, and speaking at meetings all day, every day.
While my flights to and from this over-green, over-yuppified and increasingly expensive city were uneventful, they were indeed quite packed. So it was no wonder that…
…a few days after returning home, I developed a case of what we referred to as “the crud.” Some viral illness — perhaps a mild case of the flu. Even though I got my annual flu shot, it doesn’t always work, and in this case, it didn’t. I had muscle aches all over, a fever, and was coughing like crazy.
I had to take off work on Tuesday because I was too sick to work. I took care of myself by eating home-made chicken soup, drinking lots of fluids, taking Vitamin C and aspirin, and getting lots of rest. Let the ol’ body’s immune system do its incredible thing. I know my body’s ability to recover from illness well enough that if I take myself out of commission for 24-48 hours and completely rest and maintain hydration, I recover rather quickly.
By Wednesday, the fever had broken and I was able to work a half-day. Thursday, I returned to work for a full day. Indeed, I am getting better. I am not completely recovered, but enough so that I can return to work.
Imagine, though, how a biker feels emotionally when he is sick, it is February, yet the thermometer indicates record-breaking temperatures under sunny skies? It reached 75F (24C) on Tuesday, and 72F (22C) on Wednesday… and there I am lying in bed unable to even think about doing anything that requires expending energy. The Harley is whimpering in the garage saying, “Ride me! Ride me!” Even a pair of motorcycle boots got into the act when they walked themselves out of storage and appeared next to my bed (honestly, I have no idea how they got there!)
And now just as I am feeling better, the bottom falls out of the thermometer. By Friday morning, the ambient air temperature is 19F (7C). A biker can’t win.
Further, now the Spouse has the same illness. He called me at work desperately on Thursday afternoon, requesting some cough medicine. He is dying… not really, but he gets emotional when he is sick. So now I will work on caring for him, nursing him to recovery from this illness. I feel guilty that he got sick from being around me as careful as we both were. But that happens… sadly.
BTW, I learned that at least a dozen others who attended this meeting also contracted the same illness. Obviously, it is very contagious.
Life is short: remember what your Momma said, “if you work yourself too hard, you’ll get sick!” Right you are, Mom. Thanks for the chicken soup (recipe.)