The blankets on the bed had all come together in the middle, sitting in one twisted heap. My body was awkwardly draped over them in an an uncomfortable propped pose. I didn’t like where I was, but I couldn’t summon the energy to move into a better position.
I had spent the night burning up and woke with a cold sweat. Even before my eyes had opened I was very aware of the banging in my head. I flung my legs over the side of the bed and found my way to the bathroom. Half awake, I rifled through my cosmetic bag and prayed I had packed the ibuprofen. Finding a bottle with a few left, I popped them in my mouth and took a quick drink of water by putting my face directly under the faucet. Then- straight back to bed. Within the next hour my stomach joined the party and then the rest of my body followed. The phrase “feels like I’ve been hit by a truck” never felt more appropriate. I was down and completely out.
Goodbye, fun day walking around Chicago.
Hello, bed and apartment walls.
I wasn’t going anywhere.
Drew and the kids left for the morning, headed out for breakfast at a local diner and then exploring the town. I was happy for the quiet but just hoped I could get past whatever this was so I didn’t miss the afternoon trip to the library. By the time they returned from the morning fun I knew it was dinner I should be shooting to join them for. By the time they left again for the library I was way past hoping for dinner and in a panic about flying home the next day. This thing was ugly.
Late afternoon, alone, propped on the twisted heap of blankets, I began to wonder how I could get my hands on some prescription pain medication. I was imagining walking into the ER begging them to give me something, anything that could help me- for the flu. It didn’t hurt to atleast imagine some magical medication that would take away this misery. Left alone with this illness and the wasteland of my thoughts, imagining was all I had.
Desperate, I decided to try a hot bath, praying I’d have the umph to stand up and climb out of the tub when I was done. To my relief, the hot water felt great on my exploding limbs. I was balled up, cramped in this tiny bathtub, but I didn’t care. I was finding some escape.
My mind drifted back to only one week before when I had run a half marathon. It had been a hot day and I had moments of wanting to just give up. But I cranked it out and was happy with my time. I had thanked my legs that day for doing what I had trained them to do. Even when you don’t get the time you are hoping for, you are amazed at the human body and the amazing spirit at these running events. Work hard, train smart, and hope for the best. Years ago I had never believed I could run a mile and I had just put another half marathon under my belt.
But today I was thinking how grateful I was that this virus didn’t decide to attack me a week ago. I wouldn’t have been able to crawl to the start, let alone run 13.1 miles. Even with the best training, I was reminded how I am at the mercy of my body and my health. Clearly I take advantage of my ability to keep down food and walk without pain. Today, I wanted a second chance to show my thanks.
Three days later and I’m slowly climbing back. My legs and arms are functioning again and I am able to do more than just toss and turn on a bed. Food still sounds horrible, but I’m getting there. I had a small bowl of soup for dinner and it wasn’t a terrifying experience.
So, thanks body. Thanks for each day where I can get out there and run. Thanks for each morning I wake and my head is clear. Thanks for those meals I can sit down and enjoy. Thanks for the days you allow me to explore life with my family.
Respect the virus.
Good health is one amazing gift.
I really did know that, guess I just needed a reminder.