During 10th grade I went to a Winter Retreat for church youth in Pennsylvania, at Mount Pleasant, I believe it was called. It was in the valley of Amish country, something novel to my small life that I was too young and ego-centric at the time to appreciate. I remember that for several days before we left I would have self-talks to myself in the mirror telling Self, that she was NOT going to get too sick for this trip. It worked... mainly because talking to yourself in the mirror as a teenage girl possesses the strange image-altering power that is only equaled to how amazing you sound singing into a hair brush. I also remember of that trip (twenty-six years ago, although I can barely remember what I did in the last week), that we had not even made it out of the mountains before I felt the effects of a bad flu/strep/pneumonia/mono/plague bug settling into my chest and making me feverish, loopy, and completely robbed my voice before arriving back home in Maryland.
I am reminded of this seemingly random story today because it was the first in a long chain of intermittent times when my body (mind?) allowed me to defer illness until it was convenient. Yeah, I know how crazy that sounds. I am not proposing some mind over matter super power (because if so, I would use it for way cooler purposes than avoiding snot and vomit), but maybe the effects of adrenaline? Or a little psychological nudge to make it past a hurdle before crashing. I do believe greatly in the power of the mind over physical matters of health. For this reason, since teaching, I have spent many holidays, breaks, and unfortunately chunks of summer time... sick. It's like my body makes it past the deadlines and To-Do lists and then just crashes... because it knows it can.
This is not always the case though. Sometimes, my body will just through a Molotov Cocktail of contagions at me to knock me off my feet, when I refuse to give in to its cries for rest. For example, this winter when I had not just the Flu, but a Flu-Strep-Ear Infection Trifecta. Yes, the Husband liked to joke that I have to multi-task everything. I am not in any way suggesting that I am body or health-conscious (ha!), but I am pretty in-tuned with my body and can read the signals it sends me. I just choose to ignore them most often because there is always something I find more pressing to attend to. (This being the cause of my cancelled/not yet rescheduled dentist appointment to fill a cavity... or not having a "regular" physical in 12 years... or "that" physical in 4 years... or ever having a mammogram.) (Yes, I am ashamed of these things.) (No, the shame isn't enough to push me towards actually scheduling, let less keeping, these appointments.)
So anyway... I woke up this morning just thinking about how my summers are plagued with one sickness or injury or another. (Yes, I realize the lack of healthcare listed above... despite excellent, free health insurance from Jason's retirement... contributes to this.) (No, it's still not enough to push me towards doing anything about it... right now.)
And... it appears Summer 2014 is starting on the same path. Benjamin went to the doctor today for a rash issue. And me? I am officially surrendering to this stomach bug. I allowed myself to sleep it off Friday night and Saturday- for the most part, but then said I needed to move on and tried to get work done on Sunday and went into work today. I'm a fool. It wasn't until I talked to the bookkeeper at school today who described the exact same symptoms late last week and she went to the ER and diagnosed with gastroenteritis, that I thought "Oh, this might really be a thing. I might really be sick." That perhaps my frequent visits to the loo are not related to the dairy in my drink Friday morning or the flax in my toast Sunday morning and I just need to admit "I. am. sick." And deal with it. So, I am giving in. Tucking in. And giving my body 36 hours of rest and appropriate sick-person diet.
Because, come Wednesday, I have too much to do.
(No, I'm obviously not going to the doctor over a troublesome stomach bug... even if it's been four days...)