I remember waking up in the middle of the night and realizing I was sweating. I chalked it up to the fact that I was cocooned underneath a pile of sheets, blanket, down comforter and quilt. (And we haven’t even hit the really cold season yet!) This mountain of bedding is normally the perfect setting for a good night’s sleep for me. The problem, I figured, was the combination of bedding along with one dog nestled against one side of my body and one husband against the other. I wiggled around enough to gently encourage both of them to get out of my space. I pulled my arms out from under the bedding and promptly fell back asleep. It couldn’t have been much later and I woke up shivering. Lather, rinse, repeat until eventually the alarm clock was going off, signaling that it was time to get ready for work.
I thought little of the sweat-and-chill-fest I’d experienced last night and proceeded with my morning routine. It wasn’t until I was putting my make-up on that I realized my face looked akin to one of those famous movie vampires and in spite of the fact that I felt cold, I was sweating again.
It occurred to me that maybe I was sick. Of course, it’s never that easy. I had to argue with myself for a while before conceding that I was, in fact, officially under the weather.
You’re not really sick. You’re just talking yourself into it.
But I have a headache.
You always have a headache.
I feel kind of dizzy.
No you don’t. You’re just imagining it.
I think I need to throw up.
What the hell are you even thinking??? YOU’RE not going to work!
I won the argument with myself and so it was decided. As an extra measure of reassurance, I imagined how happy my coworkers would be to know that I was keeping my germs out of the office rather than sharing with the group. Heck! I was doing them a favor!
Pats self on back at this point.
I thought about the vacation days I have accumulated and how it’s likely I’ll be cashing some of them out before the new year and realized it was a no-brainer. I was staying home.
Why is it that staying home sick is never as glamorous as it sounds when you’re actually not sick but fantasizing about staying home sick? In a perfect world, staying home sick would include a long, luxurious, restful day of napping. In the real world, the headache keeps you from accomplishing any beneficial amount of sleep. You find yourself restless and so you think, “Well, as long as I’m here, maybe I’ll just get the laundry done.”
Except you’re not getting the laundry done because as soon as you attempt it, you realize that lack of appetite has made you weak and unmotivated, and so it’s back to the recliner and the fleece blanket and episode after episode of Law & Order on the USA Network.
You think I’m kidding about the Law & Order thing, don’t you? I’m telling you. I’ve had the same channel on all day long and have seen nothing but Law & Order. Not that I’m complaining. I wonder if this happens every single day and who, besides us sick people, really wants to watch a marathon of Law & Order on a daily basis?
Besides the annoying lack of variety on television, there’s not much else of interest that goes on in my non-work world. The phone rings a lot and the caller i.d. display tells me there are a lot of phone solicitors not reaching their intended targets, especially if, like me, you don’t answer the phone unless it’s someone you actually want to talk to. And I don’t want to talk to many of the people who call my land-line.
The only other remotely interesting aspects of the day were the realization that my dog is hell-bent on finding a way through the barricade which keeps her from the cat food that she thinks should be hers for the taking and that she has a weird fascination with the ream of printer paper she discovered she can access if she tries hard enough. She thinks she’s a smart dog, but if her aversion to fake snowmen is any indication, I’m not so sure…
Anyway, I am feeling a little bit better and I think I’ll go back to work tomorrow. Being sick isn’t nearly as fun as Ferris Beuller made it out to be.