And then I got flu

Look after yourself… Something I say a lot to people I care about, and something I hear a lot from people who care about me. It’s a beautiful set of words that roughly translate into ‘I want to see you soon, and I want to see you well, happy and strong’ – so take care until then.’ Being healthy, fit and strong, and not having so much as a cold for 2 years, I always thought ‘looking after myself’ was really easy, and that I didn’t actually have to do much, except maybe wear a seatbelt, bra, sunscreen and a good attitude when I went out…

Then I got flu…

And not just any flu. Man-flu…

I felt like I was dying. I thought the bright light would come and fetch me. Yes, definitely man-flu.

For 5 days I felt like I’d run up Kilimanjaro, had the joints of an 80-year old, was about to die – and would have made even a frozen chicken jealous of my constant goosebumps. By day 3, my body said ‘no more’ and had me confined to bed for 3 full days.

Now, this is where the looking after yourself thing comes in. I’m not talking about the fact that I made sure that I stumbled/crawled/moved like someone doing Tai Chi towards the kitchen 3 times a day to eat and medicate (which I somehow did manage to do. A small miracle considering my bedroom and kitchen are on 2 separate floors). I’m talking about the fact that I slept and slept and slept. I didn’t shower for a day because I didn’t feel like it (TMI, sorry), I improved my Candy Crush score, I just lay doing nothing and listened to outside noises, and thought about not much. I let my laundry pile up, and crossed off days of to-do-lists and moved the stuff into another week. When I felt a little better I even had a series watching marathon and started reading a new book.

This was the biggest treat ever. Not the man-flu-dying, but the lying around doing nothing, and feeling bugger all guilt about it, and not having to explain it. For 3 days I just vanished from the radar and it was wonderful.

I am normally juggling so much, racing to get from one thing to another, generally with someone always phoning to see where I am (not that I am a tardy person, but I am blessed with attracting traffic jams on any road I am on…).

All of these things create stress and wear even the strongest person down, so next time I hear, or say, “Look after yourself’,” I am going to remember this bitch of a flu and just make a mindful adjustment to live just a little slower where I can.

Written by Catherine L Ronaasen

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