Well, I have officially been sick for six days now. I have missed the last three days of work, and I woke up feeling as bad as ever today. I feel like someone placed hot coals in my throat. Being the impatient, slightly neurotic person I am, I have been to the doctor twice. It’s not strep according to my employee clinic. According to the NP at my doctor’s office the next day, it’s a sinus infection. Considering my nursing background, I know better, but I took the Z-Pac any way and have now contributed to the overuse of antibiotics that will ultimately lead to the emergence of more resistant strains. Ok, so I was desperate.
As my friend noted in her text this morning, I really don’t like being sick.
So, all this brings me to my next A Day in the Life Series and what it was like to be sick when I was growing up.
There was always a reason that I brought sickness on myself, according to my mother. The end result was that I tried to conceal my illnesses from her until my fever reached about 104.9 degrees fahrenheit, at which point there was no hiding it any more. I remember once not telling my mom I had a sore throat because I didn’t want to miss the field trip to White Castles. To this day I regret that my throat and head hurt so bad that I didn’t even get to eat one of their freshly baked buns at the end of the tour. In fact, I couldn’t even stand to smell them. By the time I made it off the bus and safely home that day, my mom need only look at me to tell I was ill.
The same pattern usually took place when I was ill, and came in phases:
Phase I – Rebuke (according to my mom, there was always a reason I caused myself to become sick)
- “You shouldn’t have stayed up past 9:00”
- “I told you not to go outside without a coat”
- “You are never going to a sleepover again”
- “You shouldn’t have gone swimming in that dirty pool”
- “You just want attention because your father and I argued last night”
Phase II – Quarantine
After putting me in an ice-cold bath to bring down the fever, my mom whisked me off to my room and put me right to bed, where I remained until the illness passed. After placing a pitcher of water on my bedside table, rubbing me down with Vics VapoRub, and placing a red bandana around my neck, my mom’s work was done and the door was closed tightly behind me.
Phase III – Call the doctor
This is where my dad came in. He was the one who always took me to the doctor, where I usually ended up getting a giant shot of penicillin in my behind. He became the gatekeeper, bringing up trays of food and little prizes to help me feel better. For some reason, whenever I was sick I liked to Listen to Julie Andrews, and he made sure to set up the record player for me.
Phase IV – Disinfection
When I started feeling better, my mom came back into the picture to disinfect the scene. My room was cleaned from top to bottom, and everything was sprayed down with Lysol. I was lectured about what a messy child I was and no wonder I was sick, living in all that filth. Its true, I wasn’t the neatest kid, especially in contrast to my mom’s obsessive need to clean and organize.
Phase V – Father/Daughter talk
This was the best part of the whole ordeal. My dad would come into my room, sit on my bed, and talk to me about the importance of keeping my room clean and how that might improve things not only with my mom but in my life in general. He was good at giving pep talks, and I always felt better after he left.
I am hoping I will hit the disinfection Phase of my illness today so that I can start anew, appreciating all of the little things I missed out on while under quarantine.
To read the last post in my series, click here.