Sick and Tired

tissuesI’m on day eight of this cold. All the research I’ve done online assures me that I’m in the home stretch here but honestly, I still feel like a snotty bag of gross that has been decomposing on my couch for the last seven days. Hot showers, steam, essential oils, vitamins, water, “severe” cold medicine…yes, I have tried it.

I think this cold demonstrates beautifully my “throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” philosophy toward life. I have this nagging sensation that if I chose a path and stuck with it then I’d see better results but the truth is that I am impatient. But really?

Ten days. The common cold lasts about ten days.

From the start, the fatigue, the heavy head, the tickle in the back of the throat, the common cold lasts about ten days. When I feel I’m getting a cold, I always go online and search “timeline of the cold” or “phases of the cold.” I want to know, biologically what exactly is up with this here body. Why is my nose runny? Why am I now congested? Why am I coughing? Why, on day eight, do I STILL feel like I need to lay down on the floor in the kitchen and hope aliens land to end my suffering.

That red spot under my nose aches. Red and chafed from nose blowing and running and blowing and running. The ugly cycle of illness. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Yes, but…then again…

It’s the recovery that is difficult here. The virus is probably mostly gone from my body. The runny nose, the stuffy head, the unrelenting desire to lay on the couch and not much else, these are not symptoms of the virus but of the body’s reaction to the virus, or at least that is what WebMD tells me. I’m fighting the virus, and it’s not pretty. The body doesn’t apologize for this ugly, snotty, result. The body is doing the hard work of making me well again.

I’m still impatient. Ten days in the life of a working, busy person is an eternity. I’ve lost time and energy and forward motion. I’ve lost track of the number of tissues, the doses of Nyquil, the emails not returned, the pages not edited. This too will pass, I’m sure of it. Being patient is the struggle. No surprise there, huh?

Sickness is like this, whether it’s physical, emotional or spiritual or a mix of the three. The virus hits, we respond. The recovery is messy and circuitous, more like a roller coaster than a straight shot from commuter train stop A to B. I know this is the common cold, though at times I tell people it might be the bubonic plague. I know better, I know it will end in about ten days all tolled. Today I’ll drink more water and use maybe a little fewer tissues; I’ll get around a bit more. I’ll make soup and answer some emails and write a blog post perhaps. This too shall pass. Recovery is underway. Being patient is the struggle.


  1. The common cold. A snotty, sloppy, soggy reminder that we’re not as in control as we thought we were. Hitting us where we hurt by slowing us down in a world where speed and efficiency are our ruling gods. Yup. I hate it too. I hate it a little less when I think of it as a reminder that *we are our bodies* and the fact that the symptoms affect every part of me—body, mind, soul—makes it an experience of wholeness. I’d rather be reminded of that by dancing tango, of course, but it’s no less potent as an experience of psychosomatic wholeness. Also, I wish I were closer so I could drop off soup and some lotion for your sore nose. xo

  2. Feel better soon, friend! I enjoyed this, having recently recovered from just such a cold. (Waking up on day 5 or so: “Wait, so this thing that already went from my head to my throat/lungs is now back to my head? Make up your MIND, immune system!!”) I love how you tie it to recovery and how circuitous it can be. My take on life so far is that all of life is recovery. Recovering being Human, maybe? (Probably I am taking this from someone who said it already.)

    Side note: Isn’t it also creepy how the body just carries on healing itself all the time without even asking us? There’s this whole unseen war going on. I’m always extra amazed, because I have no spleen (long story). Not having one of those, any virus is a bit scary (or things that could be a virus). But anyway, my body just carries on and compensates and does what it’s supposed to. I hear no grumbling from my other members over the lack of spleen–they all just chip in a little extra. On the outside, I feel cruddy for days on end and (oh darn) have to binge watch The Office again–on the inside, body is winning this thing, silently and thanklessly and, to some degree, miraculously. Life is pretty amazing.

    Anyway, may God grant you and us all healing of soul and body!

  3. I have no idea what day I am on! But I think about a week. Day would have been almost a week ago but then day 2 I felt perfectly fine, day 3 was rough but day 5 was when I started feeling like a mac truck hit me! I have been so achy. And, I too, have had that thing where it seems like I feel so much better then I stand up – whoops nope, not feeling better yet! That’s not even the worst of it though – now my 7 & 5 year olds have it. Life always seems tougher when the little ones are sick and you miss church for a few weeks as the family goes through the sickness and healing process at different times. The teens have a dance at church next week so the girl is dosing up with vitamin c and lots of walks (her big bro all ready had this thing so he’s not too worried). Missing Moms group, and reading Blueprints of the Little Church with them, and Catechism this week. But I will read and rest at home while the healthy family go (daughter babysits at mom’s group). And I’ve had blog posts whirling in my head (with a lot of other things too – it seems to be quite whirly these past few days). Praying for you while you continue to heal and then recover from this mess! thanks for the post and the reminder that this too shall pass!

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