While I do get head colds every so often, I don’t get super sick very often as an adult.
I mainly attribute this to not having or working with children. Kids, god love em, have a lot of stuff going on. Usually snot-related.
So, when I get sick, I struggle with actually taking rest to give my body time to get healthy. I want to push through! I want to show that I can run myself ragged and still complete the race.
What has sidelined me is, in all likelihood, strep throat. Sunday night, I felt my throat was scratchy and noticed one of my tonsils was swollen. Monday, I wasn’t feeling that fantastic, but I was able to clear my driveway and deck of snow.
Monday night into Tuesday morning, I apparently was hit by a bus. I dug out my thermometer from the bottom of my bathroom drawer and my temperature was 101.4. Both tonsils were swollen at this point and it was incredibly difficult to swallow. I took ibuprofen, cancelled classes, went back to bed. That afternoon, I went to Urgent Care. The NP walked into the room and said that just by looking at me on the outside, he could tell I had strep. He joked he could smell it on me. A strep test was run and came back negative. Nevertheless, I was given a prescription for penicillin and sent on my way.
Wednesday, my fever was down to 99.7. I was tempted to push through and go to work. I still could not swallow. I looked at my throat and my tonsils had grown white spots all over them. Thinking that’s not good – even though I was no longer feeling like I had been hit by a bus – I cancelled my night class. Rather, I threw it online.
That brings me to today. My fever is gone. My tonsils, while not as vividly splotchy, are still splotchy. Swallowing still takes effort and elicits a wince. My body feels relatively normal and I no longer have a headache. Yet I cancelled my classes again.
I didn’t want to cancel them, but I considered a few things:
First, my job involves a lot of talking. Being able to swallow helps with that.
Second, I think this was bacterial; however, it could have been viral. If so, I don’t want to spread it around. I know I no longer have a fever and am not contagious that way, but I don’t need to be that person who we all wish would go home instead of spreading their germs around. Not everyone has an up-to-par immune system and I work with many parents of small kids.
Third, the next six weeks will be intense for me. I’m covering a colleague’s class while he is on paternity leave. I don’t need to overdo it, get worse, then not be able to follow through on that obligation. I need to be in top fighting form.
Fourth, I know I’ve fucked up by rushing back before. Case in point: my foot. I rushed to walk on it, created a gap in the bone where there was none after my surgery, and extended my recovery time. That sucked so much.
Basically, everything has told me that this is what I need to do. It doesn’t matter that my body and my brain feel pretty much normal. My throat is the lone hold out in the equation and I am trying to give myself permission to rest as a result. There is no congestion or drainage or other nefarious liquids coming out of orifices (I think that’s part of the reason why I don’t feel like I need rest — I’m not leaking anything or stuffed with anything).
Sigh. I’m trying to listen, body. I’m trying.