Stories and thoughts about family and life

Lessons you learn while you’re sick

on January 26, 2014

It hit me like a ton of bricks. For the second time in a month, I was knocked out of commission due to illness. I’m not accustomed to being sick, and I don’t like it. I don’t have time for it. I don’t like people fussing over me and I don’t like having to slow down or put things on hold. I don’t like losing track of days and having to tell people “I’m sick.” I usually just fake my way through it and drag into the office.

The first time I got sick was New Year’s Day. I was lucky it was a holiday and I was able to be “down” without being noticed. Between several doses of NyQuil and Zycam, I was only down that day and a few early evenings. That’s the way I prefer it. This time it was much worse. I had just made a trip and came home tired. I guess I was more tired than I realized, and coupled with the extreme fluctuations in weather we’ve been having lately Mother Nature apparently isn’t feeling so hot either.

I had an important meeting Thursday afternoon with a prospective new client. It really upset me to realize Thursday as the morning wore on and I simply couldn’t get warm, that I was running a pretty high fever and didn’t need to expose anyone. I had to trust that duty to someone else in my company. That other person is very capable and trustworthy–I’m just not accustomed to having to hand off a duty that’s always been mine. It happens, I guess. It’s a reminder that I’m only human, and probably a lesson I need a little more from time to time.

The meeting went well enough. Although the client was expecting me, I figured they would have been pleased to not have been exposed to something. I had rested a bit before preparing to leave the office, and then decided I was too sick and didn’t need to expose anyone unnecessarily. When you work with people in healthcare, they’re exposed plenty as it is. I napped a bit in the afternoon, induced with a dose of NyQuil, but woke on cue when the meeting should have started, and waited restlessly for news that it had ended. After that update, honestly I don’t remember much about the rest of Thursday or much of Friday, except my dreams. I remember those pretty vividly.

It’s interesting what your body tries to tell you when you’re asleep. Most of my friends tell me they don’t recall their dreams, or that they don’t believe they dream much at all. I dream all the time. Sometimes funny, sometimes scary, sometimes just work. It’s the work ones which are the worst; and that’s all I had Thursday night. I guess I subconsciously felt guilty about missing the day and missing the meeting. Anyway, I worked all night. I had meetings with people, discussed solutions to situations I’d been working through, worked on strategies for business growth, contemplated problems which are beyond my control and how to either correct them or let go. I worked and worked, until 2 a.m. when I awoke and decided I needed more NyQuil. I couldn’t breathe, and I woke myself in a coughing fit, struggling to take air into my lungs. As I settled back toward sleep, I had to chuckle at everything I had accomplished in the mere four to six hours I had been asleep. It’s amazing what you can conquer working in your sleep–when you don’t have yourself to get in the way.

I haven’t felt like doing much the past couple of days. It’s now Sunday, and I sit here thinking about the progression of these thoughts the past few days and what they reveal about my inner self. I’ve always known I was driven, motivated, strong. Tenacious is the word I usually use. I’ve had a couple of friends who have their own businesses who have tried to warn me, in their own ways, about doing too much myself and tying things too much to me. I realize more and more as we grow what that means. I’ve taken great pride in the business I’ve built, and the team that I have in place. I think my dreams were to reinforce that I need to embrace sharing my work more and not take on so much to myself.

I hadn’t made any New Year’s Resolutions to myself this year. I didn’t really see the point–it’s always the same thing: eat better, lose weight, blah, blah, blah. I think this year I’m going to rethink that position and simply make it about sharing my duties and lessening my burden a bit. We’re capable of being a great company (even more so than we are), and I don’t want to be the one who holds that back.

No, I didn’t have the flu. Thank goodness. And I’m back on the mend, so I should be in the office tomorrow, although still coughing. That’s okay, though. I accept the reminder to slow things down a bit and remember I’m not 20 anymore. Here’s hoping the weather settles out too. I think Mother Nature may need a reminder of her own. . .


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