Thanksgiving, Day 16: Getting Over a Cold

Seriously, it’s the best.

I’m not 100% yet by any means, but I feel better than I have for a few days.

Thing is, I’m a bad sick person, I really am. I get awfully self-centered about it, and if I’m not careful I’ll convince myself that this is how I’m going to feel forever. I can’t remember what it feels like to be “well,” since “well” is an absence of sickness, which is the exact opposite of how I feel at the time.

That said, I do try not to be a dick about it. It’s a cold, not leukemia, and there are limits to just how much of a self-absorbed dick I can be. Just enough to get people to leave me alone, but not enough to make them leave me alone permanently, I suppose. Besides, I know people who have actual medical problems, and for me to me lamenting about how “O Woe Is Me, My Nose May Be Stuffy ForEVER!” is just an insult to them.

Anyway, I’m behind schedule and I’ve a lot of things to do this weekend. I’ll fill in days 14 and 15 soon enough…

Thanksgiving, Day 13: Sick Days

You and me both, Parker.

Continuing on from yesterday – no, I don’t feel better and yes, I am going to take a sick day.

Why? Because I can, of course. And because it’s what needs to be done.

The idea of being not only able to take a sick day but to do so without being guilted, shafted, or outright harassed for it is a new one. Indeed, in this place they positively encourage them, since my sick self is going to end up being in contact with a whole lot of other students and teachers, thus allowing whatever plague I have to spread from person to person. In fact, maybe if Certain People [1] had taken a day or two off last week, I wouldn’t be in this position.

My last job was positively brutal with sick days – you didn’t get paid for the day, for one thing, but you also lost a *punctuality bonus* of nearly $500 out of your paycheck. It’s a bonus because, by law, companies can’t dock your pay just because you’re sick. Arbitrary bonuses put in just to keep people from missing work? Fair game. Lawyers are sneaky bastards, each and every on of ’em.

Anyway, that’s how I ended up one day at the hospital for six hours, trying to get a doctor to look at me, tell me I had a cold, and give me the form saying he had seen me. When I told him what was wrong, he asked, “Why the hell are you here?” I told him that my company didn’t trust me to make my own health decisions, and could he please give me that form.

But that’s all behind me now. Here and now I can take a sick day, and so I shall. Maybe two – we’ll see how I feel on Thursday. Let’s shoot for “better,” or at least “not as shitty.”

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[1] I would add, “You know who you are,” but I don’t think any of them read this blog. Probably a good thing.

Thanksgiving, Day 12: Health

Turn back, my Martian friends! There is only death here!

Ironically, as I write this I’m coming down with a cold. It’s the scratchy throat, thirst all the time, snuffling and dripping type of cold, complete with a slow, continuous headache and a firm, unwavering desire to just go back to bed.

Annoying, yes. Inconvenient, sure. But at least I can be reasonably sure that, unlike people in some other time and place, it won’t kill me. I may have a cold. Bt I also have access to medicine, to proper medical care, should it become necessary, and a job where I can take time off to rest and recuperate. That alone is something to be thankful for.

Beyond that, though, I have to admit that my health has been pretty good despite my consistent lack of attention to it (up until recently, anyway). Whenever I take a checkup, there’s this long list of conditions and complications they want to know about, and I don’t have to check any of them. I have friends and relatives who have the misfortune to have their bodies turn against them – asthma, cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, mental health issues…

By and large, though, I seem to be doing okay. My health issues are seasonal or occasional, and rarely debilitating enough to merit anything more than a couple of days off work. I don’t know what to attribute this to – good genetics, perhaps, or avoiding an egregiously unhealthy lifestyle maybe. Whatever it is, it seems to be working.

Behold. My future.

I quit smoking back in aught-three, so I’m sure that helped. If you’re wondering if you should quit, by the way, the answer is an unqualified “YES.” It may not turn your life around, but it will certainly stop making it worse.

I rarely drink alcohol, either. Not because of any moral or health reason, but because I just don’t feel like it. If I go out, I might have a couple of beers, but I don’t go out that often. Even when I do, my days of drinking myself stupid ended years ago. At some point, my self-regulation systems kick in and say, “Nope. You’re done.” Anything after that, and I suspect that my pleasant night of inebriation is about to go horribly wrong. And no one wants that.

I don’t have a sweet tooth, and don’t drink colas. I’m a fan of vegetables in my cooking. I live in a place that requires I walk a lot and have a job where I have to stand. All told, my lifestyle isn’t inherently unhealthy, and that helps.

What I know, of course, is that this streak is going to continue, I’m going to have to pay more attention to the meat puppet than I have up until now. After all, one should not casually throw away things for which you are thankful.

That said… Anyone up for pizza?

Thanksgiving, Day 4: Persistence

I wasn’t planning on doing this one today – but then I went shopping.

You may recall the post of a week ago or so, in which I both admitted to having started running and – at great length – talked about how much I didn’t enjoy it. That hasn’t changed in the last week. In fact, in absence of the C25K goal, it seems to have become more difficult to keep going. What I need is a real, achievable goal to run towards (so to speak), or else I’ll grasp on to whatever flimsy excuse I need to convince myself that I don’t need to do it anymore.

This afternoon, The Boyfriend and I went shopping, mainly just so I could get a new sweater – the old one had worn holes in the elbows, which is the curse of the teacher. We went to Uniqlo, found the sweaters, and thought that would be that. But then it occurred to me… I have pants that don’t quite fit right anymore. They sag and settle and feel generally uncomfortable. I know my belt needs some new holes, too.

Would it be possible…?

Also, it seems that I became a Batman villain.

Long story short [1], I was actually able to buy pants. In a Japanese store. Pants that fit.

If I had been prepared properly, there would have been a cavalcade of shopping, but I restrained myself. A pair of jeans, a couple of cardigans, and a new coat that I can actually button, if I so choose. When I came home and tried them on, The Boyfriend was taken aback by the difference. As it turns out, wearing clothes that actually fit make you look better. This was something I had long grown used to not thinking about.

Point is, I’m within a week or so of having dropped ten kilograms, and it’s showing up. For the first time in a very long time, I’ll have options open to me that could amount to more than jeans and a t-shirt. It’ll be quite the adjustment, and I’m not ready to commit to actual money yet – Uniqlo has the benefit of being very, shall we say, affordable. But perhaps one day I’ll be able to look at clothes that I like and not think, “That’ll never work.”

Of course, at 4:30 in the morning, as I round the corner into the first kilometer or so, that’s a pretty abstract thought to keep me going. But I can at least add to that thought the knowledge of how I’ve gotten here. This persistence – something I’ve never been able to keep hold of – has brought me this far. Perhaps it can see me further.

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[1] Too late.