March. Never trust it. March will smile at you with blooming flowers and then hurl snow, tornadoes and flu germs at you in a heartbeat. Longtime allergy warrior here so the I am quite sure the wildly swinging temperatures are contributing to my misery. I also feel like my body just broke down.

I got a horrible…considered pulling into the ER on my way home from work…stomach ache Thursday afternoon. It never let up. I drank mylanta, I took zantac, I ate gas tabs. No relief and my belly swelled up like it was going to fly away. I got little sleep, drove into work again contemplating stopping at the nearest ER. Went on to work because I’m a nurse and at this rate one day I’ll just drop dead at work ignoring some super malignant symptom. Spent the morning vomiting, writhing in pain, checking off 6 of 7 markers of appendicitis. I don’t work bedside anymore so this was only reckless for myself. Suddenly at about two in the afternoon, everything just kind of resolved. Ahhhh…that remarkable moment when you realize you are probably not going to die today.

Short lived. I woke up Saturday morning choking on snot, sinuses burning, coughing, head pounding. Dying again. WTF? It actually occurred to me that maybe my appendix burst which would relieve the pain until systemic infection overtakes me. Not that I immediately jump to the worst conclusion or anything. Since it became Sunday and I am not dead of sepsis, it seems the horrific abdominal pain is unrelated to the horrible cold. I staggered into Walgreens to spend money on lies…medications promising to heal my plague. And found the cough and cold aisle pretty full of miserable looking people so it seems there is a bug going around. I was desperate so I bought everything. Then I was like “Isn’t this how Heath Ledger died??” It turns out, no. No, he did not die from mixing mucinex and alka-seltzer. I did, however, read that Zicam has caused the permanent loss of smell and taste in a lot of people so that’s thirteen bucks I could have saved.

I have called in sick for today, which I feel incredibly guilty about. But I am still sick and I believe that if I work today I will guarantee staying sick for longer. I need rest. I think my body is doing a non-violent resistance thing. It just will not cooperate with any activity that requires leaving the bed. So here I am, awake and miserable, sipping a gatorade alka-seltzer at five o’clock in the morning.

I did a little reading on year one sobriety yesterday. I did not find as much as I thought I would. I was wondering how long it takes a body and mind to heal from alcohol abuse. I expected to be BETTER better by eight months. Actually, I don’t know that I ever envisioned eight months. But if I had, I would have expected to be super by now. In reality I have accomplished little beyond not drinking. That has to be…and I have to believe it is…a significant accomplishment. It just has to be. It has to be the foundation of something better even though right now I can’t see it. It has to be worthwhile.

Nothing was going to get better if I kept drinking. I suppose, though, that when I am suffering with anxiety, burn-out, illness, overwhelmed by the mess that accumulated while I was drinking…that I rather wistfully or bitterly wonder why not just ride it out drunk. It hurts less. Or from eight months away it seems like it hurt less. If I think very long on that time I was too drunk to hold my head over the toilet so I slept in the bathtub, that seems pretty painful. Facing myself right now is also pretty painful.

6 thoughts on “Sleepless and Sickly

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