I reached another milestone in the land of independent adulthood this week: The First Sick Day. Sure, I’ve been ill since I graduated high school, but I never missed class because of it. I got a couple of sinus infections and one raging bout of bronchitis, but I got the flu while at home over a Christmas break and mono during finals week of my senior year, so I never had a sick day all through college.
But this past Monday, I woke up at 5:30 to get ready for the gym and while I was packing my bag, a dizzying wave of nausea hit me, and I puked. I rarely throw up, so I’m a huge wimp when it happens. I always cry, I always get shaky, I always feel really sorry for myself, and I always tuck myself back into bed after strategically placing a trash can next to it. This time, I also had to text my boss and say, “I puked. I’m going back to bed. I’ll be in later.” Being an hourly employee without health insurance, I cannot afford to miss work.
I woke up again around 9 and dragged myself to work, still feeling very sorry for myself. I don’t remember much of the day, other than wondering why I didn’t stay in bed. I went to bed on a mostly empty stomach, determined to feel better in the morning, even setting my alarm for 5:30 again.
On Tuesday I got up at 5:30, put on my workout clothes, and ate a cereal bar so I wouldn’t be working out on a totally empty stomach. Ten minutes later, as I voided my stomach of said cereal bar, I acknowledged in the self-punishing recesses of my brain that some day in the distant future I’ll be doing this every morning for, like, three months. The joys of womanhood.
Still in my workout clothes, I repeated the (crying, shaking, pitying) routine from Monday morning and went back to bed. At 8am, I learned one of the best lessons thus far since living on my own: if you can’t live with your mom, live with a nurse. When Jessica got home from the night shift, she responded to my SOS text message by coming in to check on me, then going to the store to buy me lots of chicken noodle soup and Sprite. Incidentally, the only comfort Lil Smoky offered was contingent on my possession of said soup. When I ate it she wasn’t interested in me any more.
As far as sick days go, this one was a pretty good one. I was too sick to get out of bed, but not sick enough to be consigned to the bathroom floor. I spent the morning watching episode after episode of Downton Abbey (which is why-didn’t-anyone-make-me-watch-this-sooner good), and then I slept the afternoon away. I completed my self-prescribed regimen of crackers, Sprite, and British accents by watching Pride & Prejudice and then going to sleep again. I was back at work on Wednesday, still a bit foggy but not pukey, and after a restful weekend (in which I may watch every episode of Downton Abbey again) I’m sure I’ll be completely back to normal.
But that’s not to say that I still don’t miss my mommy when my tumbly is rumbly.