After three months—THREE MONTHS—of being sick with murine typhus, it seems I’ve turned the corner and am finally getting better for real. Here’s what I learned:
- The frustration and depression that start setting in around Week 4 are worse than the fever and complete lack of energy.
- It’s really nice that all my friends kept texting me every day or two to make sure I was still alive. But after a while I started feeling like a broken record, like I was letting them down by still being sick.
- It’s possible to spend ridiculous chunks of time surfing the web, watching bad television, and commenting on other people’s blogs. Like, ridiculous amounts of time. I thought I understood the whole “Internet being a time sink” thing before, but now I really get it. I know it’s bad, because I’ve been angsting about the fact that I won’t be able to keep up with Slashdot now that I’ll be leaving the house again.
- It’s also possible to get to a saturation point with bad television.
- My roommate described my zombie-like ill state as feeling “pixelated.” This is my favorite new term.
- If I try to edit my fiction while sick, everything looks like OMG HORRIBLE BLERGH and I can’t tell the good prose from the bad.
- My friends who live halfway across the country sent me what is officially the Best Care Package Ever: a stuffed alligator to keep me company, a brand new set of towels in case I wasn’t up to doing laundry, a good book, and a gift certificate to Amazon in case I needed anything that I didn’t want to leave the house for but wanted brought to me instead.
- Having a major political election when I’m ill and bored means I end up analyzing the minutiae and getting way too invested in the results.
- People are really understanding. Surprisingly understanding. I have a problem with being a “reverse hypochondriac”—when I’m sick, I question whether I’m actually sick or am making it up; I’ve done it even when I’ve been seriously, seriously ill. Even worse, I project this skepticism onto other people when I have to apologize for not being able to do things because of illness. But nobody seems to think I’ve been faking being sick except me (which is good, since I wasn’t!), and everyone has been very supportive.
- I am now trying to keep myself from being overwhelmed thinking I have to DO ALL THE THINGS and SEE ALL THE PEOPLE I’ve neglected over the past three months. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay if I take a little time to get back on top of my life.
But man. It feels so good to be feeling better!
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