Well, that worked out well.
I’ve been down for now eleven days with the virus from hell. Yesterday, the head nose ear throat pain finally gone, but feeling as if a relapse might be imminent, I spent the morning leading a group discussion and then returned home to crawl under a blanket and stay there, too exhausted even to ponder the piles of small tasks that remain undone.
The consequence was that I awoke at 4:30 this morning and, an hour later, unable to go back to sleep, began to stir. I read for an hour, took care of a pile of laundry and ironing, and ate some cereal and berries for breakfast. I had to throw out most of the blackberries that I had purchased so hopefully a few days ago, walking slowly through the grocery as I began to glimpse the promise of recovery.
What I have been pondering is this business of being so sick. The last time it happened, over a year ago, I had just begun a new call as a pastor, and Lent had quickly arrived, which meant an additional service each week at a time when I was already challenged by getting to know new people and new ways. No wonder I fell ill! And, unwilling to take time off in my first month, I plowed through the weeks that lay before me, taking several more of them to recover, while trying to conceal how thoroughly miserable I was.
This year, no new roles lie before me ~ perhaps a great stress in itself. But there is a disturbing commonality between last year and this. In both cases, just before I was felled by illness, I had been feeling particularly energetic and content, and in both cases I had added a slightly more demanding exercise regimen to my life ~ a bit more walking, and a few trips to the gym. It seems that my immune system may have had, in both cases, all that it could do to handle the additional workouts, and succumbed quickly when presented by an unfamiliar virus.
It’s quite discouraging to discover that I may have reached a point at which my body will accept only the slightest increase in stress before it reaches a breaking point. I know that the life of all-nighters and even frequent late evenings out is long gone, but I am stymied by bow quickly I can be ambushed by a simple virus.
I am resolved to begin walking as soon as possible, and to practice more in the way of healthy eating. But for now . . . more sleep!