Sunday, March 14, 2010

Catalog of a Tissue Laden Weekend, or Listening to Doctor’s Orders


On Saturday I woke at 6:30am for no reason at all, a lingering ache in the back of my throat. I’ve been intentionally ignoring that ache and the occasional full tissue for a couple weeks, feigning ignorance of the signs of an impending sickness.

I went out baby clothes shopping with friends (for them, mind you) and then to breakfast, enjoying the company but still weary of the occasional sneeze and constantly attentive to my leaking nose.

Back at home after four hours I found myself exhausted, and climbed into bed with Curtis…for a two and a half hour nap. While it made sense for him to sleep well into the afternoon after working into the morning, I had already gotten a full night’s rest, and was now up to ten hours for the day.

The afternoon and evening progressed with a depleting supply of tissues and a raw patch forming under my nose. Lesson planning became increasingly more laborious when it was interrupted at five minute intervals with nose-blowing, and the evening concluded with me half-consciously watching the NCAA Division I indoor track championships that Curtis had gleefully found streaming (live!) on the internet.

On Sunday I woke up at 7am (or 8am, depending on whether you believe in turning clocks forward) and rolled around for forty-five minutes, willing myself back to sleep in hopes that I would wake in better spirits.

It didn’t work.

I made eggs and toast in our non-stick pan (that sticks despite generous greasing) while Curtis did IT band strengthening exercises in the other room. He has been following a strict regime of stretches and exercises since his doctor visit three weeks ago. His battle with his IT band has been a long series of wins and losses for the last eight years, and in an attempt at high level training in this short window before residency he is determined to win.

While the first bite of eggs over easy lifted my spirits, the slightest thing brought me crashing down. My congestion acted like the constant sound of fingernails on a chalkboard, putting me on edge at the slightest additional aggravation.

The morning was filled with church, bringing many conversations of “where we’re going next year”, as the countdown to match day continues. Afterward we went and found a baby shower gift for next weekend (when we go to DC for Curtis’s half marathon and to meet up with old friends), and then to the grocery store where we bought toilet paper (for when the tissues run out) and apples (to keep the doctor away…oh, wait).

This afternoon brought another nap…only ninety minutes this time, putting my sleep for the weekend at twenty hours.

And that’s when I discovered it was raining.

This would be great if I was planning on sitting on the couch for the rest of the day, which I normally would do given my state of aggravation. Instead, I had made plans earlier in the week to go running with a friend I haven’t seen in a few weeks. As much as I wanted to cancel when she’d called to confirm hours earlier, I couldn’t. I workout much less when I’m coaching and I desperately needed the exercise.

But it was raining.

I sat on the couch with Curtis, watching the minutes ticking by until my running date and asked, “Why don’t you make me better? I proofread your papers and make them better; you are a doctor and thus should make me better.”

He didn’t even try to reply. (Wise choice)

“I don’t want to go running in the rain” I protested.

“I think you feel better” he retorted.


I put on my favorite running hat to shield from the rain, the one Curtis gave me when we were first dating, along with a bag jelly beans. I donned my favorite long sleeve running top, and a pair of shorts already on the floor, slipped on my shoes and went outside.

And it was cleansing.

Forty-five minutes later I felt renewed, stimulated by good conversation, and mind (and nose) refreshed with the cold, wet air. My legs and butt were covered with the splash of puddles, and my sleeves were extra salty from wiping away snot, but I was no longer wallowing in a pool of snot and self-pity, and that made me quite content.

Even if my nose was still running.

I am endlessly surprised how hard work is often what makes me feel better—when it’s the last thing I want to do. While I would not suggest it is the cure for all illness, sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered.


1 comment:

  1. great. now I feel guilty for all of my bitching and moaning and lack of exercise.

    Although I do have a work out system that I've established and adhere to: I only work out when I don't work.

    I have a few more months of laziness ahead of me... I'm pathetic!