There’s always that one morning when you’re sick. Your head isn’t pounding quite as much. That one nostril is just a little bit less stuffed up. You can take a deep breath without feeling like a lung is going to come out on the exhale. You’re this close to human again, and it’s wonderful.
Then, about four hours later, when you’ve showered and gone to work, you realize exactly how much distance there can be in such a little word like “this.”
You remember that scene in The Perfect Storm where the clouds part for a second and all the fishermen look hopeful as the sun peeks through? And then the clouds slam shut again and Clooney says, “It’s not going to let us out?” That was me and my cold Tuesday morning. Clouds parted and sun peeking through at 9, clouds slammed shut and CGI waves closing in on me by noon. I toughed it out until 2 and told Clooney and company to sink the boat; I was going home.
Wednesday was this odd sensation of being in bed all day and still being exhausted. I half-heartedly worked through my Hulu queue while I picked at the assembled snacks next to my bed with equal enthusiasm. Of course, my stomach was rumbling like an earthquake was going on in there, but the thought of eating just felt like too much bother. And of course I couldn’t sleep, because every five minutes my lungs were trying to launch themselves out of me. Facebook messaging with Jillian was about the only thing keeping me sane.
Thursday morning came and the sun was peeking through again. I forced myself out of bed and got in the shower … and thought about Tuesday. I’d felt this good then. And look what had happened. I could already feel myself getting exhausted just trying to brush my teeth. Was I really going to get dressed and drive twenty minutes away from that nice comfortable bed with the water and medicine next to it?
No I wasn’t. Back to bed. More Hulu.
And it turns out it was the smartest thing I could have done. If I’d felt a little better Thursday morning, Friday morning was like The Wizard of Oz switching to color, only with fewer Munchkins singing. By the end of the day I definitely felt like a guy who’d spent the better part of the last three days in bed, but nowhere near how I felt that Tuesday afternoon. And with the weekend ahead and zero plans that required me leaving the house, I could certainly tough it through one day at a desk.
It’s funny, because when I was a lead in Attractions, I was always the guy who’d say, “If you’re that sick, stay home,” yet I was also the guy who’d try to be Iron Man and go to work sick myself. Even now in I.T., I hate taking one sick day more than I need to. But I have to tell you, taking my own advice this time around really did the trick. In fact, I was so sick of my bed after the last week, I got up early this morning. I must really be sick.