My Tryst with Illness

December 4, 2008 at 4:26 pm | Posted in Me + Myself + I | 10 Comments
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I have been doing a lot of serious thinking lately. Most unusual, but when you’re confined to bed with a nasty sickness and a headache that threatens to match the effects of listening to Justin Timberlake twenty times in a row, it’s all you can do, besides counting flowers on the wallpaper. It is curious that in times of ill-health, the brain will merrily turn off the usual routine: appetite is the first to go, then talk and then sleep.

The first hurdle doesn’t pose too much of an inconvenience, but the other two do. Talking and sleeping, as everybody knows, are the two most important things in the world. And being the kind of person whose personal philosophy is ‘I talk, therefore I am’, I, more than any other could fully appreciate the agony of swallowing that disgusting bowl of oats without uttering a word. It seemed my voice had turned rather like one of those foul gooey medicines I’ve been prescribed by my physician, whose mission in life seems to force down as much medicine as he can down his patients’ throats.

Now, sleep. When i had done everything i could to ward of insomnia to no avail, I decided it was time for drastic measures. These drastic measures, I decided, were to be in the form of  ‘Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul‘ an atrociously mind-numbing book which had been gathering dust on my shelf for the past three years.

I open the book at a random page and start reading…

It wasn’t surprising that before long I was positively giddy about him. My friends told me I had no chance with a junior. My sister looked concerned for my potentially broken heart. But you can’t help who it is that you fall in love with, whether they are older or younger, taller or shorter, completely opposite or just like you. Emotion ran me over like a Mack truck when I was with him, and I knew that it was too late to try to be sensible. I was in love.

If that doesn’t make you fall asleep within five minutes, I doubt anything will.

Anyway, this ingenious discovery of a cure for insomnia notwithstanding, it would be wrong to assume that sleep was of help. If only the problems of the world could be solved by sleeping! I would definitely bag the Nobel Prize for Sleeping in that case. But I digress.

As I was ill, I wasn’t allowed to sit at the computer or watch TV or read, for fear of these activities putting a ‘strain’ on me, as the doctor put it. I would have told him that the only activity that is capable of putting a strain on me is listening to  Rihanna singing ‘Hate That I Love You’, but thought better of it.

One of the worst things about illness is the ever-present sense of idleness and exhaustion, co-existing simultaneously. Everything seems oppressive, and even the sight of fluffy teddy-bears seems annoying (at least to me). That’s when it begins to operate on psychological level. In an effort to drag my brain from the depths of despair, I hit upon a more brilliant solution. I raided my wardrobe and came up with the most disgustingly lurid clothes I could find. A bright-pink top that I loathe (I never wear pink) would do the trick, I thought. I know, stupid theory, but pink, whatever its faults, screams cheerful. And it worked, almost, my spirits had raised a notch somewhat.

I was down with viral fever, which went away within three days, but the Universe, not content with having its sinister plan executed in this manner, decided to add the finishing touches as well. General weakness prevailed, and I was convinced that it would be highly dangerous if I didn’t get well soon – no, not dangerous for me, but for the doctor, who was probably going to get strangled by me soon if he dared to prescribe me more of those yucky medicines.

When I was feeling better again I was allowed to walk around the house and climb up the stairs. I was so glad to have my health (and voice) back, I ended up in bed with sore ankles again later in the evening due to a hour’s worth of running up and down the stairs. I kid you not.

Anyway, the upshot of it all was that I now have a reputation of being ‘psychologically delicate’, which is rubbed in my face every time and which annoys me to no end. Hmph. When I end up finding the cure for cancer, I shall make sure I rub it in their faces at every opportunity I get. ;-)

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