What brought me here today:
I’ve been sick for ten days. We were scheduled to get our third dose of the vaccine on the day my temperature spiked. My husband became sick about twenty-four hours after me. We had been isolating for almost two weeks because we didn’t want to get sick and miss our booster shots. It probably is covid. And it was more than likely brought into our building by someone our neighbour invited over. This kinda pisses me off. A lot.
We’ve consulted friends of ours that are licenced medical professionals. They’re pretty sure it’s covid. Again, this pisses me off. I’m glad we got the vaccine, because I wouldn’t want to be sicker than I was during the first 72 hours. I’m at the point now where I’m just annoyed at the persistant cough, fatigue, and lower-abdominal aspects. Working from home does give us a lot of time and space to deal with being sick. But it still sucks, just in a new way.
In the before times:
Being sick makes going to a job outside the home more of a really crummy challenge. As a public school teacher, I would dose myself up with cold medicine to the gills before teaching. None of the medications did anything to make me actually recover more quickly. They just masked the symptoms so I could muddle through my day at about 40% my usual abilities. I hated taking cold medicines and having to teach. The medicine either make me fall asleep, or feel like I had bugs crawling under my skin.
But that’s one of the biggest differences between being sick in the US and being sick in Finland. In the US, you’re just expected to work while you’re ill. There were times as a teacher I went to school with a temperature of 102 because I had to. I can tell you that I made one class of students cry because of this. And the rest of my teaching that day wasn’t productive at all. I was a warm, sick body to watch the students while the classroom teacher got some prep-time.
I remember at the beginning of my teaching career, a principal told me to stay home if I had a fever. By the end of a decade of teaching, even emergency surgery wasn’t a good enough reason for me to take my alloted sick days. I knew that it was time to leave after that. If I was being expected to give everything to a job that was not going to support me when I needed it. It was time to leave.
Berin and I were sick maybe twice while living in Finland. I caught something in February 2019 that knocked me down for almost three weeks. During that time, I took Bisolvon tablets for coughs, and Fexorin for congestion. Neither one of these made me sleep or gave me the creepy-crawlies. The Bisolvon let me cough up all the yucky crud in my lungs, and the Fexorin allowed to breathe more normally. In addition to the OTC remedies, I drank lots of tea with lemon and honey or tar syrup, took steamy showers, and rested.
Yeah. I rested. OTC’s like Day and Ni-quil aren’t a thing in Finland. There were plenty of other options at the Apteeki, like Bisolvon and Fexorin. But the idea that a person needs to ingest OTC’s so that they can go to school or work while they are still actively sick is not something the Finns do. If you’re sick. Stay home. Rest. And if you’re not getting better, go see your doctor. Get treatment or medication if you require it. Oh, and still take the time to rest too. Then come back to work or school.
Being sick now:
Getting sick right now is just pissing me off. The difference is that I’m the only person working on my business plans. Again, I’m fortunate to work from home like my husband. What stinks is that my being sick is dictating what I’m able to do during my regular work day. There have been several days where I’m fine in the morning. But need a long nap in the afternoon because I’m just exhausted. This may not seem like a big deal, but it just crushes my productivity. And when I’m not working on something creative, I’m not a contented person.
I’ve been plugging away at pieces and parts of my Patreon launch. It’s the one big thing I want up and functioning by the 4th of February. I’m itching to get this thing up and off the ground. Being sick is making me second guess myself. Part of me feels as though a launch that’s anything less than perfect will be doomed to failure. (Insert eye roll here.) The launch will not be perfect. That’s okay. There is plenty that I plan on building upon as my Patreon project progresses.
The elephant in the room:
I have to admit that being sick at 51 is way different than being sick at 31. Parts of getting older can suck more than others. Being sick is one of them. Berin laughed at me when I made reference to this fact the other day. He’s older than I am, and in considerably more chronic pain than me.
In addition to having gotten the vaccine for covid, we also got flu shots a few months ago. That decision was made because of our age. We now have some medical coverage squared away too. Now I can look into getting the shingles vaccine. I promised my father I would get that jab when the time came. He had shingles and said it was some of the worst pain he’d ever felt. I inherited his dyshidrosis, and had a wicked-bad case of chicken pox as a child. It stands to reason that shingles are in my future.
Gee. So much to look forward to. I’ve already turned into one of those people who spends ages talking about their physical maladies to perfect strangers. (Insert another eye roll here.) Getting older just kinda snuck up on me.
So, now what?
I continue working. Albeit, while having to wrestle with fatigue and lower-intestinal matters as they arise. The vaccines and boosters are totally, completely 100% worth it. Berin and I will continue social distancing and wearing a face mask when we are out in public places with people too.
Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Friday.