January 29, 2014

What Doesn't Suck about Being Sick

By Crabby McSlacker

So this is just a quick post because, on day 3 of The Virulent Virus Adventure, I still feel like crap. And, as Beginning Anew predicted in the comments to the last cold vs flu post, this has me royally pissed off.  Somehow, two days seems like the max to have to deal with the full force of a virus.

But anyway, I didn't want this to be just another catalog of my woes.

(Although may I mention that the catalog has been updated? It now includes a impressively fierce sore throat, one that accessorizes nicely with the cough and the fuzzy head and the 12-ton anvil sitting on my chest. Order now, operators are standing by!)

So here is a very quick list of Things that Don't Suck About Being Sick.

1.  People are really nice to you.  

My wife (aka "The Lobster") is out of town on business, still under the weather herself--though she's a few days ahead in the disease trajectory. She's also a suck-it-up superhero. But anyway, I'm on my own here. And the lovely (and often hilarious) comments people have left have really cheered me up!

2.  It's a good opportunity for gratitude and compassion.

If you are generally healthy like I am, and only find yourself felled by illness a few times per decade, there is nothing like spending a few days NOT taking that health for granted to remind you of your good fortune.

And holy crap, does it make one feel compassion for all those with chronic illnesses who wake up every day with pain or fatigue or discomfort.

It's one thing to understand intellectually that other people suffer, it's another to get a more immersive experience.  I also know that what I'm dealing with is only a tiny fraction as miserable as what many experience on an ongoing basis.  It's pretty sobering to think about.

3.  It's a chance to step out of normal routines, take it easy, and do things differently.

And ok, some of those "different" things you're doing may not be all that worth cherishing.  Unless you're actually enjoy swallowing foul medicines and sleeping sitting up.

But, at least for many of us (in particular, those without primary child-care responsibilities or unforgiving inflexible work situations), it's a chance to chill and take a break from our normal obligations.

Whether it's enjoying a cough-suppressing bar of dark chocolate for breakfast, skipping the HIIT and the weights with no guilt, or reacquainting oneself with the pleasure of a good book, being ill reminds you that the world doesn't actually stop turning if you stop "doing" for a little while.

And now, for a time sensitive matter:

Free Webinar Today!

Listen to Crabby's Favorite Zen/Neuroscience Geek-Guru Rick Hanson!  He is featured on a free webinar today, at 2pm pacific/5 pm east coast time. It's entitled: Happiness and Neuroplasticity: Simple Strategies for Rewiring Your Brain.

You can sign up at NICABM-- which you can tell is a scholarly site because who else but geeks would think NICABM would make a catchy acronym?

And there may be more upcoming on the blog about his excellent new book, Hardwiring Happiness, as this lovely virus is at last giving me the chance to finish it!

Thanks everyone so much for putting up with my whining... you guys rock!


  1. oooh, I'm going to sign up for the webinar today! Thanks. Usually they're at terrible times for me... like when I"m supposed to be feeding the kid or doing bedtime stuff.
    I'm a big fan of rewiring my brain....
    I can't believe how well you create posts even while sick.
    Still hoping you feel better soon and that you find more things to enjoy during these days!

    1. thanks so much tree! and that's great that the webinar is at a good time, it's always fun to hear what rick has to say.

  2. I am afraid I will get sick from reading the blog posts! Ha! I am obsessive about not getting this latest nightmare going around. Especially since for awhile I fell through the health insurance mess and I knew too many people that were having to go in for medical care because of the flu.

    Not only do I have a lot of compassion for chronic illness but also for those that have to take daily OTC medications to control those illnesses! I am one of those that doesn't do the medication well so I am always weighing the cold relief versus the side effects. Like Mucinex for example...that is a crazy maker. For a couple of days I enjoy the spike in creativity and then I just go too bonkers.

    Well "enjoy" your imposed life derailment. I can't believe the Lobster has to travel sick. That is even worse!

    Get well soon. :)

    1. Thanks QD! And that's funny about the mucinex--don't know if my generic walgreens stuff has the "bonkers" side effect but will definitely watch out for that!

  3. Perspective is all, Crabby. Good on you for looking at the good bits.

    1. I think I picked that up from you Leah!

  4. Another advantage is you can clean the expired cold/flu medicine out of your cupboard and be reminded which ones worked and which shall be banded from your house for sucking. Inevitably when you go to get more of the cough syrup that worked so well last time you will find it has been re-branded into something with apparent super powers over colds, flu and hang nails. When you get it home it is the old stuff just half strength. Always an adventure!

    1. Yeah Cindy-and sometimes it seems like nothing really "works" and you kinda wonder if the Placebo Effect is the main thing going on with OTC things!

  5. Ugh - still sick?! That has to suck to be on day 3 (that probably feels like day 300!) and still be puny!!!

  6. Old school: go with Nyquil ("the moonshine of medicine! and the only one that tastes exactly as it looks!") and generally stick with alcohol (for its inherent cough suppressing qualities, of course!). Seriously - way better than Guanefisin (sp?) anything or any other cough medicine which can cause more problems than one started with! And don't worry about Nyquil v. Dayquil - your illness doesn't care whether it's day or night and you're not going anywhere, right?

    Sounds like you got it bad - and that ain't good! :(.....
    Hang in there and this too shall pass. In the meantime, please send a reader alert if you have any fever induced hallucinations - they can be pretty entertaining! One last tip: don't do what I did once and try to do your annual tax return. I made very little money that year and somehow became convinced I owed the IRS $10,000.00! Of course, I was just fuzzy headed and was only lucky that I was outwardly upset enough such that a kind person helped me "review" things :)

  7. I hit the mucinex when I was sick this year. I think it may be my new wonder drug but maybe not so much for flu - don't know - I think mine was an ugly cold. I hope you get to feeling better soon! Do take it easy like you said and watch Captain Phillips - that will give you a couple of hours of reprieve if you haven't already seen it. Hang in there!

  8. OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Feel better! I got that crap ass flu twice last year - it sucks but you seem to be handling it with your typical humor! Feel better!

  9. You poor thing. I hate that you're feeling so bad! :(

  10. I feel a need to put on a face mask and use disinfectant on my keyboard! Poor Crabby! I make a mean homemade chicken soup and would gladly share but I can't get it to stay inside the envelope! It keeps steaming the flap open after I've licked it shut. :(

  11. Aw, you guys are so sweet and awesome (and funny!).

    The good news is: I'm actually starting to feel a bit less crappy this afternoon, yay! Still have the laundry list of symptoms, but the ass-kicking fatigue has passed and I believe I've recovered the will to live.

    Just being melodramatic... although it did seem like depression was an actually symptom for the first 2 1/2 days, something I'm not ordinarily prone to. The Lobster had it too. Now that I'm feeling more "myself" I don't mind the physical things nearly as much, and they are easing up a bit.

    thank you all again so much!!

  12. It sounds like you will survive the Martian Death Flu, and i'm so glad!

  13. I, too, am having the urge to disinfect my keyboard.
    If you are taking anything with pseudoephedrine in it, think of me. I've had it twice (the second time by accident) and now if a doctor prescribes me something that contains it, all I have to say to the pharmacist is "Resting pulse of 125" and they go and find me a substitute.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  14. Glad you are feeling the teeniest bit better!

  15. Oh, Crabby, that picture sure does a great job of looking flu-ish. I hope you continue to recover and that your recovery goes fast!

    (I am putting this here because at one point my last comment seemed to have renamed me Anonymous) - DRG



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