I made a list in December of things I wanted to get done during the cold and dark days of January. That list has been put aside for now.
I have the flu. Now, I received both the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 flu shot. It seems there is a Beast of a Bug who has not been included in the mixture for the shots. And that Beast has found me...and Graham, and a score of others whom I have spoken with recently.
The Bug attacks in a soft, silent way. To begin, one's only want is sleep. Sleep overtakes in any situation; I was stirring a pot of soup and felt myself drifting off at least a couple of times. I slept as I ate, waking with food in my mouth. The only way I could stay awake was to keep moving. It was decidedly odd.
And then, after one has slept for what feels like a few centuries...the Bug strikes. Suddenly, sleep is a thing of the past. Very quickly, one's breathing is completely compromised. My nose, stuffy and red, is sore from repeated blowing and dabbing, my eyes, swollen and very pink, weep constantly, and I sneeze and sneeze and sneeze...
But the Bug will not stop there. It is not enough that one's head feels enveloped in mucous; the Bug desires the chest cavities as well as the sinus. I cough and sneeze now, in quick succession, and attempt to block the Bug laden spray I know must be falling all over me and everything nearby.
The Bug will not, in the heat of his battle with one's mucous membranes, allow one to do anything other than move from bed to couch. And there one lies, staring into space, mouth open and breathing with difficulty. Sleep, that wondrous thing which just a short time ago was such a cross, now evades...disappearing into the ethers of memory.
At certain times, I become angry. How can this situation have come about, I ask myself, when I have done everything the medical system tells me to do? I have had the shots, I wash my hands at every place that has a station, I take my vitamins...and still the Bug found me.
I want to blame someone or something. I want accountability for my being ill. I want to stamp my feet and yell, engage in extremely childish behaviour...if only I had the strength to do so.
One must recover, at some point, I tell myself, from the Bug's onslaught. But right now, the World is passing me by...I have not the concentration or the will to keep up with it.
I will fight myself out of the morass of mucous. I will dry out. The endless coughing will cease. The Bug will depart, in his own good time, sped on his way, perhaps, by the bombardment of various cold and flu remedies.
I will end my close association with the couch. With great determination, I will take January's list of things to do, and I will have the energy to do them.
This is how I pacify myself, when I am unable to do anything of consequence, when I want to join the World which is passing me by, when I want to clean the dust I see gathering on every available surface.
Wait, I counsel myself. Accept this Bug's war on my body. Accept the fact that rest will speed healing. Accept that papers and books and dust and writing and crafts and hobbies will all still be there, when I am well. Take the enforced downtime, and be thankful that I can.
I tell myself to be grateful my indisposition is only due to a rather rapacious flu Bug.
And that the World will still be there, when I am ready to ride forward once again...