When you are little, a sick day is kind of like a holiday only without the presents and stuff. Other than the fact that you are sick, a sick day is almost … fun. You get to stay home from school and watch all the television shows that are only on when you are stuck in math class. You get to watch reruns of the Brady Bunch while your classmates are stuck learning whatever it is you are missing that day. Suckers. You get the undivided attention of your mom who makes you chicken soup and Jello and lets you sleep in her bed (where the big TV is housed.)
But when you are older, and living 3,000 miles away from your mom, being sick is another ordeal entirely. For one, no one is jumping up and down to bring you ice chips and ginger ale. And moaning to yourself just isn’t the same. On Saturday, when I was running a temperature of 101 plus I perfected my sick person moaning and there was no one around to hear it. That is truly a shame. And moaning to your mom over the phone doesn’t quite have the same effect.
I spent the entire weekend in bed napping and reading (and moaning to myself). I thought with all the spare time on my hands it was a good opportunity to get some learning in. So I began reading Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier, a book that explores the amazing biology of the female body. But as I was reading about how glorious the ovaries are and the eggs inside them, I started worrying that mine were being cooked by my fever. I found this quite unsettling. Naturally, I had to call my mom (a nurse) to make sure I wasn’t frying my future children. A ridiculous concern at the time I realize, but I was on meds. I have an excuse.
And today, I had to go grocery shopping for my sick person diet alone. There I was in Safeway, bundled in a hat, scarf and fleece jacket and purchasing cans of chicken broth, Saltines, strawberry Jello, and apple juice for myself. Meanwhile it was 65 degrees out and there was no one at home to prepare my soup for me. So sad.
Had it not been for my new significant other coming over to make me soup and read Water Music by T.C. Boyle to me in bed last night, this sick experience would be a complete loss. So, I have decided to get better soon. My sick day home from work was a bust and the food selection is now quite boring. Hopefully later this week I will be feeling better enough to write something of true substance. But right now, it is day four of being sick and I still have a bit more moaning to do.