Apparently, next year, when I belt out All I Want for Christmas is You, I need to enunciate better. Much better. For this year, the Christmas spirits heard flu, instead of you. It’s not all I received for Christmas, but I certainly didn’t want it. Yes, after being bolstered by the false sense of security of my annual flu shot, I got the flu. Type A to be exact.
For the first time in a very long time, I had been enjoying the holidays more so than usual, and I had some grand plans for Christmas with my daughters. When I drifted off to sleep the night before Christmas Eve, I had no idea that all of those lofty plans were about to change.
Instead of my alarm clock telling me that it was time to get ready for work, a series of sneezes and coughing fits announced the arrival of Christmas Eve. I immediately realized that something was not quite right, but I powered through a day of working from home and preparing for our Christmas Eve traditions with my family, fueled by this newly reignited Christmas spirit and my carefully constructed plans. I was not about to let, what I assumed was a bad cold, be the Grinch who stole our Christmas.
By the time the Christmas Eve festivities had ended, I felt like a herd of reindeer had run over me and headed off to bed with hopes of good health dancing in my head. My hopes were dashed when Christmas Day brought me more severe symptoms, and I finally was forced to put my denial and holiday plans on the shelf. Off to a local Immediate Care Center I went, and I returned with a Type A flu diagnosis and Tamiflu.
I also returned home with instructions from the physician to rest and to remain home for 5-7 days. His recommendation for rest rivaled my physical symptoms in making me feel sick. Stay home? Rest? What about work? What about my plans? WTF?!
I may be a somewhat reluctant patient, at times, but I also am a compliant one. I did not want to risk exposing anyone else to my germs, and I did not want to risk getting even sicker. Not to mention that by the time I waved the white flag, all I wanted to do was cover myself with it and take a long winter’s nap. So, I did.
As I find myself finally coming out on the other side of this unexpected Christmas story plot twist, I am not coming away empty-handed. Not at all. This change of plans has led to some unexpected and needed changes.
I came into the holidays filled with more anticipation than I had felt in years, but I also arrived running on fumes and whiteknuckling it until my vacation after the first of the year. I had taken my physical and emotional health and well-being for granted and pushed myself to the limits at home and at work, all in the name of getting one more task completed, checking off one more item on my to do list, and celebrating this season to the fullest. I was tired, but skimped on sleep. I felt sluggish, but I skipped, or scaled back on, my daily workouts. I felt blah and stressed, but I chose foods that didn’t nourish or refuel me. I did everything that I knew not to do, thinking I had been cloaked in some kind of Christmas magic that would spare me the repercussions of my actions.
At the start of every day, I kept telling myself that I would get back on track, only to derail almost immediately. I used the holidays to make unhealthy choices and kept pushing my luck. And then, out of nowhere, my body and luck ran out of steam. My health and well-being now had my undivided attention and moved high on the list of my priorities.
As I slowly embraced the doctor’s orders, I actually found myself making the most of this recovery period. In the past week, I have slept, read, watched movies and shows, followed a balanced diet, practiced radical self-care, written, started envisioning what I want the new year and the new decade to look like, and simply welcomed a break from the daily grind.
As I continue to recover, I am recommitted to, and grateful for, my overall health and well-being and not waiting for illness to take time for myself and to take care of myself. It has not been an epiphany like Scrooge or the Grinch experienced, but one nonetheless. So, while the holidays did not go as planned, they set the stage for a healthier and happier lifestyle for every season. That definitely beats a lump of coal and even the flu.
That’s another story. . .
Categories: That's Another Story