[234] Feeling Ill

Sick person with thermometer in mouth

You see some people that get sick all the time. They seem to always have a Kleenex in their hand or bundled up with a cup of hot tea. Then there’s those who appear to never get sick.

Normally, I include myself in the second group. I rarely get sick, even with a crap diet and lack of what some would call real exercise. However, I still don’t get sick very often. It’s a rare occurrence that I call out of work. I might be tired, but not physically ill. When the time comes that I do catch something, it’s a doozy! Take, for instance, this last week. Last Saturday night, I went to bed like I normally do, but about after an hour, I started to feel the burning of acid reflux. Sometimes it wakes me up in a fit of coughing, bringing up stomach acid along the way. This time, though, I could feel the acid creeping up. If you’ve ever had heartburn or acid reflux, you know exactly what burning sensation I’m describing. It’s like someone dropped straight battery acid down into your throat and esophagus. I guess stomach acid is right up there, having a pH of 1, while battery acid is pH 0, or 1000 times stronger.

Anyway, when I have an acid reflux attack, I wind up coughing most of the night and I have to sleep with my head elevated, almost into a sitting position. If you’ve ever tried to sleep sitting up (like in an airplane or even in your car on a long road trip), you know how that is a lesson in futility. Needless to say, I did not sleep well that night. I worked most of the day Sunday, but I felt useless. I almost called out of work that day, but I managed to power through it. I coughed off and on all day, as that sometimes is a residual effect of bad acid reflux. Usually by the second day, I stop coughing and I’m over it. Not this time! Monday passed, then Tuesday and Wednesday. The cough subsided a little early in the week, but came back and hasn’t retreated since. On Friday, more than one person told me that I should go get tested for Corona, as one of the symptoms is cough. I had been shrugging it off, since I’ve received both doses of the vaccine, as well as the booster just before Christmas 2021. Feeling a little short of breath at work gave me the push I needed to schedule a test for this morning. Before going to the site, I texted my morning manager at work that whatever the result, I needed to take the day off to rest. I got my test (the rapid one that gives results in 30 minutes), and it came up negative. Okay, it’s not corona, apparently. I guess I need to see a doctor Monday to find out what the hell is going on.

In my mind, it’s likely a combination of things. For the last god-knows-how-long, I’ve been working overtime on a weekly basis, ranging between 45-60 hours per week, usually only getting one day off in a week. That’s reason number one: exhaustion. Second, I’m having a lot of stress lately, between work being short-handed and everyone with a hair-trigger attitude, and getting divorced and trying to find a place to move to. I’m told I’m not being kicked out, per se, but in reality, it’s really awkward for a divorced couple to live under the same roof. I don’t know how others manage that, but I can’t do it. About 12 or 13 years ago, we worked in the same place, and that was not easy, since work managed to infiltrate every conversation. Work and home became intertwined and there was no balance. Fortunately, that didn’t last very long. Work and home have to be separate and there must be a balance. There are so many reasons working with family is a terrible idea, but that’s a subject for another post.

I hope my kids don’t think I’m trying to abandon them. They have nothing to do with their mom and I not getting along. This divorce has been a long time in coming. I’m not abandoning them at all. I just need some time alone, away from everything, to clear my mind, relax my brain, breathe and eliminate some stress. I may not be able to see them for a few months, but I will not be leaving their lives forever. They’re my kids, and I love them dearly. The cliché “absence makes the heart grow fonder” really is true. A little time and distance might be just what everyone needs. We can still love each other from a bit of a distance, making time together between the kids and myself more worthwhile and appreciated.

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