I started the year with all the usual good intentions of becoming healthy, fit, slim, organised and business minded. Someone else entirely in fact.
The shock of doing Dry January must have been too much for my system to cope with, because the usual Christmas holiday virus turned into a coughing frenzy, then into bronchitis and then over several weeks into pneumonia.
I turned into a coughing and spitting monster. One that groaned a lot – not just from the constant convulsions of coughing, but also from the strained muscles and sore back. I swear I was developing a six pack, my abs were working that hard…
I was single handedly responsible for the deforestation of several hundred acres of trees due to my intensive use of tissues. My Sketchbook Skool Klassmate Lynn Cohen encouraged me to draw even whilst laid up in bed, so this page in my journal is dedicated to her.
After several weeks of bed rest and several lots of antibiotics I wasn’t getting any better. As some of you know, I work as an art teacher in a small prep school, and for a teacher to be off sick for more than a day or two is a BIG thing! But I was too poorly to do anything (except cough). (and feel sorry for myself).
At this point I should really have gone to family to be looked after, but the last time I did that I didn’t come back for 5 months; the dust was inches thick and all the plants were dead; so I stayed put. In my bed, with my books (which I couldn’t concentrate on) and my music (which I didn’t want to listen to). I did though, perfect the art of pillow propping, which I will share with you all here.
Things got a bit scary for a while: My thyroid and adrenal glands don’t work because of problems with my pituitary, and the adrenal hormones are in charge of regulating metabolism, water balance/blood pressure, menstrual cycle and, crucially, the body’s responses to stress and illness. Usually the body would automatically increase production of cortisol to cope with the extra stress of fighting illness, but I have to manage replacement medication myself, and it turns out it’s quite hard to work out the difference between feeling awful because of a bad infection and feeling awful because the body systems are having difficulty coping and things might be getting bit dangerous !
Fortunately the antibiotics began to work, extra hydrocortisone stopped me fluttering and swooning like a Victorian, (Hoorah hoorah!!! I hear you cry) and although weak as a kitten for a ridiculously long time of weeks and weeks I was able to move from bed to sofa and receive visitors. As long as they came bearing gifts or food parcels.
So, I am recovering well, it is half term next week and I am going to go back to work for the second half of term. Being ill is very boring. Back to the New Years resolutions: This year I am going to work on staying healthy.