There Is a Certain Beauty To Illness
Despite looking and feeling at our worst, there is a certain beauty to illness. Despite the lingering nausea, dark circles and hair neglected from beautification, there is a sense of solidarity and purpose re-imagined only upon recovery. It warms the soul like a foggy morning's sunrise. Slowly brightening the day and clearing away all the fog that hides your true goals, happiness and unwavering drive to become who you were destined to be.
This week was another of those personal epiphanies. Today was the first day I've been back at work. Very slowly I might add, but thankfully back. Joyously back. Something about feeling like welcoming death makes use so appreciative of life once given the chance to again live it. Although my illness wasn't as severe as something such as cancer, it still has the power to remind us of what really matters. To show us that though we may be depressed or lonely, we are not alone. We have our own bodies and our own mind that must also be considered. Too many times, we overwork ourselves and then wonder why later we feel as though we are nothing more than a shadow of who we want to be. Because we are a shadow. Hiding from the truth without even realizing it. Ultimately, it is a reminder that regardless if we are happy or miserable, life can be altered in unplanned ways or taken from us in an instant.
I'd woken days ago with a sore throat and feeling like something wasn't quite right. I knew without even reading the foresight that it was the impending doom of another illness. I immediately went hiking Sunday, despite my weakness. I knew that for me, I feel the most peace among the trees. I needed to ground myself in nature before I was lost among the sweaty sheets of a far less pleasant use of my bed. This time, without my husband and the only moaning in the dark would be from a fever doing it's job.
The hike was lovely. Slow. Lingering. The temperature was just like some perfect Goldilocks fantasy. I emerged from the woods triumphant, but soon the effects of my illness were obvious. I was drained. Weak. Exhausted. None of which are typical experiences from hiking. I rode home with my family and barely managed to stay awake. Bed was a very welcome comfort despite the early hour. I was deep in sleep and welcomed my mind to enter a state of consciousness far above the miserable sensations my body was providing in the form of aches and pains as if I was a woman far beyond my years.
By morning, I realized that though my hike brought inner peace, my body wasn't quite sure if it had been worth the expenditure. I knew that it was far better to get the illness transferred into high-gear rather than prolong the inevitable. Suddenly, I realized that my intentions were far more effective than realized. My throat was sore, my chest had a strange sensation that encouraged regular cough, my body ached and my head was throbbing as if recovering from a lingering addiction to caffeine. I realized that there was a very obvious possibility of a fever and upon testing discovered that I had in fact developed a fever of 100.2 which later was 100.4. Slight, but for me this was enough to make me feel like a zombie that fell from mars. I have previously had suspected thyroid issues as my temperature often ranges from 97 - 98 leaving me feeling chilly as if naked in the snow.
Suddenly, my body finally felt pleasantly warm, but it wasn't worth all the aches and pains that accompanied it. To worsen the situation, I developed nausea. The kind that makes you feel as if you could hurl your entire consciousness into the porcelain throne, but for some cruel reason are completely unable to find such release. The nausea just remains there as a cruel jester, laughing at your misery. My husband was sweet enough to pick up some peppermint tea and I began sipping it religiously. Not just to reduce my dehydration, but hoping to settle my nausea. I'd only eaten a slice of toast and a handful of pretzels. Considering I had to rise early in the mornings to prepare the kids for school and ensure they are waiting for the bus on time, I couldn't allow myself to get worse. I had to fight, so I did the opposite of normality and actually took some time off. I lingered on the couch with Netflix and my favorite luxuriously soft blanket and relaxed. I almost enjoyed myself until another cough or pointless run to the bathroom.
By day three, I finally felt a sense of calmness. A peace. The realization and awareness that finally, this illness has been beaten! By using natural remedies and avoiding germ infested doctors office and actually allowing myself time to rest, I'd been able to shorten the severity in an amazing way. Finally, I'm feeling better today! Forcing myself to rest was beneficial after all. I've still got a lingering cough that's became productive, but I am able to slowly get back to my existence. I've also discovered there is certain clarity from limited caloric intake. Although I've never approved of the chemicals running rampant in our food and always strive to eat 'clean' this is just more proof of how disturbing the effects are upon the body. I've eaten toast, pretzels and a sub. Nothing more, but feel lighter and far better in control of my consciousness. Going to use this recovery to my advantage and continue to detox and enjoy only that which is natural. For in truth, it's time that I find positivity in something, even if it begins with finding positivity in recovery from an unexpected illness that just have been my salvation.