The importance of recuperation: my own bad example.

I’m not a very good patient. That is, I’m not very patient.

When someone else is sick, I make them a nest in front of the fire, bring them chicken soup and tea, and make sure they have everything they need so they don’t have to get up or do anything.

When I’m sick, well, I get antsy. And it doesn’t do me any good.

So last week when I was getting over that last-gasp-of-winter virus, I should have been taking it easy. But Monday night I stayed up late doing research, and Tuesday morning I skipped breakfast and ran out the door to a meeting. As it happened my meeting was at a cafe that served nothing but awful, spongy muffins and “scones.” I didn’t eat any real food until maybe 2pm.

By that evening, I was already coming down with a second cold, worse than the first. So did I cancel my dinner plans on Wednesday so I could rest? Of course not. Was I even sicker on Thursday? You betcha.

Thursday I tried to take my own good advice: I drank tea all afternoon and went to bed early. Friday I felt so much better that I went to dinner at a friend’s house. Which turned out to be too much. This morning I felt awful.

And would you believe I almost didn’t cancel my trip to Montreal this weekend? Ridiculous.

So here I am, in front of the fire, drinking homemade lamb broth and remembering that most basic of old-fashioned cures: convalescence.

Our great-grandmothers knew the power of rest. So many of us these days just want to swallow our pills and get right back at it. But that’s not how the human ecosystem works. If we’re depleted by an illness (or some other stress) we need time to recuperate. And we need to be slow and careful as we “get back at it.”

On that note, I’m off to bed. Goodnight!

5 Comments »

  1. kathleen said,

    April 23, 2007 @ 9:03 am

    Take your time and get better!

  2. Jan Sensenich said,

    April 29, 2007 @ 8:36 pm

    How very true. I have the same tendancy and my body, with the help of a few viruses has been trying to teach me the same lesson this year. Uncharacteristicly I actually tried resting the last time one hit and in a few days I was rewarded. Our bodies really do know how to heal when we give them a chance.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  3. Heidi (Earthkitten) said,

    May 9, 2007 @ 8:47 pm

    I got a little run-down (busy life, etc…) just recently, and I got very sick with a fever, all of a sudden on this past Sunday afternoon around 1 p.m. I made myself some rooibos tea, called in sick for the next day, got into my p.j.’s, and hit the sack! I stayed in bed from then, until 10:30 am, the following day. My fever broke around 8:30 a.m., and by noon…I was sitting out in the sun on my deck, having lunch. Not one hundred percent, but much, much better. I was amazed! I guess what I really needed was REST. Sometimes your body just gives you no other option! But you are right. I find it very hard to follow my own advice sometimes……

    Glad to hear you are putting your feet up at last. Enjoy it! I think we could all do a little more relaxing for health, and enjoyment.

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    December 19, 2008 @ 5:38 am

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  5. margaret shifflett said,

    September 29, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

    this makes me feel better about being on the couch all day today. i have bronchitis, but always feel so guilty when i do this!

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