What Not to Do When You’re Sick

As I type this I’m sick. Not dying sick, just stuffed up and feeling bad kind of sick. Sick enough to trigger my anxiety. I don’t know about other people with anxiety, but when I get sick, my anxiety goes through the roof. I suddenly feel like I need to do all the little things that I’ve been neglecting (read ignoring) while healthy. Only now I would have to drag my sick carcass around in misery to do these things. These are things I already dread, and being sick will make them that much worse. So now my house is a little cleaner, but I feel way worse than I did when I woke up this morning.

Yes, I know about self care. I admittedly struggle with self care even when I’m not sick. But when I’m sick…when I need to take care of myself the most…I fall apart and work till I want to collapse.

So now let me tell you about the time I tried to do something nice and collapsed, not once, but twice in Best Buy on Black Friday.

So once upon a time I lived all by myself in an apartment. I didn’t have a whole lot of money and I was young. The alone, apartment and young parts have since changed.

And young  me wanted to give some blood. And I was going to get a pretty sweet T-shirt.

Well, here I was in the middle of a dying mall in a not so great side of town trying to be a good person (and get a t-shirt), and I almost went into shock.

See, young me was very thin as well (that changed along with the age and the living alone part). And I was possibly a little anemic. So when they took my blood I got very, very sick. I’m not sure if you’re aware of what happens when you go into shock, but you can pass out. If you pass out you will also lose control of your…um…facilities. I was not about to pass out or lose control of my facilities in the middle of a mall!

The ladies that take your blood put up a curtain, but then they yell at you to stay awake and tip you upside down. This draws a little bit of attention. Unwanted attention when you think you might pass out and poop yourself is very unwanted attention. They also hand you a sprite to drink. I held that Sprite in between my legs.

But I stayed awake. No accidents. I had blue lips and felt like I would collapse at any moment, but I walked over to a little table and chose a snack. I took my Sprite that they had given me, and my snack, andI went to a table where everyone must go to recover. I thought I was better.There was a little girl there. Here mom acted like she’d rather her little girl not talk to me.

I thought that was strange…until I walked out and got in the car. It was then that I looked down and realized that when you have a Sprite between you’re legs…and you’re about to pass out…and they tip you upside down on a cot, that sprite spills. And that sprite looks like you peed yourself. So I had blue lips and what appeared to be a pee stain. That mom was right. Stay away from people like that little girl.

Now remember that I mentioned it was Black Friday.

I could have gone home that day and rested like I was told to do, but no. I’m an overachiever. I have no self care skills whatsoever either. And I needed a blue-ray player. I had researched this particular player and this was a great deal. I convinced myself I could do this.

I went home and laid on my couch for a few hours. In that time my lips remained slightly blue, but I felt a little better. I hydrated.

So I got dressed for the second time that day and headed out to Best Buy to get my Blu-Ray player. I figured if I didn’t get that deal, I’d never get one.

So I went into the store and wandered all the way to the back where they kept them. I wasn’t feeling great, and I was pretty tired, but I wasn’t deterred. I grabbed the box and headed to the front. And I started getting very dizzy. Very dizzy. I actually had to grab hold of an aisle display to hold myself up for a few minutes. I was starting to black out.

Now you think that I would listen to my body and give up, but I just kept my eye on the prize. I was so close to the register that I figured I would be done in a minute and kept pushing forward.

And I did make it to the register. And that’s when things went south.

I managed to hand the girl behind the counter the Blu-ray player and swipe my card. I was holding on to the counter trying to act like nothing was wrong, but I put in my debit card number wrong. She looked a little concerned and told me I put in the wrong number. I mumbled that I was sorry and tried again, but before I could finish I fell out in the floor.

And I still wouldn’t give up! Idiot! I sprang back up I said, “I’m ok!” and attempted to put in my debit card number again while holding on to the counter for support because my legs were out from under me and immediately fell in the floor again. On my back.

I had some people’s attention the second time. I hate attention. This was the second time today strangers had stared at me. I was on a roll.

The security guard mentioned calling an ambulance. Oh heck no! I explained that wasn’t necessary and that I gave blood that day and I was fine. I wasn’t going in an ambulance. Someone else got me some peanut candies and a sprite. I tried to offer my debit card. Surprisingly (sarcasm) the cashier didn’t want to go through that again and she said it was on her (she also said she was just happy I was ok).

Ultimately, I made the security guard put me in a wheel chair and take me out to my car, clutching my Blu-ray player. I lived 5 minutes from there and promised that I would wait for about 20 minutes before I drove home.

I’m sure I was talked about for much longer than that.

So when you get sick…rest! Our culture values never quitting, but there are times when quitting is the exact thing to do. Even if there’s a big sale.


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