Thursday, May 05, 2011

Sick of being sick

I used to get colds and flus all the time. As far back into my childhood as I can remember. I recall my father driving me to school with "yet another" cold. Typically with me having again forgotten a handkerchief or tissues. He seemed to imply that this affliction was somehow of my own doing and make me feel more guilty by passing across his pristine handkerchief for me to blow my nose in. I'd sit in the passenger seat for the 20 minute drive from East Doncaster to Camberwell suppressing a cough until the point where I could bear it no longer and would finally convulse in a huge fit of relieving expectoration. He'd just glare across and tell me that I should be taking better care of myself. Now if this advice had have been delivered to me in my early 20s when I was partying through the night on a regular basis and foregoing sleep or meals for another jaunt out with friends, often with the aid of party enhancing substances, then I guess I couldn't really put up much defence. But at this stage I was only 14 or so with a bedtime that was still dictated to me by my parents, and I only got to go out to a blue light disco or similar if they dropped me off and picked me up, and my mum fed me all of my meals, so I'm not really sure what I could have done differently to look after myself. It seemed to me that I just had some predisposition to getting colds. And often at the worst times. So often over the years illness has crashed in on a planned event or eagerly anticipated occasion, replacing my excitement with disappointment. A party or a gig that I'd been particularly looking forward to. A weekend in Dublin for a mate's stag party. A week away with friends up in Port Douglas. So often when I'd have time off I would get sick. I'm led to believe that this particular affliction is quite common in people who push themselves too hard in their day to day life. Grind through the working days, try to have a  full life outside of work, burn that candle as much as possible at both ends, and then, on finally stopping, your immune system is so depleted that a virus can move right on in. Got you now buddy! But over the last couple of years I've actually managed to break the cycle. I've been taking a regular fizzy drink cocktail of vitamins and herbs and I've hardly been sick at all. I've even managed to work out a bit better when I need to go home and sleep rather than head on to that next bar at 2am with friends who are still in full swing, even though at the time I always feel so disappointed to be doing so. And so now, with my healthy-ish regime (well I'm probably drinking a bit too much too often to really consider my lifestyle as physically healthy as it could be), of all times to come down sick, why did it have to be now. I'd been looking forward to scuba diving on Ningaloo Reef ever since we'd started planning our journey. In fact it was the destination and activity that excited me the most. So having finally booked in three days of diving, just at the completion of the refresher course in the pool, my respiratory system gave way, my ears blocked up and my nose and throat packed it in. All the tools that are of such critical importance when diving. Whereas you can sort of pull through in the above water world with a cold, at least to some degree, it's not ideal being 20 metres under the sea and unable to breathe. And along with that, I just felt shit. Not physically up for anything much of anything. Shit!!! I went to bed hoping to miraculously feel better the next morning, the day of my first booked dive out in Lighthouse Bay. Inevitably I wasn't and so at 8am I went out to my scheduled pick up spot at Yardie Homestead and told the dive master that I was crook and was going to have to bail out for the day. So disappointing. Marlene at the dive company was generously compassionate and let me reschedule all of my dives. Some consolation through the gloom and the snot. So it's been a few very low key days. No drinking. No swimming. No real activities at all. Staying inside a lot, working, sleeping. Not too exciting for me or the rest of the family. But I have got a lot of work done this week. And am now starting to feel a bit better. And I still have all of my dives in front of me. I think I see the grey clouds starting to lift and a sliver of glorious light starting to shine through.

No comments: