Happy <ACHOO!> Holidays!
Merry <COUGH-COUGH> Christmas!
Y’all need to back up.
Take a step away from the girl with the chronic illness.
I’m not trying to be mean.
I’ll even say please.
Please maintain a 100-yard distance from me with your Achoo! Achoo! and your Cough! Cough!
We can wave to each other from opposite sides of the room.
People get sick, like, acute sick, all the time.
I understand. Absolutely! I just don’t want to be anywhere near it.
I have to give some credit to my immune system this year. It has been working really hard for me. The joke used to be that if someone sneezed on the other side of the world, I would be sick tomorrow. This year, my immune system is fighting the good fight, and so far (*fingers crossed*) I haven’t been hit with any acute sick bugs. It’s pretty much a miracle, because my sister works the front desk and after-care program at an elementary school, which is just code for a petri-dish of adorable tiny people who learn sharing is caring and apply it to everything- like sharing all their adorable tiny germs. I think my sister is their favorite person with whom to share. She is very friendly after all…
For those of you just joining us, there is a huge difference between chronic sick and acute sick.
Chronic sick doesn’t go away. It may recede sometimes, but it can always be triggered and jump out of hiding to ruin your day when you least expect it. With chronic sick, you aren’t tired, you are fatigued; you aren’t sore, you are in pain. The difference is the lack of relief. Nothing yet discovered seems to ease the fatigue and pain associated with chronic sick.
Acute sick is the common stuff. Colds, flus, strep throats, runny noses, infections, and viruses. These guys have a shelf life of a week, maybe two, but then they’re done and move on to the next unwitting sufferer. Sleep makes the tired go away (even if you have to sleep for 24 hours straight, it still ends sometime), and even more sleep plus some ibuprofen makes the soreness go away. You resume normal everything when it goes away.
‘Tis the season for get-togethers and crowds and frosty weather, and that means ‘tis also the season for acute sick.
The thing is, people who are chronically ill are also very susceptible to regular ole’ acute sick, and often, we have a much less sophisticated defense system against invaders than our well counterparts.
This is a Chronic immune system:
This is a happy, healthy immune system:
This means we’ll be worse off, probably for longer, than if we had regularly functioning systems.
I’m going to need to redirect you out of my airspace.
The best way to avoid acute sick?
Hide out in an empty wrapping paper roll?
Not so much.
As much as it can be super fun to hide out under the covers until Spring (been there, done that, not *actually* that fun…) sometimes you do have to go out. Especially when it’s the holiday season.
Get enough sleep.
Wash your hands.
Eat your vegetables.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and/or sneezing, and remind others to do the same.
If you need to, you can always publically shame your germ-sharing friends and relatives by posting this adorable Public Service Announcement from Elmo and Sesame Street about the “right way to sneeze” to their Facebook walls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW1yodZJpG8
I hope very much that you are all feeling well today, Chronic Readers!
Happy Hanukkah to those readers celebrating!