Friday, January 12, 2007

Tips for being productive while down with flu.

I had the flu for four long days this week. I realize that many of you have not yet had the chance to get this particular strain, and even when you do it will only incapacitate you for 24 hours. On the off chance you did not get your flu shot, and are therefore scheduled for the full impact of the virus, I have the following tips:

Set some goals. Yes, I know, you believe that surviving until tomorrow is the only goal you can handle. Having been through this before you, I can assure you that there are other things you can accomplish with your “down” time. Here are some goals to consider.

  1. Quit smoking and/or drinking. What the heck, you are going to feel like absolute shit for the next three or four days, why not make “feeling like shit” productive. Give up the cigs and beers. You will not notice the shaking and the headaches. You will be sweating anyway and, with any luck, you will sleep through most of those cravings. This is your chance to get clean.
  2. The same thing goes with that unhealthy addiction to processed sugar. Did you know that alcohol is just a processed sugar? If you are going to do it with the fermented sugars you may as well do it with the mocha-coco-chip kind also.
  3. This leads to the third goal, losing weight. This one is a gimme. You are going to have nothing to do with food for a few days. Think of it as a fast. You remember fasting from the late 70s, where you purge yourself of all those toxins and see things more clearly. It is always better to fast when it does not create those debilitating hunger pains. Those of you that tend Republican can say “I know what it is like to go without food for three days.” You can even say that it was not that bad. After all, you went without food, and you were sick on top of it! It is like a Tony Snow, repositioning fest, news-conference. "What is it with all that whining in the third world? We have starving people here too, and they even have the flu."
  4. Check your spouse’s compassion quotient. How is he/she reacting to your "lounging" around for the past two days? Is he/she giving you a lower back-rub because you are cramping from being prone for so long? Or, is he/she tossing heavy objects onto the bed and saying "sorry dear, I thought you were in the basement." Are you getting mint tea and eucalyptus rubs? Or, did you wake up from your last fever dream to hear him/her backing out of the driveway knowing someone was "watching" the kids. We will all get old and sick. You may want to take this opportunity to note how you are being treated while you are only "temporarily disabled." That is, how does your partner treat the broken pump when he/she knows there is still water in the well. What will happen to the poor old pump when the well runs dry? Food for thought.
  5. Begin that “dream diary” your therapist told you about. They say your dreams are a window onto something or other. I never paid much attention. Anyway, if the dreams I have had over the past few days mean anything, then be afraid, be very afraid. I know I am.

Think of all this wonderful stuff you can accomplish while laying around in a fever sweat.


Mardee said...
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Mardee said...

While I may be too close to this issue to be objective, or perhaps I don't have all the information, I am compelled to comment on #4. Do you recall the last time you gave your spouse mint tea or a lower back or eucalyptus rub? I think you'll find that you have more recently "pumped her well" after her well was pumped all day by her job, the kids, the dog, the house, obligations in the community and schools (plural), and the consistent undercurrent of societal expectations about what she should be doing... Even if the product of that well was materially intangible or something unable to be articulated, trust me, her energy was focused on her next move, large or small, to create a harmonious home.

And how fortunate that she had the management skills and foresight to organize someone to "watch" the kids while she was working, because I'm pretty sure that no such arrangement was made for her the last time she was left home sick in bed, with two kids bouncing off the walls.

Andy, I love you. You are one of the most compassionate men I've ever met. No man is more perceptive and informed about women's issues, and because you can talk about your feelings, because you get our feelings, and because you will go shopping, you set the bar incredibly high for 99% of men on this planet. What am I missing?

Andrew said...

Thanks Mardee. I actually do make B. mint tea (actually I think it is Golden Buddha) quite often. I had not thought of a "rub" until I thought of how much I would like one. Using my advanced skills of reasoning, I then deducted that perhaps she would like a eucalyptus rub when she is sick.

As for "the car backing out of the driveway because there is someone to watch the kids," I would be the driver in that instance.

So you see, this was not a comment on my spouse, once I re-wrote it a few times.