1- Mother knows best. I already mentioned this one, but it's worth repeating. My mother has nearly-raised five kids. (I say nearly, bc my two youngest brothers are 14 and 15 and still at home. She's basically done. ;) ) She has seen us go through colds, pneumonia, countless flus, fevers, throwing up, chicken pox, tonsil removals, you name it, etc. etc. etc. "No soy doctora," she told me, "pero despues de cinco hijos, se cuando se necesita ir al doctor." In other words, "I'm not a doctor, but after five kids, I know when you need to go to one."
When I got sick, I was surprised at how quickly I got hit. To go from feeling a little sniffly, to "I can't move or think, and I'm certain I'm going to die right here," is pretty drastic. I thought I had a bad cold. I thought I'd maybe caught María's viral infection and it would go away on its own. I thought I could just sleep it off for a couple of days.
Boy, was I wrong!
On Day 2 (and Days 3-5), my mother told me to go to the doctor. Did I listen? (Hint: NO.) But I should have! I finally went to the doctor five days in, and I was still out for almost a whole week after that. I should've listened to my mother and gone to the doctor early. Maybe I would've gotten better faster. I don't know. What I do know now is when it comes to sickness, Mother really does know best.
2- Self-care is important. I know scientifically I got sick because I came into contact with some sort of infection and my immune system was unable to fight it. But I think the reason my body couldn't fight it is because I haven't been making self-care a priority. I've been working 12+ hour days, not sleeping enough (or well), not making time to exercise, not eating well, living under constant stress, etc. No more. There will always be more work to do. It looks like my team will be under-staffed for a little while longer, but it's much worse to be taken out of work for 10 days and come back to do loads of catch-up than it is to take care of myself and have a little balance on the way. No more 12+ hour days (ugh, except maybe this week when POTUS is going to make an announcement on immigration reform AND there'll be a verdict in Ferguson, MO... BLAH.), sleep WILL be a priority, and so will nourishing and taking care of my body. I deserve it, and it's the least I can do to take care of my little temple. Plus, doesn't getting a full night's sleep every night sound just divine? :)
BONUS LESSON #3: Always look on the bright side!
As you know, I am an optimist. And while I was home miserable, I tried to find good things happening, so I'd like to share a little list of them here:
- I felt blessed for the home/visiting teaching system in the Church. My home teachers gave me a priesthood blessing, and Seth re-stocked my with DayQuil, NyQuil, and cough drops. My visiting teacher brought me soup (and limes!! bless you, Kati!), flowers, and just generally made me feel loved.
- Apparently it was warm and beautiful out in the world during my sick time. While e'rryone else was flooding my Instagram feed with images of DC in the fall, I still got to enjoy fall colors thanks to the pretty flowers from Kati (which are still alive and going strong, btw!), and I got to enjoy my favorite city via the painting from Ashley's birthday party this summer. :)
- Not going to work meant I saved $$ in metro fare. :)
- While I was sick, I got to wear ALL my favorite things! Camp socks! Leggings (patterned leggings!)! Fluffy scarves! My deer thermal shirt! #winagain
- I had way too many things I needed to carry around (medicine, cough drops, tissues, etc.), so I started using my little black glitter pouch to carry everything. Who says you can't be luxe when you're sick? ;)
So what I'm saying is there's always a bright side. :) (Even when you're dead tired in bed, coughing up blood, and feeling like you got run over by a truck. twice.)