I feel like someone has stolen one of my most valuable possessions: my health. Either that, or I have been kidnapped and replaced by someone who looks like me but does a very bad impression of myself. My doppelganger doesn’t run or lift weights, she doesn’t feel like blogging, and she sits around watching mediocre television all evening. Wait, she’s not my doppelganger! She’s me from 4 years ago! I’ve worked so hard these past years to become a better version of myself, yet all it takes is one headache from hell to instantly rewind all my work.
I’ve been hanging out with Mr. Headache for four days now. I’ve dropped some subtle hints that he should go home now (Advil and Tylenol). I’ve dropped some less subtle hints too (a shot and some prescription meds from my doctor), but it still hasn’t gotten the message. So, it’s just me and the pressure in my head until my skull explodes or it finally decides to piss off. Thankfully, my headache has dialed down its intensity from about a 6 to a 2, but it’s still there. My doctor said it might be the flu, a theory I’m rooting for since the flu eventually goes away. My paranoid imagination was fueled by a season four marathon of House this weekend (a medical show where they diagnose rare diseases) and has been trying to convince me that I have a horrible, undiagnosed disease. I’ve also had a book checked out from the library for months called All In My Head about a woman who’s had a headache for fifteen years. And she gained 70 pounds. So, when I’m not imagining scenarios where I have a strange, tropical, illness, I’m imagining scenarios where my life is forever split into two sections: pre-headache and post-headache. All of this while I’m avoiding caffeine and artificial sweeteners, two substances that have always made my life more enjoyable, but might be causing my head pain.
I’m being ridiculous, I know. My headache will eventually go away. It’s probably the flu like my doctor said. I got the runs after I went running yesterday, and I’d never been so happy to get diarrhea in my life. It didn’t literally make me feel better, but it made me feel better about feeling ill because it’s a symptom of the flu, and if I have the flu that means the headache will end some day. The reason I freak out about any symptom of illness is because I value my health more than almost anything in my life. I didn’t used to take good care of my body. It was about ready to break down, but I repaired it from the frame up and I work hard to keep it in good, running condition (and in good running shoes).
I take my health for granted most days because most days it is granted. I wake up and go to work and come home and my good health is just there. But then I suddenly get a headache for four days and my good health isn’t there anymore. I miss it like someone turned off gravity and I can’t find the remote control because it floated behind the ceiling fan. You don’t miss gravity until it’s gone, and I don’t appreciate my health it suddenly vanishes. It’s scary that you can do everything right, take excellent care of your body, and things can still go wrong. You can get headaches for no explainable reason or you could get hit by a car while crossing the street. That’s why I freak out when I’m suddenly not feeling 100%. I want to feel good all the time. It’s greedy, I know, but I don’t want to get sick or have to live in pain or fight disease and illness. I want to be healthy and happy forever. Yet, it’s not something I can completely control. No matter how much I exercise or how many salads I eat or how many multi-vitamins I chomp, I could still get sick. My headache will not go away. It’s not even a horrible headache, just bad enough to be noticeable while letting me wonder through life at 80% power. It’s not fair that I have no control over it.
It’s crazy how quickly my life can go topsy turvy because of a virus invading my body. It starts affecting my whole life. My laundry piles up and my apartment gets cluttered and I don’t floss my teeth every night. When I finally attacked my dirty dishes last night, I got to a bowl on the bottom caked in the remains of oatmeal and accented with black mold. Mold! In my sink! This will not do. Sickness steals my sense of self. It make me feel like someone I’m not. I like being the girl who enjoys running and likes writing in her blog and comes home feeling motivated to get things done. I don’t like being the girl with mold in her sink.
So hopefully my headache will go away and I can go back to being the girl I’ve worked so hard to be. If not, a life addicted to painkillers is starting to look a lot more attractive than it did last week. And how about that medicinal marijuana, eh?