Today I experienced a day that I hope none of you ever have to- being sick during vacation. While I am working during my summer break and taking six credits (I’m a full time and employee and a part time student. Look at me go!), this is largely one of the last few ‘breaks’ I have until I enter the world as a full fledged adult where my only breaks come as paid time off and vacation days. While I wasn’t puking my guts out which is an all too real possibility while being in a foreign country, Tuesday evening I did pick up the beginnings of a cold that by the end of the day yesterday, had me coughing every few minutes and left my eyes aching despite resting them. After talking to HR/tour guide in residence/all around superwoman about whether I should try dragging my husk of a body into work, we decided it was best I stay in bed and work from home. I wish I was a wizard so I could at least flick my wrist and have more juice show up without having to get out of bed. A girl can dream right?
Which turns out to be the best decision possible because last night I had goose bumps outside in 80-degree weather and felt feverish all through out dinner. I went to the market for fruit, OJ, and a package of instant noodles for my sick day and slumped into bed before 10pm. I struggled to sleep through the night. Several times waking up in a cold clammy sweat as my skin radiated enough heat to cook an egg (called it) and drank several glasses of water as my body tried to fight off whatever little gremlins where making me miserable.
We’ve had two back-to-back nights of thunder and lightning and I would not be surprised if there was a three-peat tonight. At one point I woke up to a thunder clap and checked in with my parents back stateside. I figured I would be up at least for a bit while I waited to fall back asleep and after touching base every night since I’ve been here like a well oiled machine, I did not need to set off the parental instincts and worry from 7,000 miles away. By the way, having your parents give you advice to help you feel better from an ocean away rocks and definitely helped. I didn’t want to take Nyquil because any orientation other than laying down made me dizzy, but the parental suggested it so I did. I was promptly asleep within minutes.
Last night’s dinner was pancit canton (the brothy soup version with an egg) which is the Filipino version of Maruchan Ramen, often made with left broth so it’s just noodles and usually enjoyed on bread as a noodle sandwich. I struggled to finish my 20 pesos bowl and did anyways because I knew the hot soup was good for me and not eat when you are sick is even worse. After sleeping for the better part of ten hours and spending an additional hour and a half refusing to move out of bed I made noodles for breakfast (it was 11:30 so more like elevensies). Today’s noodles were chili lime and after my first bowl, almost a liter of water, and some juice I felt amazingly more human. Still miserable, but more alive.
I managed to get through most of college without getting sick. Seasonal allergies were a pain and somewhere towards the end of May I caught a cold that lasted 48 hours and zapped the life out of me. The learning curve was that my metabolism ramps up when I’m sick (which is how I knew I was in for a day of misery) when I’m under the weather and I crave protein. For comparison, the last time I was this hungry this frequently was when I played lacrosse sophomore year of high school and two hour work outs five days a week usually in awful weather. Today I’ve gone through two packages of noodles, a package of kiwis, a whole liter of juice, and made an impressive dent in the six-liter jug of water I got at the store last night. To up the protein factor my dinner was red sauce pasta with two heads of garlic (not exaggerating) and a whole package of oyster mushrooms. I cracked two eggs into the sauce as it cooked (the egg yolks here are OSU Beaver orange and it makes me very happy) and served with parmesan cheese. I am very grateful that my sick tummy keeps demanding food instead of the other way around.
As the day has progressed I’ve napped, wrote the two articles I was supposed to for work, and watched cartoons from the lovely haven on my bed. And the aforementioned list occurred in that order. Work before play, even on sick days. While I’m not feeling 100% healthy, I do feel better than I did last night or even this morning when I woke up. I can now walk around with the world spinning and having to brace my self against the walls and the feeling I had last night of being hit by a semi is more like having my cat sit on my chest and not being able to get up. I can at least tolerate my cat.
The real turning point of my rest day was when the disaster level of my apartment sunk in. I’m usually pretty good about not letting dishes sit in the sink longer than over night and even then they are typically washed before I go to work. Dirty laundry does not exist scattered around my living space but the last two days I haven’t cared. Last night I dropped a spoon on the ground and thought, “Get comfortable. You’re staying there until I feel better to get you” as any advance towards the ground leaves me reeling. The mess is such that I notice it but don’t care enough to do anything about it. I’m not wasting my limited energy on cleaning when I want to go to work tomorrow so I can play with my work family during my last full weekend here in Cebu.
If I were at home, I would have watched the Princess Bride at least once today. It’s my favorite movie and my go-to film on sick days. In recent years, I’ve wanted to call the kid a snotnosed brat for asking, “Is this a kissing book?” because it doesn’t matter. It’s one of the greatest fairy tales of all time. It’s one of those films I can quote inside and out and a rare exception where I like the movie better than the book (and the book was top notch). Given the circumstances, it’s back to cartoons. It’s coming up on 9pm here and I figure I have an hour or so left in me before it’s lights out. I hope none of you have to experience being sick on your vacation, day off, or travels. But if you are, I hope it’s a day you can at least half-enjoy. Sick days are unfortunate and slow ya down. But it always means I get to watch the Princess Bride. And in my book, that’s a lose-win situation.