So I have been super quiet. On instagram, and even more on here. About 3 weeks ago I woke up one morning with my right eye swollen to the size of a tennis ball! I rushed myself to the Eye Hospital, and was told I had a viral conjunctivitis (red eye) and needed some rest. A week later, and things had gotten worse and I developed huge swollen glands and the worst flu of my life with spiking fevers and cold sweats. More investigations and turns out I had a pretty serious superbug bacterial infection, likely hospital acquired, and with a bucket of eye drops I was sent home and ordered to stay off work and all activity for another 2 weeks, minimum. They even queried Glandular Fever, which to be honest, I’m in agreement with.
Thankfully my most recent Hospital follow up shows I’m on the mend and hope to return to work soon (yay!) but this time of being on house arrest not allowed to work out at the gym or swim (for fear of cross infection as I was highly contagious) made me think twice about a lot of things, particularly how we (i.e., I) handle sickness, and health.
I’m not going to lie. I’m a go-go-girl.
No, not that kind.
I’m a girl on the go, all the time. Busy day, busy nights. pack my days to the brim, I rarely take a break. Even at work I don’t even stop for tea. I’m constantly on my hustle and grind.
Things caught up with me. I’ve never been sick in my whole life, well, not like this. Never been “ordered” to rest. It was an alien feeling for me.
The first week I was too sick and bed bound to even notice what was going on. The second week I started to develop an overwhelming sense of guilt.
I should go back to work as soon as possible
What will my colleagues think
Should I just log in to the work email, I can do things from bed, surely
Cue googling “at home workouts” Jillian Shred. Pop Pilates Adriene Yoga. Youtube HIIT workouts. Lets buy a kettle bell while we are at it.
All while i couldn’t barely get out of bed to make a cup of coffee, or put make up on my face.
There is only so much netflix a girl can take, so I spent a lot of time reading, sleeping, resting, quilting, actually just thinking.
I feel thankful beyond measure to be alive, and living (two very different things)
I feel thankful to have sight, in both eyes. Something I didn’t have for a while.
I feel ever so thankful for my small, asian eyes.
I feel ever so thankful for my “four eyes” and will never take off my glasses again. (note to self: cancel contacts lenses contract)
Im very thankful to my husband, who looked after me in sickness and in health. Who changed the bed sheets drenched with night sweats. Who cooked for me after he worked all day. Who spent his weekends with me just sleeping for 8 hours straight. Who got cold compress for my eyes. But most importantly, taught me the virtue of patience.
I’m thankful to my mother, who called me every couple of hours just to ask how my eyes are (same as it was 2 hours ago, mummy) and to catch up on the gossip, but really was just a soothing, reassuring voice on the end of the phone when I couldn’t see anything.
i’m thankful to my boss, who told me to basically chill out, and not come back until i’m FULLY recovered (with the capital letters in the text, and everything).
i haven’t been to the gym in nearly 3 weeks. i have not weighed in and I haven’t lifted a barbell, yet I have not self combusted into the interstellar…. but I’m okay. I’m more than okay, I’m good! I’m recovering.
So whats the best way to deal with sickness on a fitness journey?
- listen to your body, i mean REALLY LISTEN
- Prep! I used the down time once I started to feel better to read about workouts, and educate myself. I’ve now constructed a kick ass workout regime to get started with on my path to recovery and full fitness again! I also feel with the rest I have had i have the energy to attack it with all my passion! Prep your food too. Cut those carrots into batons, you know you have the time!
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. This time, whether its 3 days or 3 weeks is NOT to completely declutter your home, or do all your thesis project, or lose 10 lb on a juice fast….Seriously?!
- having said that, do something. Don’t just sit and watch netflix! I did “work” in 15 minute chunks – cleaned the kitchen, organised my sewing room. Little and slowly, with lots of cups of herbal tea.
- Set a date to get “back on track” – whether that be tracking points/calories or getting back on the fitness train. Only do this when you are 90% ready.
- There is a difference between “sickness” and “sickrole”. Studies show that patients can recover from sickness but seek safety and reassurance and remain in a “sick role” as a sort of fear/crutch/avoidance of work/life. My husband was the one that told me to get out my pyjamas at 4pm and go for a walk. Enough Said.
- Have faith and a positive mental attitude that you WILL get better. You WILL get back to your normal life and you WILL be able to get back on your health and fitness journey again! Don’t see your sickness and a set back, see it as a learning curve to move forward with wisdom and Grace!
I hope this has been mildly helpful for anyone going through similar things! how do you handle sickness on a health and fitness journey? I am very excited to get back to my workouts, which I will be documenting on my sister site, goodsweat ! and of course my instagram !