Friday, July 9, 2010

The Good Side of Being Sick

I guess I was born a Pollyanna. I cannot help myself. Whatever happens, I always see a good side to it, the proverbial silver lining in the dark cloud. So, I suppose it should come as no surprise that I have had a delightful time being sick this past week (other than being annoyed at the physical symptoms that get in my way of completing daily work that requires me to be a human whirlwind).

I apparently caught some kind of foreign bug that would not respond to American medication in the middle of last week. I thought it might have accompanied me on the plane back from Hawaii, but I have learned from one of my managers who recently spent time in Korea and was sick upon return that it looks and acts just like the bug she imported from Korea. So, that may explain why American medicines did not work. I gave up taking them and enjoyed the drama of being sick, something that rarely happens to me. Friday I dragged myself to work and paid the price: I was in bed all day Saturday and most of Sunday. I got better in time to go to our SFO meeting, then catch the midnight plane to Omaha, do a day's work (the human whirlwind kind), and return to California. I got sick again just as the plane landed and spent Tuesday and half of today in bed again. (There seems to be a 36-hour cycle here.) Now, I am well again -- at least as well as I was on Monday.

Some wonderful things happened while I was sick. Among them were the following:
- I got sleep, deep and delicious sleep, a dessert of a kind I rarely taste.

- I got pampered; Donnie went to the store for me; I am usually the one going to the store for everyone else.

- I got pampered again; my managers did all my work for me; every single report got turned in; all the preparations for our team for Afghanistan got taken care of without my involvement; our new organizational chart got produced and forwarded; two of my managers took care of a video conference that I would otherwise have had to attend (together, they were able to cover what I would have contributed); several business trips were arranged; several visitors were briefed; my meetings were convened by others. I was dialed into a couple of policy-changing discussions, and I did run my eyes over that org chart, but for the most part, the senior managers did it all, keeping my informed by email so that I could interact only when awake, aware, and willing.

- With my energy sources replenished as of the middle of the day today, I was able to attend noon Mass and afterward say the rosary with Sr. Maria and some of the retired members of our parish who stay after Mass on Wednesdays for the rosary. (This was the first time they had invited me to join them because they know that whenever I do go to noon Mass, I usually have to run quickly off to work or to some kind of appointment. It is rare that I take a day of vacation, even rarer that I take it on a Wednesday, and even rarer yet that I have not planned it chock-full of errands.)

- I even got my hair cut, and that only happens once every couple of months. When you have a job as a human whirlwind, you have a changing hairstyle as the weeks go on: short, medium, long, longer. I am back to short now, ready for another two-month stint of tilting at windmills and breezing through our distance offices!

- I got to walk in the rain; I suppose I should not have done that, but it so rarely rains here, and I so love to walk in the rain and splash about like a little kid that I gave myself permission to do so! And while I was walking in the rain, I got to hear the town's roosters crow.

Yes, there is indeed a good side to being sick. I found it. Tomorrow I have to return to zipping and twisting through mounds of work, including whatever number of emails have been added to the 1143 that left unanswered when I left, ill, on Friday afternoon. But for today, for me, the world stood still!

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