This past Saturday morning, around 8:45 AM… then at 9:50 AM… then at 10:15 AM… and finally at 10:45 AM I woke up for good; but not happily. I pretty well forced myself out of bed because I knew if I had given in to my exhaustion, I could easily have slept in well into the afternoon. The degree to which I was tired surprised me. I actually contemplated whether I had taken a Gravol in my sleep or something. I had taken one out of the blister pack a couple of nights earlier when I felt like ass, but thought against it because I knew I wouldn’t have more than seven hours of sleep and that’s not enough time for a Gravol to wear off. But, then I looked for it on Saturday morning figuring that if I couldn’t find it, that maybe I did take it in my sleep; but I found it. My next thought was that perhaps I was getting sick. Either way I honestly felt paralysed on Saturday morning. Even opening my eyelids felt like there were dumbbells sitting on them.
Enter Sunday. I cough once and it’s enough of a cough to register that yes, I’m getting sick. It just had that unique kind of feel. Different from a cough that might come suddenly if you inhale weird or choke on a poppyseed. This was less than ideal timing because I had my 2nd mid-term coming up that Wednesday (as in yesterday… as in last week – since it’s been four days since I wrote the above). I was so annoyed. I rummaged through our drug cabinet and begrudged my life. Here I am, in the middle of a University-level sociology course, not an academic by any stretch of the word, and I am studying while on drugs. Who does that? I’m the biggest sick wussy on this planet, too. Although it’s really only the symptom of congestion I cannot handle. I have a huge tolerance for pain, in fact I will hysterically laugh when I’m in pain vs actually cry out in agony (ask my brother how annoying that was when we were physically assaulting each other as kids); but, if the pain of a cold comes in the form of congestion then I will honestly behave as though there is no symptom on earth that could be worse. Keeping in mind that my congestion can sometimes be so awful that it feels like my sinuses are impacted with boulders and I can actually sometimes feel the throbbing of my heart in my face – that is unacceptable and intolerable for me. It is a severe injustice for me. I would even prefer a sore throat. So, when I’m congested, you can be sure that for the duration, I am also high or coming down from a high.
I’m high on Tylenol for the analgesic, then there’s the Advil for the aches and pains, then there’s not one, but two, extra-strength decongestants, on stand-by is actual nasal decongestant spray – which I usually try to avoid because once you ween yourself from it, your sinus tissue inflammation comes back with a vengeance and then the cycle of drug-use can repeat itself. I chase all the above with four Milk Thistles to protect my liver. After all this, and within the hour, I can breathe and I’m in a state of total bliss and ambivalence toward my sickness and only then can I sleep. See, during the day I will allow myself to feel the full effects of a cold and use little to no medication, if possible. I figure I can use this for willpower and as an inner-strength-building exercise. Extreme congestion (and I’m talking the kind where not even 0.00000001 kg/s of air flow will get into my lungs through my nose; where if I had no mouth I would surely suffocate to death) is probably the one symptom that actually causes me to physically respond to my frustration. My legs get the heebie jeebies and no position, not even one where I may find myself surrounded by memory foam, a lavender air diffuser, essential oil candles, a dark room, and jazz in the background, will ever be comfortable enough. This, as you can imagine, would greatly impede my chances of a restful sleep and thus further extending the length of this cold because if I don’t sleep then I don’t heal.
(I’ve spent a lot of time thinking this through).
On top of all this I have to time my nighttime drug use perfectly during the week, because if I don’t allow myself enough sleep during the night, then by the time my alarm goes off at 7:00 the next morning I may as well have been dead for, say, six hours, revived, then be so irritated at the idea of being revived under such ill-timing that I demand to be put back to sleep. Add to this the fact that I had another sociology mid-term that same week which meant that that particular Wednesday would be an extra long day of waking hours since I don’t get home from my class until 10:00 at night. Oh, and I also had a three-panel interview that morning complete with an on-the-fly mock client interaction. My cold would have got the award if there was a competition for worst timing.
Despite all these
stupid monumental handicaps, I made it through the interview, worked, went to class for my midterm that night and actually felt okay coming out of it. However, I will admit that should there have been drug testing pre-exam I likely would have failed. But, if I do as well as I felt I may have, then I would consider them to have been not only of the cold relief variety but also of the performance-enhancing kind. The true answer will come on Wednesday night though for that is when I will receive my mark. For those of you who remember my post about my last mid-term, I was less than impressed with her furtive exam style and came out of this last one thinking no more of myself than had I just tied my own shoe. In other words, no big deal. Whatever.
I do like the studying part though you know. Even if I come out of it as a complete failure. I accept that I am not an academic. I am a day-dreaming, multi-tasking thinker who has problems with absorbing information that I will later be quizzed on. I accept that all of the things I have learned and understood through the years have all occurred at a time when I am not “told” to learn. So, this is out of my comfort zone a little, which is fine. I like to have my limits tested. This just means that when I do absorb material that I have been told to study then I feel extra proud of myself for having accomplished that. I was due for a sense of accomplishment, I think.
Here’s my study table that I felt really happy to be around. It’s exactly the way I’ve ever learned anything crucial. That is, in a more shit everywhere type of environment.