Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Monday, March 11, 2013

Feeling Sick? Go For A Walk. You'll Feel Better

I'm one of seven children, and growing up, we were quite used to my dad's creative bending of the truth. While he was stringently against lies- even to the point where he felt the socially beneficial white lie was wrong- he was not above exaggeration. Dad was a postman for the better part of his working career, and with that particular occupation came a dislike of dogs. It came to the point where he'd come home with the latest story of an encounter with a dog, talking about the hound as if it was a foul beast ten feet long, breathing fire and blasting through brick walls. "It was a killer. I'm lucky I got home alive," he'd say of his latest  brush with death. "It nearly took my leg off."

Dad also tended to think of sickness as something that was all in your head. "Go for a walk," he'd say. "In no time you'll feel better." Meanwhile, we'd be running fevers, coughing, or whatever else that Mom had kept us home from school for. However... once he would be sick on occasion, well, that flair for exaggeration would come right back in with a vengeance. "Oh, no one's ever been as sick as this," he would groan, curled up in bed fighting off a stomach bug or a cold, acting as if the world was coming to an end, or as if somehow his sickness was worse than, oh... the Ebola virus.

Several years ago, Dad had an accident up at the home where he and Mom had moved to after retirement. He'd been puttering around the property, handling a ladder in a place where he shouldn't have been, and he took a fall. It took months of recovery for him to get back to something resembling the active guy he always was, the one still walking several kilometres a day. Those first few weeks were painful ones for him, where for the most part the only movements he would be making would be from the living room to the bathroom. My mother stayed close by, worried about him, and gradually with time he started to pick up. But it was a long road.

A few days after the accident, my sister, her husband, and their son came up for a weekend. This was before the marriage imploded (you've occasionally heard me reference an idiot ex-brother-in-law? This is the guy). It seems they didn't take Dad's pain as all that serious, because they kept trying to coax him into coming out to the fire pit on the property for a campfire. This mere days after a traumatic fall. I suppose Dad's talent for exaggeration might have fuelled that frame of thought on their part, but when I first saw him some weeks later and he was recovering, I had no doubt how serious it had been. For one thing, he wasn't going on about how it was the worst pain of all time. I could see the effect of it on him. Why did my sister and her ex not? Is it callousness? Is it an inability to ask the question, "is there anything we can do to help?" Given the events of the past couple of years, and how much I've come to understand about both of them, I'd say it's both.

Well, I've been ill the last week. I'm getting over a particularly nasty cold. It started last Tuesday, with  the full gauntlet: nose dripping like a faucet, sore throat, headache, congested chest, and painful cough. Usually a cold gets clear of my system inside twenty four or forty eight hours. This one I'm still feeling the remnants of six days later. Usually with colds, I will head out and about for the day, get done what needs to be done, and get on with it. I imagine that might at least have part of my father's influence to it: that it's better to just get out there and do something, even if you do feel utterly miserable.  

It's something that perplexes my partner in crime and fellow writer Norma, who thinks I should stay in, sleep it off, get as much rest as I can. She's right. I've thought about that in these last few days, and it occurs to me that one other reason that I do go out, even when I'm sick is that I'd feel cooped up to stay at home all day. I'd feel restless staring at the proverbial four walls. And so I'm compelled to go. Unlike Dad, I won't say that this cold has been the worst cold anyone has ever had, bar none, in the history of the world. I can't recall having a cold that's taken this much out of me personally though. That's fair to say isn't exaggeration.

Next time I'll be back with my more usual brand of mischief and anarchy, I promise. It's just peculiar the things you get to thinking when you're up half the night sneezing.


  1. Oh dear, I hope you're feeling better since you're writing and that this is mostly behind you. It sounded a very nasty bug (maybe the flu even?) you want to avoid!

  2. Aw, I'm sorry you're sick. I'm one who tends to stay inside and pamper myself when I'm sick.

    But my guy is just the opposite. He starts climbing the walls after a few hours of incarceration! After some recent oral surgery, the doc said he should take it easy and have help for a couple of days going up and down stairs, etc. The second day, I caught him coming in from outside after going to the mailbox.

    Different strokes...

    Feel better soon!

  3. William, hope you are well onto your way of mending that nasty cold. I hate being sick as it is so totally boring to be so.

  4. Sounds like it was a nasty one. I don't have them often (like every six years or so), but when I do they will last seven days to two weeks. I won't even feel that bad. It just won't go away. Your memories of your father were fun to read. Mama was the one to exaggerate things; anything but an illness. So glad you are better.

  5. I'm nursing my second cold in a month--damn hospital visiting rooms are the worst--and--and--I just came back from a walk with two dogs. Feeling better already! LOL

  6. I don't want to go ANYWHERE, when sick. No thanks. Hope you're feeling better by now.

  7. Sleep it off otherwise it will be hounding you for weeks.
    Jane x

  8. And I STILL think you should have stayed indoors, gotten some bedrest and maybe had some good old-fashioned chicken soup for at least the first few days. You would have recovered faster...and not infected half of Ottawa!

  9. Great post William, sorry to hear about all the sickness and accidents, but you should take care of yourself.

  10. I see where your dislike of dogs comes from now. ;) Hope you feel better soon! I think the key is a balance of these two - getting enough rest, but also moving about so you're not stagnant, sitting in your own germs.

  11. I must confess to being one of those walk it off types! And like your dad, when I am ill, it's all melodramic deathbed scenes.

    Hope you are feeling better, William.

  12. Awe...take care, Sir Wills. Everyone is being strickened with something.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  13. So sorry you're feeling poopy. I generally try to keep going - business as usual when I'm sick. I don't know why everyone around me thinks I'm a cranky-pants.

  14. Hope you feel better soon. When I got sick sometime last month, it was gone in less than 24 hours. I was thankful and wish anyone who gets sick would have just as quick a recovery as did I.

  15. Oh boy, I felt just like putting a nurse head on and come looking after all of you. Take a moment of kindness to look after yourselves. Somebody once said to me "Look after your body, it's the house of your soul." I've taken that one on board and remind myself ever so often to be kind to my body.

  16. @Lulu: very gradually getting over it, though my cough still sounds awful!

    @Cheryl: I think your guy and I would understand each other very well!

    @Cindy: it surely is.

    @Mari: thank you!

    @Eve: I doubt they'll let me into a hospital but as a patient!

    @Whisk: one day at a time. This one's been a doozy.

    @Jane and Chris: I hope not!

    @Norma: you were right!

    @Lucy: I really should...

    @Carla: actually, I rather like dogs!

    @Lynn: oh, so it's not just confined to him?

    @M.R.: thank you!

    @Shelly: it's the season for it, it seems.

    @Karla: business as usual, at least until the proverbial tank runs out.

    @Diane: I'm envious!

    @Angelika: I should be kinder to mine...

  17. This has been a bad year for colds - I go the hibernation route and take zinc lozenges - try them especially at the first hint of a cold coming on.

  18. I hope you feel better soon! Hubby & I argue about this regularly--I'm a "just keep going and you'll be fine" person, and he's the "sleep it off" type. No real right way to look at it, but it gets interesting when someone's sick :)

  19. Feel better! I had a nasty cold for 3 and a half weeks. It felt like the flu but wasn't. Awful.

  20. I hate feeling cooped up too. Been battling a spinal injury and bursitis for months and have no idea when I'll get better. Going crazy! Well, your cold sounds like a nasty one. I hope you're on the mend by now!

  21. I'm sorry to hear you we're feeling bad. Hope you're better now.

    BTW, I'm with Norma on this one.

  22. @RedPat: I've been using Fisherman's Friends and Sucrets...

    @Meradeth: it does bring up some odd dynamics!

    @Kelly: it does feel like it's been about that long for me...

    @Krisztina: very gradually getting there...

    @Christine: thanks!


Comments and opinions always welcome. If you're a spammer, your messages aren't going to last long here, even if they do make it past the spam filters. Keep it up with the spam, and I'll send Dick Cheney after you.