Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Yesterday afternoon I began to feel it. That little tingly feeling in the glands around your throat and that slightly scratchy feeling when you swallow. When I got home from work I grabbed my trusty Maglite flashlight (handcrafted from a single sheet of aircraft aluminum with a patented self cleaning switch and adjustable beam… but I digress) and peeked in the mirror. Lots of lovely red with white spots. Argh.

This morning was none better. After a sleepless night of not getting comfortable and of drifting in and out of weird sicky-inducted dreams I got up. Same dealio only now the white patches were more plentiful. But I knew I had to go in to work. Not because I had some big project due, but because I had a long-anticipated hair appointment at 10:00. That could not be missed. I was going red for fall and that was a big deal. (Oh don’t act like you didn’t always try to go school sick if it was a field trip or party-day.)

So I continued my Zicam bender I started the night before and headed off to work. I made it through my first couple hours without too much strain and then headed off to my hair appointment. As the time wore on the more worn I felt. By the time she was rinsing out my new red, I mentioned how crappy I felt.

First, she told me that strep was going around. Wonderful. But then, Shelley said something that caught me off guard: “You’re sick a lot aren’t you?” What? “How do you mean?” I asked. She told me that every time I come to see her I’m either sick, or getting over being sick. She reminded me that this time last year Ryan had to take Coco trick-or-treating solo (much to my horrid disappointment) because I was sick. She was right about that.

Then she mentioned how I was sick so often while I was preggers with Cora and how miserable I was since I couldn’t take any cold medicine. To be fair, part of that was actually allergies. But still it got me thinking. She asked if I was taking a multi-vitamin and I said “no” – but I never have save for my prenatal vitamins.

I remember when I started at the company I’m with now, I didn’t take a sick day for almost two years. What has happened? Have I become that much more prone to sickness? Or am I just a bigger weenie now then I was then about feeling under the weather? Is it the months of lack of sleep that are taking their toll? Now that Coco is sleeping through the night regularly that should no longer be an issue. Am I just more lax about missing work now that I’m no longer “new” here?

So as I sit here at my desk and try not to swallow, I ponder the bigger question of mommyhood, getting older, and the changing workplace. What is simply correlation and what is cause and effect? Will I be able to track down a specific reason or will I just have to accept my sniffles as they come. Will it get better or am I doomed to live as a fragile flower one virus away from life in a bubble? Or is Shelley just over-generalizing things? These are all things I plan to ponder tonight while dosing myself with chicken noodle soup and constant infusions of Zicam. I’ll let you know if I find something worthy of disclosure to the CDC.

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