Flu Year Resolutions January 30 2018

Lessons from the Flu of 2018

It came on overnight.

 Wednesday was a productive, fun day.  K and I had packed for one of our favorite regional flute conferences: the Florida Flute Association Convention.  The last weekend of January.  What could be better for these Delawareans than Orlando?

Thursday morning came.  And with it came the flu.  Full blown.  You know the symptoms, so I will not bore you with them.  It was the fever that made up our minds.  The process of cancelling flights, hotel room, flowers/balloons, and our exhibit took several hours.  And then, there was no choice but to give in to the flu and go to bed.

Had K and I gone to Florida, I am convinced we would have ended up in the hospital.

Feeling very proud that the right call had been made, I “took it easy” Friday.  Unhuh.  Saturday, everything was worse.  Texting my Dr., he said that the protocol this flu season was to call in a prescription for TamiFlu. 

It was a miracle!  By Sunday I could think, breathe, stand up without being dizzy.  The shower didn’t hurt my skin!  Slight fatigue, but I was so much better.  I was back!

So many fun things can be accomplished while at home “sick”.   I had a wonderful time.  Cleaned out my bedroom closet (don’t you LOVE to throw things out??) did laundry, made a fun dinner, worked on music inventory, fulfilled orders.  Sunday was a productive day.  In touch with K all day, I pretty much ignored her pleas for me to take it easy.  I was convinced she had it worse than I did and carried on.  So many entreaties to slow down.  I should have listened.

Monday.  Ah Monday.  Flu was right back at it.  Fever, chills, uncomfortable shower, intense fatigue, the list goes on.

Tuesday.  Same.  I texted my sister that I was “thinking of taking it easy the rest of the week.”  The phone rang immediately.

“Joan.  You have a long history of not taking care of yourself.  You MUST take the rest of the week off.  Promise me you will.”

Well.  I flashed back on all the times I had soldiered on through illness.  What had been accomplished?  Was St. Peter going to give me extra credit for it all when I approached the pearly gates?

So here it is Wednesday.  Slight improvement on all fronts.  Yes, the rest of the week will be quiet, truly quiet.

For my entire life I have muscled through things.  That’s why I was a swimmer (still am).  When things got tough and painful, I just would put my head down and get to the wall no matter what.  You learn how to separate yourself from pain to do the job at hand.

Same is true with the life of a musician.  The show HAD to go on regardless.  One memorable adventure was this exact week about 30 years ago.  It was my masters recital.  I had bronchitis.  I played with a fever.  You can hear the rasping breaths on the tape.  The audience had to be uncomfortable.  It took many years to rebound from the sense of not playing my best at that critical moment.  And I never remember that concert from the context of being sick.

Cancelling this week’s activities was, well, liberating.  There simply was no choice for myself or other people I might infect.  When is the flu not contagious?  I don’t know. 

I have made some “Flu Year” resolutions:

  1. Define for myself what self-care really is.  Do it.
  2. The show really does not have to go on. Nor do you.
  3. Paying attention to your body will speed up the healing process.
  4. Remember the serenity prayer:
    1. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
    2. The courage the change the things I can.
    3. And the wisdom to know the difference.

May you all be well, treat yourself and your body with respect, and learn from mistakes!