Awesomeness vs. Sickness


I recently came off of two weeks of sickness. I named the sickness Juan, as I picked it up in the Dominican Republic. Juan started with a two-day fever, followed by two weeks of exhaustion and frequent bouts of hacking cough. I hate Juan.

What I have learned in my two weeks is that sickness sucks. It sucks bad. At first, I enjoyed catching up on “Parks and Recreation” episodes and reading. And that took about four hours to get old. It’s not that I don’t like these things; I love them. Finding the time to read is a continuous struggle day-to-day. I took two days completely off my feet; you’d think that could be time very well spent.

The problem is that you get what you give when it comes to work, reading, thought; and I had little to give. Accomplishments, even intellectual ones, require significant energy. You have to “gear up” and prepare to bring all of your creativity and intelligence to the table; and then the actual act of thought requires many individual, nimble actions of asking questions, searching through your memory for relevant knowledge, pulling back to see the wider issues, plunging in. When you are in the midst of thought, you aren’t always aware of all of these actions, as you are focused on the problem. But it’s all happening.

When I was sick, I could barely get up to put on socks, let alone do mental gymnastics. Even after the fever passed and I was back at work, I couldn’t quite gear up, and I could only sustain whatever I was working on for short periods of time.

So that’s the shocking, unexpected conclusion of the day. Sickness sucks. Drink fluids.


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