Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Signs of things to come?

Lucky me—I've managed to pick up a horrible head cold, the first of the season. Thus far, my other two housemates have remained uninfected. I keep coughing in their general direction, which is my kind way of warning them to wash hands often with soap. We'll see if they listen, or also fall ill.

The worst thing about being sick is that I have no energy. None. Every part of my body feels heavier than normal, held down by invisible bands that make movement difficult and painful. Joints throb, extremities ache, my brain is dull and thick. That's the telltale symptom of sickness for me, the absolute drained feeling that causes me to sit stupidly or (worse yet) to lie senselessly on whatever flat surface is available. When I don't want to do anything, and I'm content to just sit, then I know for certain that I'm ill. Otherwise, I'd be in motion. I'm much happier in motion. It's part of the reason I shun television; I'm not even the reader I used to be, because it requires being somewhat still. (Yes, I know, I could get a Kindle and read while I run on a treadmill... Please. I want to enjoy the reading experience.)

Anyway, the whole sick thing makes me wonder if this is sort of how I'll feel when I'm old, Lord willin' and the creek don't rise. Will going up stairs take more effort than it's worth exerting? Will I have the strength to rise from my bed, or will I have to try more than once before I succeed? Will my brain feel addled and confused, like a maze of dead ends that don't lead to the right answer? Will my limbs feel constrained and leaden?

It's a valid question, I think, yet one that I don't want to consider for long. It's frightening to me, quite frankly, and I don't like to think about things that frighten me. I might be around for a long, long time, and I can already detect activities that aren't as easy for me as they used to be, memories that don't come as quickly, motions that used to be silent and now elicit an "Mmmph" sound.

The whole "is this what I'll feel like if I get to be an old woman" concern is just one more reason to hate being under the weather. Especially on a sunny day, with blue skies and warm-ish breezes. Those breezes aren't nearly as sweet when your nose takes up your whole face and the only thing you long for is a Vicks-scented tissue.

Okay, enough self-pity. Onward. I'll just carry some laundry upstairs now; I think I can break through the unseen barriers on the steps, the ones that press down on me while I'm trying to climb. I can do it. Deep breath (through my mouth). Here goes.

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