A few days before Christmas, I came home from work and started feeling nauseous and shaky. I had pain in my abdomen and was just exhausted. I took my temperature, and it was 101 degrees. My husband covered me in two blankets on the couch, brought me some Tylenol and told me to think happy thoughts.
I was too worn down the next morning to get Charlotte ready for school or to go to work. So, I rested most of the day, hoping it was just a 24-hour bug. By Christmas Eve morning, I still wasn’t feeling great, but I didn’t have a fever right then, so we traveled to Luke’s family’s farm. I started to feel worse while we were there. I tried not to hug or kiss anyone in case I was contagious.
After two missed days of work (luckily I already had a lot of time off for the holidays), two missed Christmas gatherings, three doctor appointments, one entire torso ultrasound, a swollen liver, two blood draws and lots of missing out on daily mommy moments, my fever finally went away. And, on January 2nd, I pretty much felt 100% better.
About a week later, once back in full form, my doctor called to say I had the CMV virus or Cytomegalovirus for you nerds out there:) It’s a virus that 50% of people have by the time they’re 30, but often don’t exhibit symptoms. It’s highly contagious and I’m still not sure where I could have picked it up – anywhere, I suppose – with all the sneezing and wheezing going on this time of year. I felt guilty about anyone I had come in contact with, but other than that… I was relieved it wasn’t something more serious. I had Googled myself into some pretty bad diseases during those weeks.
Anyway, to get to my point… when I was down and out, I was so annoyed because I couldn’t play with daughter, I couldn’t visit with loved ones, I couldn’t work and I couldn’t do all the projects I planned on doing over the holiday break. It was so frustrating, and it made me realize how absolutely lazy I can be when I’m well! I think we often take advantage of wellness.
So, as I was mentally willing my illness away before the new year hit, I made mental notes that 2015 would be different. These aren’t resolutions per se, but they are some things I decided I would be well enough to accomplish throughout the new year.
- I need to put down the iPhone and iPad. I spend too much time staring at those screens when I could be building block towers with Miss Charlotte or asking Luke about his day.
- Luke got me a Garmin Vivofit for Christmas (my request, not his harsh hint – ha). Since I’ve felt well again, I’ve had that fitness tracker on my arm everyday. I actually enjoy making a game out of surpassing my step goal each day.
- I realized that I’m not as healthy as I should/could be. I like wine and I like ice-cream. I also haven’t figured out the whole “fit-a-workout-into-my-working-mom-schedule” yet. So, with that said, I’ve been working on my eating. Eating healthy is easier than being at the gym two hours a day. Baby steps, I suppose. And, it’s proving to be rewarding already.
- I missed Christmas with family, and I also missed a gathering of far away friends and their babies. Luke and Charlotte went, and while I’m glad they got to see everyone, I was bummed. So, I’m aiming to actually set dates with people. We always say “let’s get together” and all that, but this year, we’ve decided to really make it a priority to spend time with those we enjoy.
- My house became so messy and dishes piled up, etc. I’m a realist. I know no house with a toddler in it is going to be spic-and-span all the time (ever?). But, I have a goal of getting rid of about a quarter of the “stuff” in our house, organizing, redecorating and making our house just function better, period.
- We are church members, but we don’t go often. I’m a believer, but I’m not a pillar of faith. While worrying about what was wrong with me, and praying that I would get better and not get anyone else sick, I realized that my spirituality was also ailing. So, that’s something to work on, too.
So, those are my illness-inspired “goals”. While I know having a two-week virus is small potatoes compared to serious illnesses that other people deal with, it was a good (albeit unpleasant) reminder to live each day to its fullest. How are you going to get more out of life this year?