I have been off work sick for three weeks now. My cough is getting better, thanks for asking, although it’s not gone yet. But I’m getting bigger blocks of sleep, and longer stretches during the day without wheezing to near unconsciousness. My muscles still hurt though, and with it being spring, I am occasionally sneezing from pollen in the air, and sneezing hurts me and also triggers my cough. I make some fantastic noises as I try not to sneeze and then try not to cough. For some reason, when I cough now I fling my arms in the air, like I’m on a rollercoaster, like I believe this is going to stop me coughing faster.
I am maybe not spending my sick days as constructively as I would like, but I am sick, and under instructions to rest, so being up and about and physically active is probably not what I am supposed to do. So what do you do when you have long days of rest and inactivity stretching ahead of you?
Reading: I am spending a lot of time reading: Goodreads tells me I have read nine books this month, that’s more than twice as many as I read from January to March. I am going to try and get at least another book read this week or maybe finish one of the two non-fiction books I have got part way through.
Garden Planning: I bought a stack of garden planning books last year, with the idea of completely re-doing my garden. However the books went straight onto the shelf and have sat there largely untouched for six months until now. I’ve plugged through four books and jotted down pages of ideas. I have a fifth book which is mostly just lists of plants for various types of gardens – that’s taking me longer as I don’t know the Latin names of the plants and have to look them up and see if I like the look of them and if I would want them in my garden, and if I did, where? Once I’m better and we have some sunny weather, I will be out in the garden with a tape measure, trying to work out practical implementations.
Sleeping: Part of any recovery process. I sleep in sometimes in the mornings, especially if I have been up coughing three or four times in the nights. I get anxious at night when it gets to bedtime, because I know that lying down or that strange propped-up-on-too-many-pillows lying down that I am doing now is enough to prompt more coughing. So I put off going to bed until late. And then I cough during the night. But oddly, when I have my 6.30am cough, I realise I have made it through the night and it is light outside and so I drop off into a deep sleep. It’s going to make adjusting back to a regular work schedule that much harder.
Netflix: I haven’t done too much box set binging. I’ve watched a few movies, and watched two complete seasons of Glow over two days, but not really watched more TV than I would do if I were at work.
Sudoku: My sister gave me a “diabolical” sudoku book when she was having a clear out. So every morning I do a couple of these with my husband. One morning we did really well and solved four or five in a row. But most of the time we have to cheat at least one number to solve them.
Panda Pop: I downloaded this stupid game when I got sick and I have been playing it throughout my weeks of illness. I am at level 160 now. I have promised myself that I will delete it off my phone when I am better to avoid wasting more time on it.
Travel Planning: Although I can’t bear the thought of taking a long-haul flight or being in a hotel room in a foreign city right now, I did spend a lot of time yesterday looking at flights and holidays. I like the idea of a gentle week away somewhere in the sun. Somewhere not too exciting. Somewhere there isn’t a lot to do except enjoy the sun. Sunshine, sea, walking, fresh air and simple good food. I think I want a holiday as much from being sick as anything else.
I’m aware my sick days are running out – this is my last week – so I need to make the most of whatever I need the mental time-out-from-work space to do before work comes back to hoover up my constructive mind space.