On Being Sick

Today I’m sick. It sucks. It sucks that I have to blow my nose every five seconds until I inevitably run out of tissues. It sucks that my head aches every time I make the slightest movement (I’ve taught myself to use my laptop without moving my head the slightest, making this post possible). It sucks that I radiate enough heat to adequately warm up a small house in the middle of winter.

Whenever I’m sick I irrationally exaggerate my symptoms and I start to panic. I have had a headache for the past hour so I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a brain tumor. My teeth ache slightly so I probably managed to somehow develop scurvy. In my mind it’s completely irrelevant that no one I’ve ever known has developed scurvy and that I only know about the disease through history class. Instead I sigh and think to myself: should have eaten more oranges last week. Whenever I have a runny nose I naturally prepare myself for death.

But the worst part about being sick is not all the pain I have to suffer, nor is it the constant worry that I’ll never get better again. What gets me the most is that whenever I’m sick, there are people out there in the world who are not sick. When I look outside I see people walking down the street as if it’s just another normal day.

If I’m sick, I reason in my perplexing logic, no one should be able to go on with their day without giving any acknowledgement of the torment I’m going through. If I’m sick, everyone else needs to be sick with me. Sitting in my bed I grow spiteful and envious of anyone who doesn’t have a red nose. They are so lucky, I lament.

Then I realize something: I was once like them. If my memory serves me correctly, I remember a time when I too was not sick (it was yesterday, actually). Yet thinking back and re-conjuring up my thoughts of the day, I don’t recall ever feeling grateful for being a healthy human being. I remember feeling annoyed for having to wake up so early for work. I remember cursing to myself when I was stuck in traffic. How silly and naive it all seems now in my current state with a mountain of tissues beside me. How unappreciative I was.

There are probably life lessons I can take away from this (be thankful for what you have, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, etc.), all I know is that I’ll make sure cherish each day a little bit more. And if you’re reading this and aren’t sick (firstly, I hate you), you should realize that you’re one lucky bastard.

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