I woke at 6.15 on Saturday morning unable to breathe and feeling as if Terminator’s grip was holding me by my throat. With whatever voice I had left I phoned the high school to tell them I couldn’t go to work. I changed my soaked pijamas and shifted pillows (I didn’t have the strength to change the sheets at that point) and took some Ibuprofen to the hammering headache. I closed my eyes and slept the morning away.
I woke up a second time as sweaty as the last but without the headache. My throat and breathing were the same. I took a shower and headed to the doctor’s.
My menstrual cycle has seriously affected my immune system AGAIN and those bugs I’ve had living in my throat and larynx for 10 years are having a field day in my respiratory tract. I think I should be thankful that this time they spared me the cystitis. I’m taking antibiotics and nebulizations (is it the correct word?) twice a day for 6 days and a vitamin supplement to see if next month I can skip this annoying and exhausting side effect of my cycle .
Even when I woke up on Sunday feeling worse because the antibiotics had started to work, as the day went on I felt a little better. My voice became clearer but I had a mild earache and a persistent cough. However, that far I hadn’t gone out or talked for 48 hours, the hours the doctor had certified I should rest.
It’s Monday morning and I get ready for work. I’m feeling at a 40% but… it’s a workday. I go out and head to the clinic for my morning nebulization before catching the bus. The nurse sees me and tells me I am worse and I shouldn’t go to work. I should see the doctor again. Here is when my extreme anxiety triggers out. What should I do? I call my mother from the bus stop and I explain to her what she already knows and it is what follows:
A Monday’s workday in my case means talking all day long, commuting for 4 hours, walking more than 20 blocks loaded with a full backpack, handbag and an extra bag full of stuff. Let me add that on Mondays I have to accompany the kids to the track where I have to stay in the open for almost two hours while they run and today is a very wet and cloudy day. (Mondays are the days I work less).
My mom agrees with the nurse and tells me I have to head back to the clinic. I cross the route back and forth three times because I can’t make up my mind. The voice of good judgement lists down what I already told you, but there’s this tiny but overwhelming feeling of guilt. I feel guilty about being absent from work. I feel guilty about being sick! As alienated as that may sound. I can only conclude I’m a well trained slave.
Finally, with what’s left in me of self-respect I head back to the clinic but the only doctor available in the morning is a pediatrician, so I have to wait until the afternoon. I come back home to wait. I turn the computer on and write this long, sensless post just to fight back this persistent need of justification which makes me feel weak and furious at the same time.
Why can’t I care for myself enough to take care of myself without remorse?
I think each human being has a recurring issue which comes over and over again to test us or hunt us, depending on how optimistic one is at the moment. It’s that particular situation in which we usually blatantly flunk, such as in many other ones of diverse type. However, we are able to identify THAT situation as the crucial one and not passing it weighs in our own appreciation of ourselves like any other does. In my case, I need to respect myself.
Lastly, I just want to state that even when I’ve defied myself by doing what I should, I don’t remotely think I passed this exam because my feelings don’t aknowledge the victory. It was nothing but a spark of rebellion against the slave chip I’ve been implanted with and dutifully updated every single day of my life.