The Christmas weekend started out on a lovely note for me. I walked my dog, then got out my bike and enjoyed a wonderful 20 mile bike ride. It was sunny, a brisk 28F, but no wind, so fun riding. I was looking forward to visiting with my teen-aged daughter on Christmas day.
Unfortunately, it went all downhill from there. And, I don’t mean like riding a bicycle downhill – no effort. Saturday afternoon I started having a runny nose and my head was stuffed up and I sneezed a lot. By the late afternoon I was so uncomfortable I was barely able to enjoy watching the Giants beat the Jets in the New York bowl on TV.
For dinner I availed myself of some of the organic chicken stock I bought at Costco. Like so many people, I believe chicken soup really works in combatting a cold. For the rest of the evening, I pushed fluids. I was so uncomfortable I didn’t even finish the day with my Hershey with Almonds bar.
By bedtime my mother-of-all-head-colds was in full flourish. I could not breathe through my nose at all, nor could I clear it. In addition, my pushing fluids in the evening insured that I wouldn’t sleep more than an hour or so at a time before I had to get up and empty my bladder again. Santa Claws came to my place with a vengeance on Christmas Eve.
I usually rise and shine around 4:30 – 5:00 AM. This morning I didn’t get up till after 7:00 AM. Not only did I not rise and shine, I was barely able to stand up. I could not stand long enough to spend the 15 minutes it takes to concoct my morning smoothie. I went back to bed.
My second rising took place around 9:00 AM. I had slightly more strength and also my poor pooch was looking at me frantically as we were several hours late on her morning walk. The only good thing about the day so far is that I wasn’t due at my daughter’s house in the ‘burbs till 1:00 PM. I naively hoped I would be able to still go to see her.
I fixed myself a bowl of cereal and ate that, breaking a fast from about 8:00 PM. No wonder I didn’t have any energy, over 13 hours without food.
By 10:00 AM, I had finished my cereal and noticed a text message from my daughter sent the previous night about getting together. I realized then that I could not trust myself to drive my car 30 miles to go see her. I wasn’t sure I could sit up that long. Also, with my coughing and sneezing, I might get her sick, too. Not the perfect gift for Christmas. So, I phoned her to tell her the bad news. Around 10:30 I put some clothes on and managed to get poochie walked. Then, back to bed.
I slept till past noon, but when I woke up I could feel that some of my energy had been restored. I fixed myself some more chicken soup and cut up some pieces of chicken that I had in the fridge. Although my energy had come back somewhat, my appetite didn’t. I do practice the dictum you will see repeated here, namely, Listen to your body. If I didn’t feel like eating. I didn’t eat much of anything.
It’s now 3:30 PM. I am sitting on the couch punching on my laptop. I have restored some of my energy and expect to be able to manage poochie’s final walk around 5:00.
I look forward to talking with my doctor tomorrow.
One thing about this experience is that it was an amazing lesson for me. I have enjoyed robust health for years, so this sudden helplessness really threw me for a loop. As a senior citizen living alone, I think I need to set up some back up so my dog can get walked and I can get help if I need it. Certainly an interesting aspect of aging.
If you would like to read more about bicycling and see some of the photos I shoot on my rides check out my new blog Willing Wheeling.