The coughing woke me up just before 3 AM. My chest hurts, my ribs hurt, my nose is raw, I’m tired, so very, very tired. The main refrain that runs through my mind is “sleep, I just wanna sleep for a straight eight hours.”
Then, after using the bathroom and having a cup of coffee (thinking maybe normalcy would “fake out” the cough) it dawns on me…..
How grateful do I need to be that this short lived (7-10 days) cold is the worst thing I’ve had to suffer through since last February? There are so many people with devastating illnesses in the world, how can I feel sorry for myself (and believe me, this morning – I do) when this is such a minor blip in the 20,000+ days of my life?
We who have good health take it for granted. Until we get sick. Then we moan and groan and generally feel sorry for ourselves and try to think of what we’ll accomplish once we feel good again. But what about those people who aren’t going to ever feel normal again because they are forced into a new normal? Do we ever think about them when we are healthy? I mean r e a l l y think about them.
My nature is generally one of compassion, of trying to put myself in other peoples shoes. Still, it dawned on me this morning that I rarely ever truly put myself in the shoes of someone who has a devastating illness…yes, I feel sorry for them, I might even shed a tear or two for their plight, but until this morning, I don’t think I’ve ever really, truly, thought about how difficult everyday life might be for someone else or how fortunate I am.
This cold is miserable, but it will be gone in a few more days and I will be back to normal, feeling good, sleeping all night, and working again. There are so many others who won’t.
Do we owe it to them (and/or to ourselves) to do all we can to keep ourselves as healthy as possible?
I think maybe we do. What would that look like for you?