For the first time in two years, I am sick, really sick, with the terrible cold that is presently incapacitating many and serving as a Grinch, stealing holiday spirit from those of us who are suffering. So far, I have missed four days of work, my employer’s Christmas party, numerous social activities, watching the disappointing Ohio State loss with other Buckeye fans versus alone, and potentially seeing my mother, Maxine Main, as she celebrates a birthday tomorrow.
When someone is ill, as I am presently, one realizes that having your health is everything. A few days ago as I attempted to drag myself to work, I remember thinking that if I was offered $1 million to get in my car and go, it wouldn’t be enough motivation. At that lowly point, I knew I was “down for the count,” e-mailed my boss, and slithered back to bed.
As an avid hand-washer, I am surprised to be sick. Should you become ill during this busy holiday season, please stay at home in self-imposed quarantine versus spreading your malaise to others. Coming to work is not respectful of co-workers and the productivity of a company. If everyone else becomes sick, without capable healthy staff, the business inevitably grinds to a halt. It is better for a few people to be absent versus all employees equally as ill from an over-conscientious worker or socializer.
A few weeks ago, a fellow ballroom dancer attended a Friday night event while suffering from an obvious cold and hacking cough. Yet she “did not want to miss the birthday party,” which occurred that evening for another dancing friend. Possibly she is the culprit of my own illness, who knows, but I was surprised by her oblivion for exposing other party patrons through the close contact of ballroom dancing, sharing cake, and socializing. Sometimes sacrificing your own desires for the betterment of others is the wiser choice, versus thinking that life is inflexible, and already scheduled plans must be executed, no matter the unforeseen circumstances.
Please don’t advise me to “go see the doctor.” A cold is a virus. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, except maybe for the “placebo effect” of taking a prescribed medication versus something over-the counter. Allowing ample recovery time, bed-rest with clean sheets, comfy pajamas, Chick-fil-A chicken noodle soup, a daily shower, a few “Hot Totties,” Nyquil, a good book, limitless tissues, and ISOLATION, are the best remedies for a debilitating cold. Unnecessary antibiotic usage compromises the potency of these drugs when we need them most to fight serious “super-bugs” such as MRSA, pneumonia, and staph infections. Ending a cold is not a snap process, unlike the immediacy we have come to expect of modern life.
Concerning my previous column, focusing on the highly-uncomfortable subject of “downsizing an elderly parent,” I received positive commentary from a 79-year-old WillowBrook reader. He and his wife have already taken proactive action by moving there long before a crisis necessitated any changes, which their adult children or other family inevitably appreciated.
The person referenced in that column remains in Florida, now three-weeks longer than expected. His work as a contractor has come to a standstill as he continues to unravel the gamut of issues needing attention for his 96-year-old father, who has been hospitalized and unable to make decisions. Hopefully the adult son will return North before Christmas. Continuing to live alone is no longer an option for the father. Determining a better alternative for an older parent is difficult when we are suddenly unprepared for a crisis, often far from home, sleep deprived, and lacking “a roadmap,” since rarely has an end-of-life discussion occurred.
And finally, if any of you know my mother, Maxine Main, a Sarah Moore resident, please wish her a “Happy Birthday” tomorrow since my visiting there would not be appreciated. One year ago, I was in the overwhelming midst of her downsizing and relocation from an isolated farm existence into an environment with more socialization and support. It was sad and traumatic for both of us. I can only hope her Thursday, December 12th, 2013 birthday, despite my absence, is more enjoyable than 2012. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER, AND MUCH LOVE!
Please contact Mariann directly with questions or commentary at: MariannMain@GMail.com
Mariann Main is a Licensed Counselor and a Delaware native. Her column appears weekly on Wednesdays. To submit a question and have Mariann answer it anonymously, visit delgazette.com/life-questions-with-local-answers or send mail to the Delaware Gazette office, 40 N. Sandusky St., suite 203, Delaware, OH 43015.