I’m a relatively healthy person.  When I go for my physical, my numbers are all in line with what they should be.  Though I have lousy sinuses and am plagued with sinus colds, for the most part, I don’t get sick.  Until this year, the last time I used antibiotics had been ten years ago when I had bronchitis.  Until this April.

In April I got pneumonia.  It was hideous.  Started out as a really bad cold, then turned into pneumonia.  Now I know that pneumonia is dangerous: it is not something to be taken lightly, but still…

I was supplied with my drug cocktail: two antibiotics, two cough medicines and a steroid.  I learned early on that I had to stagger taking the medicine so I wouldn’t feel sick (you know what I mean).  I created a spreadsheet. (no- I am never too sick to create a spreadsheet)  But early on I learned a simple fact: there’s a reason why an antibiotic protocol is ten days- because you need ten days to get better.  See, last time I used antibiotics I didn’t need the cycle to feel better- I started to feel better after one day of medicine. But not this time.  This time I didn’t feel better till after my protocol was over.  This made me feel old.  My body no longer recovered right away.  I was human…

Human?  You mean I’m not a super hero? WTF?

Old?  Too old to recover quickly?  WTF?

This was a rude awakening, which led me to my next revelation.  I need to take better care of myself.

When I first got the cold, I didn’t slow down.  I pushed my way through the cold.  I didn’t increase my sleep, I continued with my thousand activities and social commitments and chores.  I pushed myself, because that’s what I always do.

Big mistake.

Huge.

Because if I had rested when the cold started, it probably would not have turned into pneumonia.

Now I refer to my life as BP (before) and AP (after) because pneumonia was a giant wake up call: I need to take better care of myself.  I need to sleep more.  I need to make sure I eat properly.  And I need to impose limits on myself.  It’s fitting that this post comes the day after my discussion of my new planner, because I need to plan my life a little differently now.  I still have a long list of daily things that must get done- there are things that must get done on a daily basis.  But now, instead of cramming fifteen extra things, I choose a top three (I’ve always had a top three but now I stick to it).  If I am feeling OK, I will pull a few things off the list.  But if I’m tired, I rest.  If I’m tired I delegate.  If I’m tired I decide if it’s really that important.  I cross things off the list without doing them.

The delegation is hard for me.  It has nothing to do with my lack of self worth (see last week) but all about being independent and doing things my way and on my own schedule.  I am pretty persnickety about how I like things and I have to swallow hard when I watch my family fold clothes or unpack groceries.  I have to stop myself from rearranging the fridge shelves because they don’t do it the right way.  Because something had to change and that something is me.

So, I’m going to try to limit my slightly OCD tendencies (no- I am not diagnosed OCD, I just have certain behaviors that probably have some sort of OCD route) I’m going to try to be more mindful of my health.  I know me, and I know this will not be easy.  But I know that it’s what is best for me.

51 thoughts on “The Day I Felt Old

  1. I had to smile at this post, not because you have not been well, but the ‘I must look after myself’ and the delegation of jobs, it was if I was reading about myself. I am glad I am not the only one 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. 😀 I hadn’t realized how much I rearrange after they’re done till my little monkeys exhibited similar behavior to each other.
    I just love an organized fridge.
    I have been sick a lot less since making exercise and sleep a priority. I’m glad you’re AP, and doing so well since.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve spent much of my life saying, “I feel like I didn’t get anything done today.” My family laughs because I never stop “doing.”

    Lyme disease sometimes slows me down but I still wrestle with being slow or unproductive. I can’t tell you how many books collect dust on my shelves about self-care and mindfulness etc, but I’m hard-wired to be anxious and busy. LOL.

    I’ve trained my kids to pack and unpack groceries a certain way. They think I’m insane. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Lol. Yes, I’m much better with a list but not too big of a list–like one that charts out the next month down to the tiniest of details… not a good thing for me or the people around me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I read this reply while I was on the elliptical at the gym and as I went to answer it I thought, oh…this might not be the right thing to do as I’m trying to slow down…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Pneumonia will kick your ass if you’re 5 or 55 so I don’t believe it’s about whether or not you’re old. It’s how you’re taking care of yourself. You know you didn’t slow down enough to begin with. You know that’s how you got sicker. It’s not because you’re old or young, it’s because you ignored what your body was telling you.
    BP and AP is the smartest way to consider your life. You learned a valuable lesson in the care and keeping of you.
    I’m so pleased you’re feeling better and send you loads of healing love!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Amen! I came down with a cold once that had a nasty ,no stop,15 minute long cough. Went to the doc’s and he heard the cough. I got a call the next day from his office-pertussis outbreak in the county. Feels like your strangeling. Doc gave a but load of medsand I slept for days mostly. Got to get the vaccine.I’m not strong enough for the illness 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes you must look after yourself, I’m 50 and I’ve noticed I’m more tired than I was at 40, and I think you are right when you say getting the right amount of sleep is essential…….. a bit less partying!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have exactly the same issues as you in delegating and slowing down. I find it so difficult. I too had a bad health scare a few years ago. The family realised how much they relied on me and I realised how much I had let them.Initially things changed but soon slipped back into how they were. I have had a pneumonia injection since and am awaiting a flu one but they have run out of supply here atm..I blame the constant advertising of it this year that has left the more vulnerable without. So what I might do reading this is look after myself more so I ma prepared for the next time. But it`s hard if you are how we are xx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve had a growing awareness of slowing down for a few years now and have – generally – been cutting myself some slack. But then I had the unpleasant experience of needing to be hauled bodily off the ground – twice in a period of 4 days – as I couldn’t get myself up (too dizzy the first time and shaken after falling the second). I cried briefly after both, but mentally picked myself up by planning a regime to re-build strength. I, too, ploughed on as normal though and a week later have found myself emotionally floored by the time my physical recovery is taking. I hope that planner will help me to be more self-caring too.

    Thank you for this post. I needed to express this feeling, so this has been carthartic.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Good for you. I am definitely realizing my limitations as I grow older. For instance, yesterday after running errands and food shopping I came in late and had to bring in all the groceries and start cooking right away since it was almost 5:30 p.m. But I was hot (it’s hot outside here!) and tired. So I sat down for a while to rest, about 20 minutes, instead of stressing about getting dinner started right away, and I felt much better and still got it prepared on time. I also waited to do the kitchen cleanup (you know the nasty bowls and things you use when you’re cleaning and seasoning chicken? Those). I usually clean them right after using them, but not this time. They got done after dinner. Most things go in the dishwasher, and my husband usually does that, but sometimes I do it to give him a break. But yesterday I took my time and got it done at a leisurely pace instead. My body has shown me that I have to slow down, and I’ve started to listen to it.
    I’m so glad you’ve recovered from pneumonia and are taking better care of yourself. I’ve heard it’s awful from others too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s jarring to realize that you can’t keep going at the same speed. But we must. I didn’t think it would be so hard to slow down though! One day at a time

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good for you! It’s hard to take the time to take care of ourselves, even when we are sick. We feel so guilty for not getting things done… But you know, at a certain age, it’s just necessary to do it. And if it makes you feel any better, you have lots of company!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s