There are people I know who, through out their school and work careers so far, have never taken a day of sick leave. I can remember being awed and slightly mystified in primary school by a couple of my friends who had, at that point, had never stayed home in bed reading books or watching movies due to an upset tummy or a sore throat for even one single day. And it’s not, it simply can’t be, that these young folks were born with immune systems made of iron and had never, in fact, been ill. I’d be willing to bet that these brave souls are the type of people who, even at the tender age of 6, would tenaciously blow their noses, do up their shoe laces and hunker down for the day, ignoring the throbbing head or the faint nausea in the quest for higher learning. Take the ever diligent and steadfast Mr P, for instance. For starters, nine times out of ten, if he succumbs to a malady, which is rare in any event, the lad waits until the onset of a weekend, preferably a long one, to do so, so as not to inconvenience any of his colleagues at work who would have to shoulder his load should he be absent from the office. And having done so he retires quietly and without much fuss to the comforts of the bed, asking for nothing and sleeping much. Having done this for a maximum of one day he most often runs a hot shower, dons a clean shirt and carries himself back off into the world as if none of this had ever occurred. (Naturally, I find this a little unnerving, especially in light of the fact that I try so hard to play the good nurse maid, offering glasses of cold juice, hot tea and comforting soups as I would think need be; most being graciously declined with a small sigh.)
I am very definitely not one of those people.
Perhaps it’s the 1930’s starlet in me. Perhaps I’m just too weak for this world. At the slightest and earliest indication of the onset of the wee common cold I bewail my fate loudly to any who would listen (or who are withing a 50m circle of my voice), clutch desperately at a bottle of cold-n-flu and take to my bed in a flurry of discarded garments and extra blankets for at least 3 days. After which I retire, my face a tabloid of stoic bravery, to the couch for a further day or so while insisting on constant care in the form of cold juice, hot tea and comforting soups, all the while coughing loudly into a large, white hanky.
Such has been my fate this week. A parting gift from one of the 416 passengers aboard either of two flights from O.R. Thambo International Airport in Johannesburg to Schipol International in Amsterdam and from there back here to chilly Toronto. Not quite the perfect end to a three week long holiday back to my homeland, but there you have it. *cough *splutter.
Thank you to everyone who’s continued to bother reading this spot while I’ve been gone and I do hope not to keep you waiting for fresh meat, as it were, too much longer. Right now, however, I have to get back to my stoic position on the couch before it gets cold.