Not gonna’ lie to you, this has been a week from hell.
I’ve been feeling the shadow of illness reaching out for me with its sludge moistened claws for the last three weeks now. Finally, and with great satisfaction, it grabbed hold of me on Sunday, forced me into a headlock and made me its bitch.
I hate being sick. I don’t know whether it’s because I work in health care, or just the simple fact that feeling like complete ass is not on my top ten list. But when I start to get sick I get this feeling like my body is failing to defend me, and it makes me cranky, to start, but also a little down. Like I’m not good enough.
I know, right?
Really Strand? The flu kicks you in the teeth so hard you get depressed? No… not depressed, so to speak. But it does have a tendency to make me immediately introspective. Did I do this to myself? Am I taking on too much? Stress? Which of the Gods did I anger this time? Thinking back I’d say probably all of them.
Since Sunday I’ve had a splitting headache, my body has been in full revolt of any sort of food processing and sleep has been like that chick I used to date in Canada… a myth. And how did I spend my Monday? I went to work!
248 unnecessary days… that’s how long it’s been since I have had acupuncture.
This isn’t a soap-box moment about the benefits of acupuncture in any way. It’s my medicine of choice. You may prefer checking in with your medical doc, chiropractor, massage therapist or the chick who sells you crystals at the farmer’s market. The point is, I haven’t done a damned thing to keep myself in working condition.
There are many reasons for this, and none of them hold much stake in reality, so I figured I would publicly debunk my reasons as a lesson to us all.
I don’t need it!
Ah, yes. Bullshit statement number one. I make jokes about being a machine all the time, but in all reality we are all machines. We are nothing if not a beautifully conceived collection of parts which function together in harmony until dysfunction is allowed to manifest. The fact of the matter is that we take our car in for service every three to five thousand miles whether we think it needs or not simply to prevent illness!
I don’t have the time!
This one may even be more of a bullshit statement than the first. Time is one of those perspective quantities. If you’re really enjoying yourself “time flies” and if you’re knee deep in grenade pins it d r a g s…
How long was the last massage appointment you had? I’m guessing around an hour. And even supposing you had to drive an hour each way and wait in the lobby for 15 minutes we’re still looking at less than three and a half hours. Ever been sick for just three and a half hours?
Didn’t think so.
This is my one of my biggest crutches. “I don’t have time” escapes my lips more times than I care to count. In all reality I have all the time I will ever need, and certainly all I will ever have. And maybe this is more of a living in the moment kind of thing where I become completely engrossed in whatever I’m doing. But that doesn’t mean there is no time. What I don’t have time for is being sick.
There’s no one I trust!
Okay… maybe. Anyone who really knows me understands that I hold myself in high regard (Duh! Have you met me?!). The bar that I set for a medical practitioner is admittedly a little out of what should be considered acceptable by any set of expectations. But still, there it is.
Particularly for those of us in the medical profession this can be a tough pill to swallow; it’s large, has sharp edges and tastes like cat urine. But I have two ways around this. The first is my way. The second is the professional, perhaps more rational way (and one I may have to succumb to… someday).
Method number one (forever now to be called Eric’s way): find someone better than you! Someone you respect and trust implicitly. In my case I have two.
Method number two (aka “stop being so full of yourself”): you might be the best at what you do, be that doctor, lawyer, photographer, musician, teacher, etc… but you’re only the best at doing it for other people! You shouldn’t doctor yourself and it’s pretty tough to dance with your spouse at your wedding and be in the band. When it comes to taking care of your body you’re going to have to give up some of the controls and let someone else be the boss.
I can’t afford it!
This is the only category I’m not going to shove immediately under the heading of you’re just making big, fat, pansy excuses. Money is a big factor, particularly these days. No one likes to blow money to get there butt checked at the doctors, but hey, if it can save your life it’s probably worth the dough.
The problem with money is that you can feel the effect in multiple ways. Taking time off work, for example, can mean less money coming in, which means less money to pay someone to take care of you. On the other hand money going out can mean you have to work a little extra harder to make ends meet. I get it. Trust me… I get it.
But before you choose to skip your chiropractor next time, or talk yourself out of spending the $60 on nutritional counseling remember one thing: you are only here once. Each and every day you get to spend walking around during this thing called life is good day. Every day you walk around healthy is a great day!
So here we are
It’s been 248 unnecessary days since my last acupuncture appointment. I’ve got just over an hour and a half to be downtown for my 6:15 appointment with someone I respect and admire. I’ve got all the time in the world to be happy and healthy, and I’m tired of making excuses and suffering the consequences.
Taking care of me helps to take care of my business. And this time I’ll do better.
How about you?