Yesterday as I laid down on my VP's office floor, clutching a Styrofoam cup of ice I realized that I needed to take better care of myself.
I'd gone into work even though I'd thrown up that morning. I thought it was just the result of a migraine I'd had and thought, "Eh, it's nothing. I can make it to work." But hours later, as I was being driven home because I couldn't drive myself I realized that I'd been feeling off since Sunday night and just wasn't paying attention to it. It's almost impressive the extent to which I can ignore signals from my own body that something might be wrong. You know, like vomiting. And when I say impressive, I don't mean in a good way. Here's what I ignored this week:
Sunday night: nausea which I chalked up to being upset in general.
Monday: Stomach rumblings, intestinal mischief that should have clued me in to the fact that I had a virus, and a migraine. But a girl still has to go to work, drink six cups of coffee, clean, and exercise, right? Besides, it was probably all in my head.
Tuesday: 4:20 am - Vomit. Probably a result of the migraine. I'm fine, really.
I finally stopped ignoring my body a little after 9:00 when I tried to walk to the bathroom to go throw up and I couldn't make it down the hall. I knew if I didn't sit down I would fall. I was dizzy, nauseated and felt like all of the energy had been sucked out of me. I felt like microwaved french fries, all dried up and tasteless. And I was embarrassed because I was sitting in the hallway, unable to get up, like a drunk in an alleyway. A few minutes later, the director of my department was holding a wet paper towel to my forehead.
"Gen, what's going on?" she said.
"Mmm," I said, because that was the best I could explain the microwaved french fry feeling.
She got me a cup of ice chips and after I sucked on a couple of pieces, I could open my eyes. She and another lady I didn't know led me to the VP's office, who was gone at the time, and they let me lie on the floor in the dark until a friend could pick me up.
I think I was dehydrated. I perked up considerably after more ice, and eventually Gatorade. I slept most of the day yesterday and I'm home today, but I swear to God the thought, "Maybe I'm ok to go in" went through my mind.
I don't like slowing down. I'm sure a lot of people would say it's a result of American culture or something and maybe that's true but I know it's also because I'm a single mom and I've had to become the mom and the dad. So though the mom side of me was saying to slow down and stay home, the dad side of me looked at my kids and said, "I gotta keep going." In some cases that willingness is good. And in some cases, I end up a dehydrated husk on my boss's floor.
So. I'm cutting back on coffee....ok, everybody calm down. I know that's not something you ever thought I'd blog, but I think it's necessary. My caffeine intake is out of control. And I need to start paying better attention to my body signals. Throw up = lay down. It does not mean I'm not a tough girl just because I rest when I'm sick.
And I will repeat that phrase to myself as many times as I have to. And I will repeat it even when I am sleeping. And even when I'm meditating and technically I'm not supposed to be thinking anything, how am I supposed to rest if I don't constantly and obsessively remind myself to rest? I have to keep going!!!!
I'll be on the floor again in a week.