If you work with children, there's just no escaping the stomach virus. Thanks to the Podlings and their willingness to share, I spent most of this weekend flat on my back, lost in a sea of my own personal misery. After the fever had broken, most of the gastrointestinal surprises had passed, and I could finally sit up without feeling that my head might roll off, I began contemplating all of the ways in which being sick is actually the worst.
Plenty of sleep but no rest.
Despite having slept for nearly twenty-four hours over the weekend, I awoke on Sunday feeling completely exhausted and sporting eye pits the size of star destroyers. The reason for this is that a fevered sleep doesn't count as actual sleep. We shouldn't even call it sleep. It's more like anti-sleep.
Who among us hasn't wanted to stay home in bed once in a while? You would have plenty of time to relax, watch TV, or read a good book. Not if you're really sick, of course. If you're sick, you're busy trying stop the room from spinning, attempting to ensure that your vomit goes into the proper receptacle (into the bucket, not the drawer - into the bucket, not the drawer!), and managing the twin fires burning behind your eyelids. You have no time to worry about anything else.
Everything is ridiculous.
When Meg Ryan is ill in You've Got Mail and Tom Hanks comes to take care of her, she answers the door looking like this, which is the Hollywood version of sick, whereas when I woke up yesterday, I looked like this:
All things considered, it's probably for the best that no men showed up on my doorstep yesterday with flowers, ice cream, or soup. There's no telling what might have happened. Although it would have made for an entertaining scene, I doubt that it would have led to the same sort of happy ending as in You've Got Mail.
That's because in books and movies, sickness is used as a plot device to create sympathy, heighten tension, or drive the story forward.
In real life, though, being sick is just the worst.