Winter in the Midwest is a special kind of torture. From inside, the world is sparkling and bright (for the approximately 20 minutes of daylight), but I step outside into this winter wonderland and my face and fingers freeze almost immediately. My shoulders get sore from clenching in the cold and taking my hand out of my mitten long enough to unlock my car is enough to make me whimper.
As long as I have a warm home and a decent coat, I can handle the cold. The real villain in my winter story is the dry air. About two days ago, I knew it was really winter because my sinuses felt blocked and my throat sticky. It’s so gross up in my head right now.
I suspect my sinuses are particularly fussy, because I am prone to winter nose bleeds and I had to have my tonsils out as an adult because I had so many sinus/throat problems. As soon as the air gets dry, I spend significant portions of my day blowing my nose, trying to dislodge clotted blood and hoping that this time it won’t be the precursor to a full on nose bleed. It’s the sinus equivalent to a pebble in my shoe or a raspberry seed in my teeth. It is so bloody annoying (pun intended).
And then there’s the bugs. A couple of days ago I was working late and was suddenly overcome with nausea bad enough that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to drive myself home. It passed relatively quickly and I assumed it was something I ate, but after three days of wondering what I had eaten that was upsetting my stomach, this morning I realized that I probably have a bug.
Sinus problems aside, I’m someone who will get whatever apocalypse plague is going around and it will rate a solid “meh” on my sickness scale. When I was 6, I caught the chicken pox from my brother and still got better before he did. Likewise with any virus that swept our house. My brother and my mom would be on the couch for days and my dad and I would maybe have to skip lunch one day. I had my bouts with multi-day flus, of course, but I can’t think of a single time I got more sick than my brother.
The only downside to my kick-ass immune system is that is sometimes takes me a while to recognize that I’m sick and in the meantime I can mis-interpret cues as cravings. So, I’ll have an inexplicably strong craving for something starchy or sweet, when really my body just wants comfort (i.e., a nap and some hot tea). It’s easier to go for the comfort food than it is to find time for a nap, so I’ll sometimes start to give into those cravings until I realize I’m really sick. Then, of course, I feel worse because I’m giving myself the wrong kind of fuel for healing. I also have problems distinguishing being chilly from having the chills, which leads to undetected mild fevers. Basically, I’m like a toddler and I know that something is wrong, but I can’t articulate what. Except my Mommy isn’t here for kisses and books.
Luckily, this week I had been making an effort to detox after the holidays, so I didn’t give in. I’m feeling OK right now and I am planning to pick up a new humidifier after work, so by Monday I should be back into top form. Then maybe I’ll drag myself out for some (much-needed) exercise.
1 no carb day. (back at it!)
184 pounds (probably the final holiday weight gain tally and still down from November.)