I was on the phone recently with a friend who was sick. She sounded awful and I really felt bad for her but she is tough and was making the best of it. It made me think about how different people handle illness. I know, have personally been, or have seen people who fit in at least one of 10 categories. It doesn’t matter if you have a cold or are undergoing cancer treatment, I think you may fit somewhere. See what you think. By the way, due to the length of this piece, I have broken it into 2 parts to ease the digestion.
And heeeeeeeere we go!
- The WHINER: We all know whiners. (Imagine your best nasal, whiny voice) “Iiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmmm siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick”, long sniff in, wiping nose with sleeve (hopefully). Wimpy little cough. “See. I have a fever”. Shows you the thermometer, which reads 98.7.
“Think you can go to work/school?” (Wimpier little cough).
“‘OOOOOOOOOOOH NOOOOOOOOOO. Iiiiiiiiiiii’m siiiiiiiiiick. (sniff, cough). I think I better stay hooooooome”. (blows nose loudly, and looks up sadly for sympathy, pause….cough).
2. The TROOPER: “YOU LOOK AWFUL! You need to go home”.
“No I’m fine, just a little sore throat”. (HACK HACK HACK, COUGH COUGH, HACK COUGH, COUGH COUGH, HACK “OH LORD”, GIANT WHEEZE, HACK COUGH COUGH HACK HACK COUGH). “No. (pant pant) It’s nothing. “ (Sweat pouring from every pore, shirt soaked).
“You are burning up. You need to go home now. Why did you even come to work?”
“Nah……(lays head on desk) it’s only 8:15. I can (hack hack cough cough, shudder, shiver, cold sweats) make it. Got a lot to do before Friday. Hand me that coat will ya? Aren’t you cold? “
3. The CONTAMINATOR: “HEY BOB ! (coughs as he opens door) Hold on Tony (switching cell phone and handkerchief to other hand (COUGH COUGH) as he sticks HIS HANDKERCHIEF HAND out to shake yours). How are you? (wipes hands on pants, rubs sleeve under nose, which is running like a faucet). “Hold on (hack)Tony. Bob, wanna go (snort) eat?” As he slaps your back and grasps your shoulder before you can jerk away. “It’s been (HACK COUGH WIPE) too long buddy” “Excuse me a second, will you, Contaminator?” (You run as a fast as possible to the closest biohazard decontamination site as you break out in hives and start to bleed from your eyes).
4. The SLUG: Somehow you made it from bed to the table, barely able to lift your head and open your mouth to insert a spoon full of gruel. “Chicken broth is just way too strong and (sigh) can I have a plastic spoon? This metal one is too heavy”. Your eyes hurt as you slowly scan the kitchen, looking for the salt, but the mere thought of tasting salt makes you tired and achy. (SIGH) “No salt. I can’t”. You would put your arms on the table and support your head but they won’t move, so you bend at the waist so you can lay your face on the cool tabletop. Gazing at the gruel, your mouth won’t even water. Your tongue tries to reach the bowl, ………… longingly.
5. The INSPIRATION: “Hey, I heard you were really sick. You look terrible by the way. You ok?
“Oh I’m fine. (smiles). Never felt better. Chemo? Piece of cake! It’s nothing. Excuse me a second. (vomit, gag, cough). Sorry. I get a little tired, but I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. (Smiling). I’ll be glad when this cycle is finished. I have a marathon to run next month. “ (smiling)
“You sure? I heard this was the last treatment option. I am so sorry. ”
“ Nah. Not gonna happen. (vomit, wheeze, cough, gag) Power of positive thinking. Can’t be sick if I don’t let myself be sick, right? I feel great! (passes out then awakens). Never felt better”. Truly Amazing! We should all be so lucky!
That’s it for part one.Thanks for riding along. Hope you liked it.
Check out part two for SICKIE classifications 6-10.