I grew up in a mind set of “We can do this!” and “Never ever give up!”
Over all, this is a great thing because it will always keep you moving, no matter how grim a situation looks. This attitude has been so engrained in me that sometimes I surprise myself through what situations I can manoeuvre my husband and I.
From dealing with having no money to finding a job within a week. For some of my decisions I have been called crazy, for some I have been called brave. But all my decisions throughout the years have always improved my situation, be it financially, health, or generally live.
But there is one thing, which is part of this mind set, that is very unhealthy. Only today, my eyes were opened that I cannot keep going like that because eventually it will kill me if I do.
I grew up in an environment where, even when you were sick, you were expected to do your part. As much as you can anyway. My mom lived it for me. She would keep going and going until she physically collapsed and that is when she would take an hour break and then keep going again. This was my role model and this is who I became.
But it is very dangerous. I am not a physically healthy person in general. I have it with the knees, with the tail bone, occasionally with the back, and the asthma on top of it.
So when I get sick, it is usually something with my lungs, sinuses, etc. Anything about my breathing apparatus gets hits hard and a lot.
- And when I am sick, I will keep going to work. And I am not talking sniffles or a bit of a cough. I think it is normal that you keep going to work when you have a bit of a cold or just feeling a bit off. No, I will keep going to work until I have a fever or until I almost faint from weakness.
- And when I am sick, I will keep doing all the house work, shopping, paper work, going here and there. Because, well it is not my feet that are sick…
Well recently I was very sick with this lung infection that I get every couple of years. It really hits me hard because of the asthma. The first time I had it, I almost died. Back then, the doctor had told me to stay in bed for 5 days and do nothing at all. This was the first time I did nothing at all. Why? Because the doctor told me. He prescribed bed to me and you need to listen to your doctor.
Recently I had this infection again. Not as bad, but bad enough for me to be generally unable to do anything. For the first few days even talking was too exhausting.
But I was on a lot of medication. One of the things I had to take were steroids because they counteract the breathing problems the antibiotics cause.
But the steroids didn’t only do that. They made me feel relatively fit and not as sick. So I started doing things after two days. I started cleaning, went shopping, went to the city twice. It was very exhausting but doing it all very slow and with lots of breaks, I kinda dealt with it.
Now my husband has been sick for two weeks or so. It’s been an up and down. He got a flu, then his throat went really bad, then he was a bit better for two days, and now he is feeling weak and shaky again.
But for today we had planned to go to the Christmas market with friends. And I was so happy about that.
Slept in until 12:30, and when I got up I saw a text from my friend. We said we’d meet at 2 or so at the market. So this is what I told my husband. At the time I didn’t know yet that he was feeling this bad.
So at about 1 pm I told him to eat something and half an hour later I told him to get dressed so we could leave soon. And he told me that he wasn’t feeling to well.
I think every normal person would be like, ok, so let’s move the market to another day and stay in bed. But I got really upset. Because the way I was raised, if you only have a bit of a bad throat, why would you skip on Christmas market. It made no sense to me and I got very upset. He didn’t tell me how bad he felt until much later and for some dumb reason I didn’t ask either.
Well so I told my friend that we were not coming after all because sick and after that I went to go get medicine.
But I asked him how is his throat so much worse than my recent lung infection where I did everything.
We fought a very ugly fight over this and at some point I had to realize that it is my crooked education that I received about being sick.
If you are sick, it doesn’t matter. You just keep going until you collapse. You ignore the signals which your body sends you. You can slow down but you never stop. My husband listens to his body but I don’t – well didn’t.
We made up and talked it through like normal people. And agreed that we will not be dumb and reckless with our bodies any longer. If you are sick, you are sick. You tell your partner that you cannot do xyz because you are sick. You go to bed and you stay there.
So to answer the question, that is the title of this post:
No! You cannot always just keep going. Sometimes you have to take a step back. Sometimes you have to think about your well-being before anything else. You are no good for anybody or anything if you are sick but keep going.
To close this on a positive note:
Chicken soup, Salvia tea, and a Paracetamol do wonders! Try it.