Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday Therapy: How Mental & Physical Health Intertwine

My body rebelled against me in a big way over the past week. I believe to the core of my being that mental health issues, particularly related to how one deals with stressors in one’s life, impact one’s physical health. I believe that the reason that what has occurred did occur was in large part due to my out of control internal stress and turmoil of recent weeks. That and the fact that this woman strolled around the book fair at N’s school coughing on all sorts of things and in the air in general and just spread her nasty ass virus to the weak among us (yes meaning me).

A week ago Tuesday or Wednesday I suffered a killer of a sinus headache one afternoon, a headache that could not be eased by means of over the counter medications meant for that purpose. . . UNTIL my nose started to run, which it did later that day and on into the next couple of days. The headache was gone, but the misery was just beginning. By Friday I was certain I had a head cold, but it didn’t seem so awfully bad. Surely a little over the counter medicine and a bit of extra rest would keep me going. Besides, I had a party to attend on Friday night, a party I very much didn’t want to miss.

So I went to the party on Friday night after having used nasal spray to help me breathe. The party turned out to be a total bust. Almost nobody showed, and those that did disbanded about 45 minutes into it. In a way it was a relief because it meant heading home to bed and to rest and to kick this blasted cold.

Saturday dawned, and the cold was still there but seemingly no worse than before. I slept in. Once I was up and dressed I took N to a matinee showing of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D. After all, I figured how much harder could it be to sit in a theater than to sit at home in front of the TV? After that we went home, and I took a nap.

Sunday came and went with little notice on my part. I dozed a while, then I’d get up and pee, and then go back to bed and doze a while more. W took N to church in the morning. I have no idea what they did that afternoon. I dozed some more. I managed to get up and come downstairs for dinner and to watch The Amazing Race on TV. Then it was back to bed.

Monday rolled around. Surely I was getting better. I’d done practically nothing all weekend. I got up, showered, dressed, went to work, blew my nose a lot, fought to stay awake, became annoyed at the sore throat that was closing in on me, and collapsed at home when the work day ended. I took my temperature after N teased me that my face was positively red even while I was freezing and shivering under a blanket. It read 100.0 F. Okay, not too bad but not normal either.

Tuesday and Wednesday I stayed home from work. I slept some more. I slept quite a lot. Occasionally I got up but not for long and mostly just to pee although sometimes it was to sit in the recliner for a while because my back was sore when I stayed in bed too long. My temperature fell to normal by Tuesday bedtime, but I was too wiped out to attempt work on Wednesday. I’m not totally convinced I should have come in today.

So what the hell does this have to do with my mental health? Maybe not a whole lot, but I do think there is a connection. I think my immune system has been impacted by a combination of stress and bad eating habits contributed to by stress. Maybe stress isn’t even the right word for it. Maybe it is more just emotions generally. I’ve certainly been awash in those as of late.

Then again maybe it’s just God getting me to rein it in the only way possible, making me physically unable to get out of bed for longer than an hour or two at a time for the last four out of five days. It certainly gave me a long time to think, or at least for ideas to kind of just roll around in my head. I’m not sure my thinker was thinking all that well.

Anyway, this ain’t much of a Thursday Therapy post, but then I ain’t much of a functioning person this week so you’re lucky you got this much.

As an aside, N has suffered mightily from this virus too even though I’m the only one that caught it. Today is his birthday, and I am woefully unprepared. At least he’s old enough to understand that sometimes birthday presents don’t arrive exactly on one’s birthday and that we can have a little party for his friends in a week or two and combine birthday and Halloween fun all in one.

1 comment:

Val said...

I've been lucky enough to dodge the viruses [for now], but I too have been fighting The Sinus Condition from Hell this past week...
(Drainage, pressure, headache - I'm sure all those around me are suffering from my Bad Attitude as well!)