12/31/2011 09:45 EST | Updated 02/28/2012 05:12 EST

Nine Lessons From My Sick Bed

There is nothing like being sick to make you focus on what is important and what you want out of life.


There is nothing like being sick to make you focus on what is important and what you want out of life.

After two weeks of hacking away, I just want a set of lungs that don't whistle and wheeze every time I breathe. I want to stop coughing, stop having to blow my nose every other second, and I would like my sense of taste and smell back, please and thank you. Is that too much to ask?

Do I sound a tad sorry for myself? Well I am. I was really looking forward to some time off from the office over the Christmas holidays. No work. No email. No meetings. Sounded like bliss.

Plus I was super-organized with the gifts wrapped and ready, food purchased and stored, and the tree adorned for the festive season. There were still four more days to go until Christmas and I was done. It's just as well because no sooner had we closed the office doors I got sick.

No parties. No eggnog. No fun. Instead I've been cooped up indoors, only venturing out for medical appointments.


You may think I need to get a life, get over myself and realize there are people much worse off than I am -- I know that -- but the little kid in me is fed up and I want my mom.

My strategy whenever stuff doesn't work out the way I expected is to ask myself what the lesson is to be learned and there are several from this situation:

1. I need to slow down and then I wouldn't be so vulnerable to such dreadful bugs.

2. Kleenex is much softer and thicker than Scotties -- a lesson learned in week two of the flu. Note to self for next time.

3. Maybe I should have gotten the flu shot.

4. My kids did a terrific job cooking Christmas dinner. Not only did they successfully cook it, but they didn't bicker over who did what and just pitched in.

5. While red may be the festive colour, a red nose and fevered complexion, while seasonal, are not attractive.

6. Forget martyr mode. Take the drugs.

7. Not everyone likes to be around sick, germy people -- go figure.

8. You really miss your mother when you're not feeling good.

9. I still got two weeks away from the office.

So there you go. Bottom line, I did still have a break from work. It may not have been a preferred way to spend the holidays, but I have rested up, discovered my kids can manage Christmas dinner without me, and become a wiser tissue consumer, so it was not a total waste of time. And as always, keeping your sense of humour is key.