What’s The Matter With Getting Sick?

getting sickDeep into my fifties I consider myself lucky as I can’t remember the last time I was sick that didn’t involve the results of overindulgence. Last Friday was one of those days as I went out with friends and imbibed all manners of things that leave you feeling lousy the next day.

Did I need to finish off the night with a pint of one of those special Haagen Das flavors? And did I need to eat the whole pint just because no one was there to share it with me?

So I woke up with a headache and bloated belly that took the better part of the day to shake.

Now I am better. I will fess up to taking Advil at some point during the day but it didn’t really help.

But back to the question at the top: what is wrong with getting sick? Our culture seems obsessed with not getting sick which strikes me as something  different from staying healthy.

I don’t take any medications while everyone in my immediate family takes many. I grew up with a grandmother surrounded by pill bottles, and a mother and father who lived with their weekly dispensers always near at hand. “I’m doing my pills” was a familiar refrain.

Recently after teaching a yoga class I bore witness to a woman with a cold being offered an array of medicines, including one needing a prescription.

What’s up with that?

And the other day in the park I watched someone give their daughter some sort of cold medication when she complained about a scratchy throat. I sat dumbfounded at the child took the pill and swallowed it. But why it was offered?

I have a particular loathing for the flu shot. This year’s flu shot in the dark had an expected success rate of about 23%. There are many strains to pick from and they have to choose one even though there is no guarantee that it will be the dominant strain of the season.

If you are young or old I can maybe see a reason to reason out whether or not a flu shot is a good idea. But if you are someone who has never had the flu, and are in the prime of life (Mid 50’s is still prime, right?) I don’t see the need for it.

And… what is the matter with getting the flu anyway?

It is my, maybe ignorant, understanding that the body is made stronger when the immune system is put to the test in order to ward off and heal from disease.

The flu and fever aside, I have had many colds over the years. And I have never taken anything for them.

I took an antihistamine once about twenty years ago. It was such an awful feeling and I didn’t sense that it was healing at all, and I have never looked back.

In the years since— I get a cold, have a cold, heal from a cold, and move on.

My simple take is life is a series of peaks and valleys and one usually informs and strengthens the other.

Also, maybe it is easy to speak from my high horse since I don’t ever get sick. Though I wonder if I don’t get sick because I don’t take medicines.