The last 2 weeks have been a new hell. A sinus infection raged out of control for at least a week. I couldn’t sleep well at night, the pain in my forehead, my jaw and seemingly my teeth waking me up. The ache in my right ear every time I swallowed. The stuff I was blowing out of my nose, a garish horrible yellow. If you haven’t experienced sinus pain you have no clue how a face can hurt so badly and it’s hard to actually do the infection justice with words alone.
I woke one morning at 5am and decided this was not shifting on it’s own, so off to the medical centre I went, to visit a disinterested doctor who prescribed 10 little atom bombs for my system and away went the infection. Eventually. It took more than a week, but it was beaten subside with antibiotics, not without a few bad days of dizziness, nausea and headaches on the way out though.
What this infection did for me, is remind what it feels like to be absolutely laid low. Unable to even contemplate a drive to the shop to walk around and buy food. Shivering one minute, sweating the next. I succumbed to being completely ill and to the recovery.
Which strangely is not what I have done once in the last 18 months. Early on, I wrote that it didn’t seem to matter what I did, I still felt awful. I guess years of standard ‘recovery’ had made me expect that when the illness had not righted itself by 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months… that it was never going to.
And I’m still not sure that it is. I have adjusted and manipulated my life so that I don’t over-exert myself all that often and yet I still feel tired, like I can never catch up.
Tonight I watched The Beach for the first time in years. This was a book and eventually a movie and a soundtrack that I loved and reminds me of time when every other traveller I met, had read or was reading The Beach. I used to fall asleep to the soundtrack for most of the year 2000 or be woken up by the jangling last Orbital song. This is 16 years ago now and I’m finding that time is fun and familiar to think about again. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. For the longest time, I’ve been immersed in corporate world and separated from that traveller – ironically selling travel – and like the illness, corporate work is taking it’s time to drop away from me. It’s only been 4 months or so since I stepped out and I did almost immediately step back in to a different version of the job, but now here I am discovering that I may be closer to being able to call the shots on my life, like I did when I was a backpacker. Illness not prevailing, I may be. But I think this will take time too.