In sickness and in more sickness

If I let the fever grow and sicken you

Would you spread the disease with me?

– Birds of Tokyo, Pilot

As a kid I played a cute little DOS game called Rats! It’s a simple game, it only held my attention for a few weeks, but I fondly remember it.

1 rats title screen
No escape from this rat race!

Each level consists of a maze infested with pixelated rodents. Left unchecked, they breed and increase their numbers until you’re overrun, at which point you lose and the game mocks you with a high pitched call of “We win!” Your objective is to use various tools to wipe out the rats before they take over the map.

As I’ve mentioned before, Wellington has a way of spreading disease among its citizens. Wellington right now feels like a game of Rats! Well, plague rats. It’s not just me – seemingly everyone is sick. And this year it’s worse than usual.

Successive sickness

I recently learned that it’s possible to get two colds, one right after the other. It’s happened to me twice in six months, and I’ve had one in between as well. That’s five colds in six months, amounting to over a month of mouth-breathing misery. As I write this I’ve had a cold for three weeks straight. I’ve never been sick so much. It’s frustrating as hell, and even worse when you think it’s over and it comes back.

I’ve been stripped of the energy I need to do all the things I usually do, let alone the things I want to try. It’s like being on crutches (or, what I imagine that to be; I’ve been fortunate never to experience this). Everything is just that bit more difficult, more draining, and sometimes just plain impossible. I have difficulty managing my energy at the best of times. Being sick makes it that little bit harder.

Oh no, not this again!

I’ve had to take three days off work. I’ve missed social events I wanted to go to. I’ve been to social events where I haven’t been at my best and it’s affected my experience. That includes some big ones too – my weekend in Tauranga, a beach cleanup, the flat party I hosted. Which is not to say they were ruined, or bad by any means – just that I feel I wasn’t able to give them my all.

Okay, it’s just a cold (at least I hope that’s all it is). It could be a heck of a lot worse. Maybe it’s a lesson for the future when I encounter something more serious. Like an injury that leaves me in crutches. Or getting old. Is this what getting old feels like?

What doesn’t kill you…

Despite feeling less than 100% this month, I’m still feeling the warm glow of spring. But I feel like I’m being held back from experiencing the joy of the season.

I know from past experience that when I shake off a cold, I get a natural high that lasts for days afterwards. It’s the wonderful sensation of feeling better than I did the day before. Like I’m ready to take on the world again. Combine that with the brighter days, and things look promising for the near future. Just as soon as I get this plague thing over with.

One of these days I’ll get through this.

One of these day’s I’ll be able to breathe through my nose again.

One of these days I’ll be able to sleep through the night and feel refreshed in the morning.

One of these days I’ll eradicate the “rats” from my body.

2 rat poison
Last rat standing

Until then, I hang on and hold out hope.

Watching it all come apart

So we can begin

To be new again

Have you had a cold that you just couldn’t shake? How did you cope? What did you learn from the experience? Let me know!

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