Recuperation

To celebrate convention recap wrap-up and the return to normal life, I’m using a Jeffe-at-home photo today. We’ve been getting tons of rain, so the desert is very green right now.

It’s good to be home.

As I tag today’s post with “writers life,” it occurs to me that I should have been tagging all of the convention posts as that. No, it’s not actual writing, but it’s a part of being a writer. In fact, I haven’t written (aside from blog posts) since I did my final read through revision of The Body Gift on July 18. I mentioned it before – I really depleted myself to finish that novel. That, on top of a tough day-job project with many deadlines and requiring lots of thinking (*gasp*), plus David’s birthday, traveling to Denver for my high-school reunion, then turning around to go to RWA National Convention and all that entails…well, I got sick.

Big surprise there.

I came home Sunday tired and with this hoarse throat and a cough I was afraid might be settling into my lungs. David hit me with herbs and mucus-dissolving foods, which is good because I’m not developing bronchitis or pneumonia now. I do, however, have a full-blown sinus dealie. I even took two full sick days from the day-job. I don’t remember the last time I did that. Not to mention the 3-hour afternoon naps each day, after sleeping 10 hours at night.

Guess I did a number on myself.

So, while I was planning to get back on the writing schedule Monday morning, I took sick leave from that, too. Which is okay. I clearly need it.

David mentioned that Sir Richard Burton took two years to recover from cholera. This was part of the same conversation where David was telling me that a teacher at his acupuncture college, who’s been hospitalized twice this summer for pneumonia and is now on oxygen, won’t be teaching her class for the rest of the semester. Of course, her physician had advised her not to teach at all this semester, to give herself time to convalesce.

Much is said about our fast-paced culture, but I think this is one place we can really see what we do to ourselves. In some ways we can blame antibiotics and other interventionist medicines. They’re a blessing, but they also replace the long, slow convalescence. No months in the country with lazy days for us. Instead we pop some pills or take an injection and get back to work before we use up our 40 hours of sick leave for the year. Most of us will say we can’t possibly afford to take more time off than that.

But if we don’t, do our bodies ever truly recover?

The natural health people think that running ourselves in a state where we’re forever trying to recover health is what lays the foundation for chronic diseases, like Type II Diabetes, cancers, fibromyalgia, etc. Taking that into consideration changes the scale on what’s affordable, I suspect.

Not to be a downer.

Ugh.

At any rate! Thus I’m giving myself time to recover. I’m waiting on other people on The Body Gift right now anyway. I have a couple of leisurely day-job QA projects to work on. I might start writing a new erotica to follow up on Petals & Thorns, which has been getting nice reviews (here, here and here – you have to scroll down on that last one), and I’m told the readers want more. Most gratifying. It’s been called “high-brow p0rn” and “elegant erotica.” I think Anais Nin would be proud.

I might also have another afternoon nap…

8 Replies to “Recuperation”

  1. I hope you feel better. I know I was feeling pretty wonky when I got home on Sunday. I also ended up staying home from the day job on Monday because I was exhausted. It's only now that I'm slightly more alert and able to write. Take the time you need to rest up. A healthy body is a healthy mind is a healthy writer! (Or something like that.)

  2. Thanks Danica! I noticed, too, that a lot of conference attendees talked about crashing Sunday and yesterday. Healthy words to you!

  3. Glad you're feeling somewhat human again.

    Once upon a time, at a place of employment much like any other, employees scoffed at mental health benefits…until the dirty rumor manifested that 80% of them were on some sort of anti-anxiety meds.

    If there was a way to separate privacy concerns from the data, I suspect Corporate America would be in for a very rude awakening about the mentality of "it's not a job, it's a lifestyle."

  4. Rest up and enjoy that lovely view.

    I hear you about not giving ourselves time to recover. I sort of have made sweeping generalizations about how long I should be feeling bad–"hey, surgery was a week ago" or "it's been five days since I had chemo, the worst should be over." Then I find my back hurting or I'm falling asleep on the couch at 8 o'clock. It'll be better once the kids are in school and I don't have as many people coming to try and "help".

  5. Great point, KAK – yes, we can get it done in Corporate America, but at what cost? Especially if the company's medical plan is paying for all those meds…

    Felicia, I think you're so right. Especially dealing with major surgery and chemo like you have. Other people expect you to bounce back and be your usual self. I think you really have to defend that you need lots and lots of recovery time. So ironic that all the "helpful" visitors just add to the burden. I'm glad you're paying someone to clean the house. It's not just smart; it's an investment in your health.

  6. After I got laid off, I think I slept an average of 10 hours a night plus afternoon naps for a week before I began to feel like myself again.

    So take your time, convalesce, get back to yourself before diving back into the dual jobs of day job and writing.

  7. Wow, Keena – sounds like quitting that job was the best possible thing for you! Only when we let ourselves catch up do we realize how far behind we've gotten!

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