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5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Being Sick This Past Week

No, there's just no way to rock hospital gowns... :pThe problem when I don't blog for some time here at Studio Notes is that I always find it harder to post again. It feels like I always need to explain myself. Why I've been away. Why I haven't blogged. Why I'm blogging now.

So, to make life easier, I'll just say: I've had a busy weekend that led to a week-long illness. I went to the hospital and got loads of tests done because I was having so much pain. Knocked out with pain and meds for most of the week. Another test and a couple of doc check-ups later, I'm told that barring any relapse or continued symptoms... I should be on the mend. So, I'll preempt recovery and just say YAY!

There you go. Excuse out of the way. Now, here are 5 things I've learned from being sick over the last week...

*Side Story 1: No, I did not know what a Pink Lady was up until a few days ago when I absentmindedly drank the concoction handed to me by one of the nurses at the hospital. I didn't ask what it was and I started to panic when my lips, tongue, throat, and parts of my stomach went numb. When I asked the ER doctor about it, he laughed (yes, he laughed a lot) and said I should always ask what I'm given before I drink it. He was absolutely right of course. But, did he really have to enjoy my naivete that much?

1. No matter how hard you try, there's just no way to rock a hospital gown. And, we all know that it's especially worse from the back, right? Definitely not flirting attire. But, I have to wonder what the ER doctor was on about when he teased me about my cultural heritage and laughing as he noted that I still had a bit of Pink Lady* left on the corner of my mouth while he examined me. Uhm. Right.

2. There's never a good time to be sick. But, sometimes, the timing sucks more than your vaccuum cleaner. Seriously. Just had to go through work crisis in-between spasms of pain and being knocked out of pain meds. And, worse, I had to miss my Christmas work lunch - something that I've been really looking forward to.

3. There is no justice when it comes to ailments and health. You know those stories about the healthy person getting a heart attack? Or the person who never tried drugs or such getting in to an accident? My situation's not as bad, admittedly, but I'm not sure if anyone would believe it if I share what my doctor told me about the cause of the stomach pains that I had to suffer all week. I can barely believe it myself. I'm not sure if our family GP can believe it either.

4. The best way to get through pain and illness is to find as many distractions as possible. Especially useful when you're also going hungry from Extremely Bland Diet Syndrome. Or fasting for medical tests. Urgh. My favourite distractions this past week? Sleep, sleep, and more sleep. I don't remember sleeping so much! When I'm awake, I indulged in: ABC iView, especially to catch up on The Slap. My beloved Merlin, the TV series, Season 4 - especially love the ones with Santiago Cabrera (aka Lancelot), of course. Movies. Especially movies with Matthew Goode. Googling (er, ogling?!) Matthew Goode. Tweeting. And Facebook, when I can. And cheating on my bland diet (shhh! don't tell the doc!).

**Side Story 2: On my way to the hospital, my 4-year-old girl said to me: "Mum, I'm going to miss you. Really. If you don't get back, I wish you a Merry Christmas!" Sweeeeett! Heh.

5. Friends and family rock. Big time. Over the last week, I've received so many messages of concern and well wishes on Twitter, Facebook, email, SMS, and phone from friends and family all over the world. I was so touched by it all. You see, in my moments of crazy-thinking-mode (yes, there's plenty of them), I sometimes wonder if anyone would notice if I disappear from this planet for whatever reason (alien abductions and the like, you know?!). I mean, I know my immediate family would care a lot**. That's why I try to live healthier and better especially because of them. But, how about people who don't see me everyday? Those who interact with me primarily via social media? Or just at work? Would they care? It was amazing to see that there are people who WOULD - and DO - care enough when I'm not well. And, if they care enough when I'm not well, then I'd like to think that they're also the folks who would care if I do disappear. Yes, that's a bit overly dramatic, I know. But, hey... When you're writhing in pain, not knowing what's going on, your life views do get magnified a bit more than usual.

So, there. My week in a nutshell. Hope your week's been pain-free, meds-free and hospital gown-free.

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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