07 March 2011

About neglect, antibiotics and jumping

It’s been a while. Not only did I neglect this blog for some time, I also neglected myself for a while. I devoted myself to work, work and work. My loyalty towards my colleagues, my bosses, my projects and the office itself didn’t know any limits, whereas my loyalty to me, my health, my social life, my family and friends, and even my cooking, cleaning and laundry was overlooked big time. My priorities were set, but they turned out to be the wrong ones. My biggest asset, a good health, left me and punished me. Rightly so.

After a week filled with meetings, dinners and other work events, I was very happy to visit my friends and meet their newborn baby in the weekend. It was such a delight to see such a beautiful little boy and his proud little big sister. It was such a lovely and relaxed afternoon but suddenly I started feeling stomach cramps. After my visit, I took the train to my family for a birthday dinner. I didn’t feel like eating, even though the food was great, but my stomach was seriously upset. It felt like my inner organs were eating for me.

And then it was Monday morning again. My alarm clock did not take a bad night’s sleep into account and I had to pull myself out of bed to go to work. The inner eating didn’t stop and cramps worsened over the morning. During a lunch meeting I ate two bread rolls, which turned out to be the last bit of proper food for the rest of the week. 
The next morning I went to my GP and not an hour later I was at the hospital for a suspected appendicitis. It turned out not to be. Several scans, blood testing and x-rays later, I just had two serious infections. I was sent home with some heavy antibiotics, a booklet on ‘what to eat and not to eat’ and, most important, rest as special doctor’s orders. 

Making a nice meal out of fluid food became my own daily master chef assignment. I wasn’t a master chef, nor a haute cuisine customer the following days. Antibiotics hit hard and my temperature went up. There was a serious battle going on between the antibiotics and the bacteria’s and the used weapons were cramps, fever, sleep, dizziness and a steady supply of big pills. After four days, I was able to eat some normal potatoes again. Great stuff. After a week, fever went away but my temperature remained high. After 10 days, the supply of antibiotics dried up and delivered the result that cramps were gone. Now, 13 days later, my temperature has finally dropped, but I’m still incredibly tired and not worth much.

What have I learned after being ill for nearly two weeks? I did do some thinking. Much needed and serious thinking about my work, my loyalty, my priorities and my life. What is important in life? A good health, friends, family and passions are my four answers to that big question. My work is of course part of my life - I love that I can pay my bills with my work. But what did I do the last three months? I lost all my four answers and set all my priorities on work. Even though I realised that I was missing out on all the fun stuff life can offer.

Yes, I did reflect. And I know that I should change some things in my life, set my priorities right and a good health-work-life balance. It’s no rocket science, but my difficult question now is: where do I start? A girl with fear of heights is now standing on a high platform above a swimming pool filled with deep blue water. Whether it’ll be a dive or a jump, and how deep I’ll go is only to be told afterwards. 

To be continued.