Denial is a powerful tool

Faithful readers might have noticed that I did not post yesterday. That does not happen often. On Sunday night I was in Foxboro, watching the Patriots beat the Green Bay Packers in a nail biter.

I got home around 3:00 AM and climbed into bed around 3:30 AM.

Then I arose at 7:00 AM for work.

No time to write.

During the school day, I began to get sick. Flu-like symptoms in NFL terms.

Football players never have the flu. They have flu-like symptoms.

When the school day ended, I played basketball with colleagues for 90 minutes. Probably not a great idea considering my oncoming illness, but it’s basketball. “A binding social contract,” I explained to Elysha.

I had to play. I wanted to play.

And to be honest, I felt a little better while playing the game. My lethargy disappeared, and for a while I was feeling great.

Then I collided with a colleague going for a rebound and came down hard on the concrete floor, smashing my knee and elbow. Hurt like hell.

Shortly after the game, my flu-like symptoms returned as my wife and I made our way to our friends’ new restaurant for a tasting. During dinner I began to get the shivers and my body began aching.

The food, however, was phenomenal.

By the time I arrived home, I was definitely probably sick. As I crawled into bed at 8:30, the earliest recording sighting of Matthew Dicks in a bed in decades, I wasn’t sure if I felt lousy because I had slept just three hours the night before or I was actually getting sick.

Or had my collision with the concrete floor during basketball have something to do with how lousy I was feeling?

Elysha rolled her eyes and told me that I was sick, but sometimes I think that denial can make an illness go away.

It’s worked before.

Last week I received a notice with my paycheck indicating the number of sick days that I have accumulated during my 11-year teaching career. Had I never taken a sick day during my career, I would have accumulated 165 sick days up until this point.

The notice indicated that I had 155.5 accumulated days. This means that over the course of 11+ years of teaching, I have missed 9.5 days of work because I was ill, and that includes two bouts with pneumonia and at least two days taken for physicals and medical tests.

I don’t get sick very often, and when I do, I usually try to tough it out.

Or deny that there is anything wrong.

And so I awoke this morning feeling slightly better. Not great, but better.  No chills and almost no fever. My entire body is aching, but I’ll chalk that up to the basketball collision rather than any illness, because that is more convenient and decidedly more manly.

I have a pounding headache as well, but I just slept nine hours, which is more than I have slept in years, so my body is probably acclimating itself to the world after an extended period of unconsciousness.

And I’m probably dehydrated. I just slept for nine hours. I haven’t had anything to drink in nine hours.

How do people sleep so much on a regular basis without turning to dust?

See how easy it is to talk yourself out of being sick and into going to work?