April 17, 2024

My annual illness

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For the last week, I’ve been battling a nasty case of Influenza A. I’ve been guzzling tea with honey, cough syrup, water and more medicines than I can count. I’ve been asleep more than I’ve been awake.

I am starting to come out of my funk, but even just going about my “normal” life for a few hours has me sweating and ready for bed.

This is my first time ever really having the flu. I’m a pretty healthy person, but I get sick typically once a year. For a long time, it was strep. It seemed like I got strep every year. More recently it’s just been a bad cold or a sinus infection.

I don’t typically get the flu shot. I don’t have any moral opposition to it, I just really hate shots and I don’t get the flu. I’ll tell you what, after how I’ve felt for the last week, you can put me on the flu shot wait list for next year. I’ll take any chance I can get to not have to go through this again.

Of course I had to get sick during state wrestling. The nurse practitioner at Greater Regional Health offered me a doctor’s note Sunday and I just laughed. I would have to get that wrestling story done by Tuesday, flu or not.

I was able to take Sunday and Monday off and worked from home Tuesday. My work family has been great at keeping the place afloat without me. It’s undecided if I’ll be able to make the trek to Bondurant tonight for the boys game, but if I can’t, John Van Nostrand has already agreed to go in my place.

It seems like we always get sick when it’s least convenient. Last year, I got sick during state track. It was more than 100 degrees out and here I was, sneezing and coughing.

Some of the wrestlers told me they were sick during the tournament as well. It reminded me of my freshman year of high school when I had strep during the state track meet.

Before I hit the track for the 4x800m relay, I used my throat spray to numb the pain. Believe it or not, there were no PRs set that day.

Even though I haven’t been nauseated at all, my appetite has been really minimal during the past week. Most food just doesn’t sound good and I don’t want to eat anything that would hurt my throat more.

My husband Patrick and I have our comfort food for when we’re sick — ramen. If I’m really feeling gross, I’ll make it without the noodles. I just enjoy the broth with the cheap seasoning packet.

Other comfort foods for me are mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. I think that stems from getting my wisdom teeth removed. I got sick of eating sweet yogurt and pudding so I switched to mashed potatoes. Now when my throat hurts, I go to mashed potatoes.

I think it’s a common experience when you’re sick to imagine how great it will be when you feel normal again. How you’ll never take for granted not being sick. But then two days in, we go back to complaining about whatever other little inconveniences are plaguing us at the moment.

So if you’re reading this and you aren’t sick, take a minute and enjoy it. Feel the clear sinuses, the pain-free throat, the absence of body aches. Of course, I hope to need this reminder myself in a few days.

While getting sick during state wrestling was unfortunate, it’s also a blessing in disguise. With wrestling, bowling and girls basketball all over for the season, the sports workload will be at a low here until spring sports start ramping up.

Thank you to all the wrestling parents for being patient with me getting the story finished and posted.

Cheyenne Roche


Originally from Wisconsin, Cheyenne has a journalism and political science degree from UW-Eau Claire and a passion for reading and learning. She lives in Creston with her husband and their two little dogs.