June 21, 2011

a good day off/how viral pharyngitis can be a good thing

I had a pretty awesome but definitely less-than-restful weekend - my fault of course, for how much I packed in, but I truly wouldn't have wanted to miss any of it.

After a 50 hour week plus driving 2-4 hours/day (another 20-30 hours), I woke up early on Saturday and drove an hour to attend a Pediatric Conference (so great) then had lunch with a friend from college I hadn't seen in forever (amazing), drove 2 more hours to go rock climbing with some friends (who also happen to be pro rock climbers) then grabbed some delicious pizza before driving another 2 hours back to Burlington for a total of 12 beautiful hours filled with a little bit of sleep, delicious brunch, and board games in the sun with friends - finally, I headed back Sunday evening to stay with my grandparents for my final week of outpatient peds. They greeted me with a delicious dinner and scintillating conversation, but I was exhausted.

so exhausted, in fact, that I woke up at 3 am with chills, unable to swallow because my throat hurt so much. Being the budding doctor I am, I checked my throat for soft palate petichiae, exudate on my tonsils, any swollen cervical lymph nodes and noted that I did not have a cough: ack. strept throat?

they say everyone gets sick on their pediatric rotation, so when I drove the hour into the clinic, my attending looked at me and said, "I guess it is about that time - you're two weeks into pediatrics, so it was just a matter of time before you got sick. let's check out your throat". My throat looked pretty awful, according to him, so we did a rapid strept test: negative. So we diagnosed me with viral pharyngitis (translation: sore throat not caused by bacteria like streptococcus), I took naproxen and continued as normal. But by 2, I was seriously fading, and my attending could tell because he stopped quizzing me as we went and by 4:30, he told me to go home and take the next day as a "reading day" at home (he's off anyways so I don't feel too awful that I probably exacerbated this sickness by my busy weekend).

which leads me to the point of this post: how to take a good day off (whether it's because you're sick or just in need of a mental health day or both)

step 1: sleep in - but not too much that you just want to sleep forever! I actually slept until the late hour of 7:30am this morning and it was GLORIOUS! I never thought 7:30 would sound so late...

step 2: get outside, especially if it's sunny. fresh air and circulation do wonders for feeling better. I took a long walk with a run in the middle. It felt so luxurious to not be rushed through a workout.

step 3: eat well. listen to what your body craves and eat that and only that. I think when you're sick, your body gets even better at telling you what it needs. my body really liked this smoothie combination: (cantelope, peaches, spring mix salad, blueberries, arugula, banana) made in the awesome magic bullet that I'm borrowing from my friend while she's away. I want one!

step 4: be by water or better - be IN it. nothing takes away the aches of being sick like being weightless and smooth. I decided to swim just a few laps in the heat of the day after my walk/run.

step 5: only talk to people who are good for your health (you know what I mean) - luckily I have these two around:

"there is no duty we underrate so much as the duty of being happy"
-robert louis stevenson

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