When It Becomes Normal To Feel Sick

doctor office

You know you’re in this room too much when they know your voice when you call.

There are some people who go through life never feeling sick, and never taking a day off work. I am not one of those people. I would say I average a day off every second month, which doesn’t sound like a lot but it does add up. And it does encourage the observation “You’re sick a lot!”

The thing is, I live with someone who has chronic health problems and auto immune problems, this means if anyone is sick even remotely near us he’s going to get sick. And then I’m going to get sick.

We have had our diet blamed, our lack of exercise, but for the record we got just as sick when we were visiting a personal trainer twice a week and eating healthier. At the moment we’re having nothing but vegetable juice for dinner – I don’t think you can get much healthier than that.

Yet, as I write this, I’m off work sick.

The Viking has suffered from sleep apnea for we can only guess how long. Waking up every morning I would hear the refrain “Ugh, I feel like ass”. Not the most glamorous or uplifting way to start the day, but that was our normal.

When he got a sleep machine (it’s like an oxygen mask you wear at night) we were amazed by the difference and he said something that really resounded with me “I hadn’t realised how much better everyone else felt all the time. I thought it was normal to always feel sick.”

This got me thinking about people who have it worse than us, and how many people go around feeling sick all the time, feeling sad all the time, who think there’s no other way, and it’s normal to feel bad.

And for some people it is normal to feel sick all the time. For some people it may never be any other way. But as I write this with my head throbbing, waiting in the doctor’s office, I hope that’s not me. I hope there’s a day they don’t know my voice as soon as I call at the doctor’s office. I hope there’s a time they don’t recognise me as soon as I walk in.

I hope this phase passes and one of the many things we do to try to improve our health works, something kicks in, and I will no longer know how it feels for it to be normal to be sick.

Are you sick often? Or are you never sick? Do you have chronic illness? 


  • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    Yeah, I’m one of those people who hardly get sick… maybe once every 18 months or so I’ll have my regular dose of bronchitis, but that’s about it… and I never get Tummy Bugs for some some reason (I haven’t chundered since the 1970s)

    Of course, this leads me to wonder when the Karma Fairies are going to whack me with a big stick of Karma-Sickness… I do kind of worry that something big and nasty will hit me one day… hopefully not…

    Oh, and get well T xx (who is actually sick today…again…)

    • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

      Oh, forgot to mention – both my parents suffered from chronic illness, so I know how hard that is… but I also know how stoic they were both were… that was simply their “normal”… and as a kid, having parents who were always sick was my “normal”… I thought everyone’s parents were like that for a while… took me a few years to realise that some kids had active, healthy parents…

  • http://twitter.com/moniquefischle Monique Fischle

    For starters, I hope you feel much better soon T!

    I am usually sick. I seem to have a runny nose frequently and have an awful cough that hangs around most of the time. I quite often feel sick in the stomach and it’s not uncommon for me to need a bit of a spew semi-regularly to continue on. Most of my sicknesses are not contagious, so I go to work anyway because it won’t affect anyone else’s health and I like to save sick days for when I REALLY need them.

    But I’m still very lucky. I don’t have an autoimmune disease or chronic illness, just a lazy immune system but one that still functions.

  • L

    I hope you’re feeling better soon T!

    Yep – my doctor’s office knows my name, recognizes me before I reach the counter and already have another appointment made before I leave the office. I feel like a wall fixture I’m there that often.

    I have Major Depression. I was told recently I may never feel 100% ok & there’s a chance I will always battle something or other.

    I don’t want to be sick all the time. I want to be someone who has to fill out their address each time they visit a dr. Is it possible? I hope so!

    • http://twitter.com/anwyn Cassandra Goodwin

      I have Major Depression AND BPD, and through therapy and meds I have gotten to a place where I do feel okay a lot of the time. Try not to lose hope!

      • maree Talidu

        I have Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia and OCD. I’m well medicated and manage it, been that way for 22 years, it does get better. Also, your piece was amazing.

        • http://twitter.com/anwyn Cassandra Goodwin

          Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it 😀

  • http://twitter.com/whatjanedid Jane Hollier

    I have chronic fatigue, so yep, feeling sick is just a part of my daily routine. It’s made me incredibly grateful for the internet though! I have literally conducted interviews and written magazine articles whilst in bed.

  • http://twitter.com/RustyHoe Rusty Hoe

    I’ve been sick for 7 yrs with a chronic progressive autonomic disorder and I realised a while ago that I’d forgotten what it’s like to feel well and in the moment that kinda sucked. It really is a 24/7, 365 gig, but what can you do? I manage my disorder as best I can and also enjoy life to the best of my ability. Some days I do cry into my pillow when it all gets too much, but I would say that as much as those days suck most of us are way stronger than we ever think we are and you can still find a good life despite it all. It’s others who tend to be more worried about how ‘hard’ my life is, than me. And for the most part I simply take the piss out it. In the end my life is just like any life, just my particular normal is a little left of centre now.

  • http://twitter.com/sakura_59 Sam McCosh

    I hope you feel better soon Tamsin.

  • http://kimbalikes.com Kim-Marie Williams

    I have an auto immune disease (currently in remission but the damage caused to my body still gives me ongoing pain and mobility issues). I have chronic oedema (really bad water retention). I have chronic sinus. I almost always have sinus issues and every winter I get chronic bronchitis. I eat well (with a little treat almost daily), I take medications, I sleep as much as I can. I now have what I call “survivor guilt” depression brought on by going into remission. I never once got depressed whilst I was so sick I couldn’t walk the 800m to my son’s school but as soon as I’m “officially better”? Pow! I also have various lady issues like PCOS and PMDD.

    I’m lucky the Welshman loves me so much because I’m hard work. If I were a horse, I’d so be a Pritt stick right about now.

    It is hard when your illness governs your life and people’s perception of you. Smile and nod and look for the silver lining. X

    • Maree Talidu

      I have Fibromyalgia, similar ‘lady issues’ and until recently, chronic sinusitis. I’ve had two major sinus surgeries that have changed the quality of my life. I can breathe. No gunk. No facial pain. No throbbing, pressurised head. No waking up to ‘desert mouth’. I can taste my food. If you haven’t looked into it, see if surgery for your sinuses may be an option. It’s brutal, but well worth it.

      • http://kimbalikes.com Kim-Marie Williams

        Thanks for thinking of me, but I’ve already had surgery. Apparently I’m allergic to Sydney! X

        • maree Talidu

          Fair enough! Kinda sucks! Not many people ever really understand the horror of chronic sinus problems. “Oh you have a cold?” No. It impacted my day to day living for a solid 15 years. Finally fully rectified middle of last year. Good luck! XX

  • maree Talidu

    Hey sweet T, I am sorry to find you unwell. No fair! But yep, I totally identify with this topic, particularly the Viking: I haven’t felt well in over 16 years. You see, I don’t LOOK sick (excluding my grey pallor and panda eyes).
    Fibromyalgia? Invisible. Reactive arthritis? Invisible. PCOD? Invisible. Endometriosis? Invisible. TMJ? Invisible. Compromised immune system? Invisible. Chronic pain? Invisible.

    This is my normal. I do the best with what I’ve got. I can’t let it define me or I’d never leave my bed: ever. Hope you feel better really soon, much love and blessings to you! XX

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