A Quick PSA on Listening to your Body

Monday night, the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend went to bed a little while before me. Sometimes, when he falls asleep in an empty bed and has bad dreams, he gets a little twitchy in his sleep…… and by twitchy I mean I usually have to sleep on the floor for fear of random elbows and knees slamming into me. It’s an unconscious thing he can’t control, so usually I let it slide and tease him about it in the morning.

Oh, I should also mention that, because I have a new bunch of random people living with me in this house every semester, I have a small bar fridge next to my bed. After having my wine, cheese strings, and chocolate bars stolen enough times, I just started keeping them in my room. I use the small fridge as a night stand. We keep out phones charging on top of it, and AAB got a magnetic phone case to stick to the side to keep his phone out of the way.

So Monday night, after AAB was asleep, I tried to crawl into the tiny little space he left me in bed. I started to doze off……. and had this horrible nightmare! In it, I had grabbed a pillow and blanket to sleep on the floor. But when I laid my head down on the pillow, the pillow was breathing. A demon-like version of AAB crawled out of my pillow and blocked my way out of the room, and I couldn’t move or scream……….. Ya, it was pretty terrifying. So I was actually afraid to go sleep on the floor, and stayed in bed next to AAB and his flailing limbs.

Then he flailed just a little too hard.

He somehow kangaroo kicked me in the back, sending me flying off the bed, and sending my head flying right into the side of the mini fridge.I yelped so hard, it woke up AAB (well, either my yelp for my flailing elbow connecting with his rib cage in an attempt to pull myself out of the fall).

Man, we really flail a lot.

Let’s skip ahead to Tuesday afternoon. I worked from 12-5, pulling stock and helping unload a delivery of something like 5 skids of cases. Fun fun! My head was pounding, I was dizzy, and I had to take my contacts out early because my vision was a little blurry. Later in the shift, I was nauseous and my eye kept twitching. None of that slowed me down, though.

Even though I felt like passing out, even though I was exhausted, even though it felt like I Was going to puke and had a case of the permanent spins, I just kept going. I finished my 5 hour shift, grabbed a few groceries, came home, had a glass of wine with AAB and his friend from work, made dinner at like 8:30pm, and stayed up a little late to watch some Criminal Minds. Basically, I treated my day like it was any other day. I ignored my body, ignored the pain, ignored everything and figured I could just push through it.

I was wrong.

Fast forward to Wednesday. An hour into my 9-2 stock shift, I had been forced to sit down 3 times because I felt like passing out. At noon when my work-BFF arrived, I had to force some food into me because I was feeling faint. By 12:45, I was just trying to make it to the end of my shift. I was dizzy, nauseous, weak, and exhausted. All I had to do was make it to 2pm.

Well that didn’t happen.

Around 1:15pm, a burp became more than a burp. Another coworker offered to take me to the clinic near her house to get checked out. Turns out that bump on the head was a lot stronger than we had thought. Words like “CAT scan” and “concussion” were thrown around. In the end, I was sent home and told to take it easy. Apparently, that’s what I should’ve done as soon as I felt sick. I should’ve been sitting at home, resting, and marathoning Bar Rescue (seriously, the doctor recommended it!).

I should’ve been listening to my body. Basically, it was telling me “something isn’t right here, and we can’t fix it while you’re running around lifting liquor cases and cooking up a storm. Sit! Relax! Don’t make me make you pass out so you’re forced to lay down!”. My body needs time to heal. If I had just taken a day off when I first felt ill, then the doctor says I would’ve been fine. I could’ve recuperated, and been back to work already. But here I am at almost noon on Thursday, about 15 minutes before my shift was supposed to begin. I’m in my jammies, with a hair mask on to force me to sit and relax. Because I pushed myself like I did, I’m off work today, and may possibly be off tomorrow too. The doctor had recommended me being off until after Labour Day next week!

But if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. And now, instead of taking off one day of work, I may miss quite a few.

And all because I didn’t listen to my body.

So listen to yourself, Sunshine. What is your body trying to tell you? You can learn a lot by just taking a few minutes to feel out what’s wrong. Your body is amazing at telling you when you need more sleep, or more of a certain nutrient, or need to move more, or move less. It can tell you when to rest, when to push yourself, when to stretch, when to slow down. And it always lets you know when you’re hurting, so you know when to just stop and take care of yourself.

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