The last few days I've been laid up in my room, fighting a nasty virus. Runny nose, coughing, aching, stuffy head - the ordinary symptoms that tend to make life suck for a bit. Since new year's eve, I've been fighting this bug.
The illness comes at a really bad time for me. Last Saturday, we hosted an Epiphany party: an event that brought in over 60 guests to our friary for food, wine, and good spirits. Unfortunately I was in no mood for good spirits or company, so I slept while visitors came and went.
Today we had a camera crew come into the house. They were getting footage to put together a 4 minute video about the postulants and post-novices for a vocational video. There were several roles that I was supposed to fill during the shooting. It had been planned a month in advance.
Again by misfortune, I thought I was feeling better yesterday. Rather than continuing my regiment of rest and fluids, I took the opportunity (since all the guys were together in one house) to get a big soccer game going. It was a blast! I felt good at my skill level. I felt healthy! Most importantly, my team won!
But with the exertion, the exposure to cold air, and the lack of sleep (we played FIFA 09 on the xBox 360 after getting back from the gym), I awoke this morning with chills and a fever of 101.
I have since been admonished for playing last night.
I've slept most of the day already, and I'll probably head back to bed after I finish typing this post. The hardest part of this is my separation from the community.
Less than 2 months ago I was sick. I've been told that it may be from the homeless population that I interact with in my ministry, and that I need to be extra careful with germs. I've also been told that by working too hard, my defenses are already lowered. However what I feel is that whenever I get sick and have to retire to my room for a few days to fight a cold, I feel I am not being present to the community. I feel I should have been at that party last week, and I feel I should have helped with the video today. I don't know if guilt helps fight a cold, but I can't deny the feeling as I sit here with my Kleenex box and juice.
I hope that tomorrow will be a better day, and I will once again feel part of the community as I let my body try to fight off whatever is making me sick. I just wish I didn't feel like I was letting others down because of it.