It's a funny thing, the way your body and perspective and tolerance for certain things can change so much simply by adding one tiny infant to your household.
I used to "get sick" frequently. Now, I am pretty sure many my sudden sore throats before a singing engagement were likely stress-related, but I did have my fair share of confirmed strep cultures. Getting sick used to have some benefits. I could skip out on some entertaining that I wasn't feeling up for, or I could take a day off from work. I could sleep for long hours, drink tea, read books. Getting sick used to be a pretty good gig...before children.
When I added kids, the whole equation changed. No family in town meant no time off regardless of how crummy I was feeling. No such thing as taking a day off work when you are a stay at home mom.
I remember one time in Seattle when Aaron came home with a stomach flu. Maddie had just been born a few weeks prior. Our extended family had just left. I was trying to juggle the kids and the house and not succeeding. I leaned heavily on the help Aaron provided in the evenings. So when he came home that night and curled into the fetal position on the office floor, sleeping through the children's screams, I was livid. How dare he get sick right now?
The next day, I could barely move. Aaron had miraculously gotten better and gone to work. I, however, was sick as a dog. I remember throwing Maddie toward her baby swing, praying she landed inside while I dashed to the kitchen sink where I lost the entire contents of my stomach in front of our very frightened 19 month old son. "Mommy's fine," I sobbed. Very reassuring, I'm sure.
I've become pretty adept at ignoring any minor illnesses I may have. I simply don't have time for them anymore. Mommy getting sick = chaos. Important items, such as toothbrushes, mysteriously disappear; door knobs become as sticky as flytraps; laundry has orgies in the basement leaving strange evidence behind - towels I've never seen before, odd socks hooking up, leaving behind a whole slew of mismatched baby socks...
These days I'm well most of the time. Now is not one of those times. For the last month I have tried to convince myself (and everyone else) that my hacking cough and constant nasal drainage were simply the result of some unknown allergies. Then last week I spent our entire anniversary trip apologizing...to Aaron when he couldn't sleep until my nightly cough-fest was over, to strangers trying to enjoy a romantic dinner only to be interrupted by my loud honking nose-blowing, to couples at the B&B with whom we'd share a laugh which would inevitably end in my hacking up a lung.
Uncle! It's time to see a doctor.