Illness can be a great teacher. Here are a few lessons I've learned, more than once or twice.

The tagline for this blog reflects my feelings about how long I’ve been struggling with my recent illness: too long. That aside, here are a few lessons I‘ve learned from this bout with the flu, or whatever it is:

Some days, you just have to trudge onward. Sometimes, especially toward the end of the illness, it’s better simply to force yourself to make it through the entire day, rather than cave in. Some days, it’s better to stay home. The key to staying home is rest, coupled with plenty of fluids. Why spread your illness around the office or community? Take a little “sick holiday.” Even if it’s the weekend and the house needs to be cleaned, the yard mowed, supper made, kids to appointments or activities, or whatever it might be, ask yourself, “How important is this and can someone else do it?” If you don’t rest up on a sick weekend, you likely won’t be much better on Monday. The key word is, manana. Don’t necessarily listen to your inner voice, especially if it wakes you up at 3 a.m., hacking and coughing. You’re probably not going to receive any good advice, so just go back to bed and ignore it. Hot showers are great. Heck, hot anything is great. My two favorites when ill are hot water and hot cider. Hot water’s really not that bad. If you can’t taste anyway, why waste the calories on faulty taste buds? It gets worse before it gets any better. Being ill is much like climbing up a tall mountain. As you approach the summit, you have been physically and psychologically tested and are likely nearly spent. But, no worries, you’ll make it. Millions before you have climbed up a similar mountain and then descended again back to the good health of the valley.

No one likes being ill. It interferes with life. It slows you down and sometimes messes with your mind. In a way though, it’s just a prelude to the endgame. It’s a microcosm of life’s experiences: pain, suffering, relief. You’ll be well again. Your sense of taste will return and the fogginess in your brain (perhaps brought on partially by prescription or nonprescription medications) will dissipate. The sun will come shining through, and you’ll be walking strong once again.