Bad Body: After Ten Days Of Neglect My Body Is Taking A Stand (And Making Me Pay)

I don’t think I’m very high maintenance, but my body is another story. I mean talk about a drama queen! It’s either this is broken or this organ is slacking or needs surgery or my blood is out of whack, either on its chemistries or my body is making too many red blood cells again, and let’s not forget my evil stomach and my kidneys – the two more life-altering organs that affect me every day. But I have a pretty good system in place to make my body happy, and in turn my body won’t make me too miserable. Most are things that I should never do, but there are three big ones that I must do every day or my body can get a little pissy.

  1. Thou Shall Drink At Least 100 Ounces Of Water Per Day.
  2. Thou Shall Get At Least 7.5 Hours Of Sleep Per Day.
  3. Thou Shall Spend At Least One Hour Per Day Relaxing/Winding Down.

From Thursday April 2 through Monday April 13 I kind of gave my body the middle finger. And now it’s giving that finger back to me.

As far as my water intake, I drank less than 70 ounces per day during this time period. It wasn’t intentional, or in some ways it actually was. It’s just hard to stay on top of water intake when you’re going on a road trip. Especially if you refuse to use public restrooms 99% of the time. I mean I intentionally did not drink on days we were on the road because why try to make myself uncomfortable? And all those other days, well the days in Nebraska were just busy, and the days at the conference were a lot like those on the road. I couldn’t go to the bathroom during the day, but this wasn’t even about using public restrooms because the convention center’s bathrooms were nice enough – it was about not having time to leave one panel, make it to the next panel and explain my microphone and get everything else set up, then leave to find a bathroom, wait in line, go, and get back before the panel started. In most cases I had less than fifteen minutes between panels. When would I go!

Then as far as sleep goes, that wasn’t entirely me. I got a little less than six hours per night on average, with some nights being less than four hours and only one night did I actually make it to seven hours. Sometimes it was about just when I got to bed and when I had to wake up (this was typical during the conference) but in almost every case, even the instances where I had events both at night and the next morning, something else kept me from getting sleep. I’m not sure if it was stress or nerves or excitement or something else, but it started the very first night in Nebraska and stayed with me until we actually left Minneapolis.

And as far as that third commandment, if you think I took even a minute on any day during this time period you’re out of your mind. I was packing, visiting Nebraska and trying to make sure we saw everyone we needed to, packing again, getting ready for the conference, registering for the conference and other things conference-related, seeing Roy’s friends because he used to live in Minneapolis and hadn’t been back in five years, then the actual conference days which were 5:30am to 1:00am… yeah, when would I have fit any time in?

And now my body is out to get me, but I know that I have no one to blame but myself. I’ve been nursing a big-enough headache since we got back… days ago. And my stomach has been a nightmare – nauseated and way more temperamental than it usually is. And I keep spacing out. Sure, now I’m getting the amount of sleep that I need, and I’ve been drinking enough water since I got back on Monday (Sunday doesn’t count since most of it was on the road), but my body acts like I’m drinking gallons of alcohol or something, because it acts like I am super dehydrated anyway. And while I try to sleep in or catch up, my body isn’t letting me get more than 8.5 hours each night, so it’s a slow burn. My body is tired, which means my focus is off or nonexistent.

I get it. I did this. But how long will my body take it out on me, because I’m really hoping to get back to normal and start getting things done.

Dear Body,

I’m sorry to have offended your delicate sensibilities. But cut this shit out – it’s not cute. Don’t be a bad body, let’s go back to the way things used to be. I promise to get enough rest, drink enough water and take time away as much as you need… or at least until our next trip. But you’re in luck, it probably won’t happen for four to five months!

Truce until then? Please?

-DMW

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