Sunday, May 28, 2006

Full Body Breakdown

When I was in Honours year, I worked hard for the entire year with no break. There was fine print in my offer letter that I did not read and only realised some way into the year that I was not going to have any holidays whatsoever. No Swot Vac, no winter break, no nothing. So I ploughed through two dissertations, writing 25000 in 6 months. And to top it all off, they tortured us with, after submitting our thesis, a VIVA- an oral presentation of our findings and a session where it gets ripped to shreds by university academia and you have to stand your ground and defend it. That was the last thing we had to do before we were conferred our class of honours. And by that time, I think I had worked 9 months straight without coming up for air. Two days before that, I ate some strawberries, that afternoon, my throat felt like there were shards of glass . The next day, I was panicking because when I woke up I didn't have any voice. The doctor said I had laryngitis and I had to shut up for a week. Major panic, the VIVA was the next day.

I did the VIVA anyway, with an opening apology that they had to keep very quiet to hear me. My supervisor and my lab mates all put it down to it being stressed induced. I croaked it off, pulled off the VIVA and went home to pass out for a week.

Fast forward.

3 years ago, about this time, we were running around madly, trying to organise our wedding. Round and round we went, contending with the usual stresses of planning a wedding and contending with the huge SARS outbreak that had hit Singapore. All was fine, till we landed in Australia for our honeymoon and again, POW! No voice- same thing.

Freeze frame, yesterday. The first day of the holidays.

By lunch time, my throat felt weird. By dinner time, my entire right nasal passage was blocked and by midnight, I was ready to pass out. Repeat the thing about the shards of glass, add in a dose of skin that is tender to the touch with a dash of burning eyelids and that's where I am now.

The finding?
I have an over-responsible body. It won't break down when there are things to be done, when things get paralysed or need to be shelved if it breaks down. So, it powers itself through, overdosing on adrenaline and sheer willpower. Tolerating the long days that begin as they have for the last month at 3 in the morning and only ending at 11 the following night.

But the minute there is respite, the minute the brain is stupid enough to stop blocking the signal and lets slip that it's holiday time, all the barriers go up. Everything that was dammed up, is set free and all the defences take a holiday. That's when any little thing makes me ill. I'm reminded of Osmosis Jones and the havoc that is wreaked in the body just because of one little germ.

And I'll have to suffer through this. It's payback time and my body's not going to let it go until I've paid back in full. I just hope it doesn't take too long. A girl's gotta go places.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 12:17

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" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"