For the past few days, I feel like I’ve been sneezing my soul out of my body. I’m not sure if it’s the cigarette-smoke that’s everywhere in Paris, unavoidable as I walk down the streets or on the office terrace, or allergies from trees getting their pollination on and I get pollen in my face. Or maybe I’m just getting sick.
It starts with a little tickle in my nose and though I’ll try to repress it, a little “achoo” escapes, and my coworkers will reply “A tes souhaits!”. Then it’ll increase to a full blown “ACCHHOOO!” a sound that seems to not belong to my petite body. Cue watered eyes and stuff in my nostrils.
This is when I quickly make my move to the washroom before the fit comes. Multiple sneezes come out, at least at 100 km/ hour and I’m grabbing onto what tissues I can, hoping my colleagues don’t hear this noisy occurrence. Once those sneeze demons have escaped my body, I come back to the office with visibly watered, glazed eyes and a pink nose that will soon start to peel from all that tissue on skin abrasion.
It probably doesn’t help that yesterday I had about 4 hours of sleep from the night before because I needed to be at an early 7 am work event, and loss of sleep really does affect your immune system. My eyes feel strained, nose congested and overall groggy and not my regular self. One possible positive thing about having a congested nose is how it makes my voice more nasally sounding, which might help my French accent. As much as I’d love to improve my accent, in this case the cons clearly outweigh the one pro, and I’ll happily go back to my Anglophone accent.
At work I’m drinking multiple teas, wiping down the frequently used surfaces like my keyboard where germs are probably breeding. It’s a long ingrained habit to get some additional vitamin C, but I remember reading somewhere that unfortunately, it’s actually is a myth.
When I come home I make sure to take a shower to get off whatever particles are on me. Then I might get some shivers and although I just want to stay in bed, I get out long enough to microwave a heating pack that will become my cuddle buddy.
But there’s too much that I want to do in this city. I guess I’ve been taking my health for granted for all my planned activities. Before I left Canada for France, it was necessary for me to purchase travel liability and health insurance for my VISA, but it’s the type of thing that you purchase but don’t want to use.
Right now as I write this post indoors, on my calendar it’s T- 3 days until I take the train to Bordeaux to meet my extended family (2nd cousins) for the first time. Hopefully if I take it easy for the next few days, take some naps, make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep, then I’m better by then.