Being Sick Sucks!

I just had one of the worst nights of my life.
It made me remember how annoying and painful being sick can be. As I’m typing this, I’m still sweaty and somewhat nauseous, hoping the worst is behind me (so please take everything I’m writing hereafter with a grain of salt).

I don’t want to describe it too graphically, but I caught the Norovirus and had a hellish night in which I threw up around 10 times. I’ve never felt nausea like this and couldn’t sleep from the aches (I spent most of the night crouched in front of the toilet anyways). Three days ago, my partner had caught the virus herself (she works in elderly care on a floor where everybody had the virus). She got sick, and taking care of her, I must’ve gotten it too.

As I write this, I’m already thinking “Am I a crybaby? There are people who have it much worse”. I then asked myself which diseases or ailments might be most painful – maybe an open bone fracture, a kidney stone or cluster headaches?

This Norovirus is pretty harmless compared to that, but the stats are pretty bad on a global scale: 685 million cases and 200,000 deaths from Norovirus, every year.
Then I wondered if Covid-19 could become like that as well; Experts say there’s a good chance it will never be fully eradicated but might just stay with us for good. Not a very pleasant thought.

Then my mind wandered to a different, not too pleasant place: If this was a permanent thing or if I had some other chronic pain, I’d probably off myself.

Why is it that the good stuff in life (like eating a nice meal, watching a great movie or sex) only feels somewhat good with diminishing pleasure once the novelty wears off … while the bad stuff like disease, loneliness or depression feels consistently bad and about a hundred times more intense than the good stuff? (Or am I being too dramatic as I still feel sick?)

I’m just wondering, if you’d calculate the expected utility of an average life (adding up the pleasurable experiences multiplied with their respective intensity, minus the painful experiences – not just the intense stuff like sickness or loss of loved ones, but the everyday annoyances at work, being stuck in traffic, having to deal with bills and the like – multiplied with their respective intensity … would we end up with a positive net result? I’m not sure).

Probably it’s always been this way for us humans. Maybe we would’ve all killed ourselves a long time ago if it wasn’t for an evolutionary trait we must’ve developed alongside our neurotic brains: The (probably irrational) hope for a better tomorrow.

To end it on a somewhat positive note: Maybe it’s good that life is this way. The highs would mean nothing without the lows. And it can be reassuring that we humans are all in the same boat: We’re all struggling, we’re all in some form of pain and we try to suppress our anxiety about the future.
But we’re doing our best.
Everyone’s genuinely doing their best, yes, I believe that.

­čś┤ What might help you find calm

Intentional ASMR Picks:

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I asked them if I could get a promo code for my readers and they said yes, so here it is: Use Code “CALM10” at checkout for 10% off on all products (and you’ll help me out a bit too as I get a small compensation:)

Unintentional ASMR Picks:

  • Quite unique, but relaxing and interesting: A video on a South Korean channel where a deaf person communicates in sign language with non-deaf people for the first time (I believe). Give it a chance, there’s lots of whispering and movement sounds!
  • This one’s nice as well: The soft spoken SwedishGuitarNerd reviewing a guitar (Ibanez GRG 150 DX)
  • I found this relaxing and wholesome: Tommy from This Old House building a wooden toolbox with a young girl (it’s the first part of the video I like most)