I’m always sick on New Year’s. I can count on one hand the number of New Year’s Eves in the past fifteen years that I’ve been well.
It’s strange because I actually have a pretty good immune system. I don’t get sick much during the rest of the year, but the holidays always get me. I don’t remember this being the case before I had kids. My first New Year’s of motherhood was 2000– the big Y2K. I remember staying up until midnight, determined to see the new millennium come. I was sick on the couch with a sinus infection.
Two years later I was sick again. I delivered my son on January 3, and I had no voice. In fact, the antibiotics they gave me for the delivery made me well. I left the hospital feeling great (with my new baby boy).
Year after year, it’s been a consistent pattern. I’ve missed more church choir Christmas performances than I’ve participated in–usually because I have some kind of bronchial gunk that zaps my voice.
This year was no different. My kids have all had one bug or other since September. I stayed healthy. I went in and got a flu shot because I recently took a fulltime job, and I knew I’d have a higher chance of being exposed.
I’d rejoiced in the fact that I made it through Christmas without getting sick, but I left work on December 31st feeling lousy. Two days later I sounded terrible. I began to worry that I’d end up in the walk-in clinic begging for antibiotics.
Saturday, January 3rd, was my son’s birthday. He turned thirteen. He said, “Mom, are you ever well on my birthday?”
I started wondering. Sure, there have been years when I wasn’t sick on his birthday, but some of those were years when I got sick at Christmas and was on the mend when the new year rolled around. As I’ve gotten older, the holidays seem less fun. Maybe this is why. Someone is always sick. If it’s not me or my kids, it’s the cousins, who inevitably share their colds with us.
Maybe my body knows that at Christmas, I’m guaranteed a little down time, so it takes advantage of the window of opportunity.
I don’t know, but it’s becoming annoyingly predictable.