The Placebo Effect

Yesterday marked the 19th day I’ve been sick with a respiratory virus. I woke up aching all over, exhausted, and with a disturbing deep ache where my gallbladder is located. I called my primary care physician and was triaged by a nurse who said to go to the Emergency Department (ER). I really really did not want to but went anyway. Not much else to do. I spent almost 4 hours there and nothing wrong could be found. I’m really healthy.  I talked to the ER physician about my viral illness and she said she just read an article stating that the average duration of a respiratory virus symptoms is 21 days. That actually made me feel better, like I wasn’t crazy or special because it’s taken so long to get over this thing. I want to be above average. I went home and Googled post viral fatigue syndrome which can last for months. I really don’t want to have that. The only treatment is exercise and eating right and resting when tired. While reading I made a commitment to follow those guidelines, and to get better by day 21. So I woke up today and only sent positive energy to my health. I exercised for the first time since being sick, meditated, lifted a weight or two, and acted like I am well. I worked on creating a PowerPoint all day for an upcoming class and honestly, I feel pretty darn good. The placebo effect wins again! I think that when the doctor said the average recovery takes 21 days, I believed it and changed my way of thinking and being. So I am going out to dinner and a play tonight and I’m going to stop whining. I will miss that. Whining is good for the soul.

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