Body Language – or how my immune system throws intelligent tantrums

My body and I are working out our communication issues.

Recently our fights have been about sugar. “Why are you hurting, stomach? You’re the one craving chocolate!”

“No, girl, that is all you and your psychological need for comfort because you are stressed.”

Of course, I have to do the talking parts for both of us. Sometimes I mistranslate.


Day 1

Stomach: ow

Bethany: I know, I’ve been terrible. We’ll quit sugar now and caffeine as soon as I’m back in my groove. Peppermint?

Day 2

Throat: ow

Bethany: I know, travel and toxic environments, we’ll work it out. Salt gargle?

Day 3

Ears: ow

Face: we’re burning up here

Throat: OWCH

Stomach: don’t do anything I wouldn’t do

Bethany: OK, what is going on, I did the ears thing, the throat thing, still nothing. Aspirin? OK, I’m just going to bed.

Day 4

Everything: OWCH

Bethany: Dude. I’m staying in bed. Maybe for the week.

Day 5

Everything: slight ow detected, but thank you for your work


Because I am not as stupid as I once was,  I realized that I was still taking the week off, or my body might need to reintroduce tantrum tactics.

While I was busy blaming myself and the environments I’ve been living in for getting sick, assuming it would work itself out, I forgot (or at least undervalued) what I’ve discovered before. My throat gets sore when I’ve been running too far, too long, and need a break.

The thing that fooled me here was that I have been doing self-care. Taking days off, having fun. Which is why my body could afford to wait until I had a week with no commitments (practically) to hold its little “Woe Is Me” festival.

It all worked out beautifully.

I’ve migrated from my bed to the desk today, though the week isn’t quite over. And I’m commemorating with this post, because this is really progress. It feels very “wise health coach”–not to be sick, of course. But to read the signs and figure out what my body is saying.

It can feel like a maze when you first get started trying to listen to your body. In some cases, communications have broken down so badly, you’re essentially rebuilding civilization from a razed-to-the-ground apocalypse.

And for a girl who still occasionally misspells stomach because as a kid the compound-like “stomache” made more sense to her, I’ve made some progress.

And I have a comrade in it with me: my non-lingual but by no means silent body.

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