About three weeks ago, I struggled to sleep with a dodgy stomach. I am sure you have all been there, where you have eaten something that doesn’t agree, and you pay the price for it.

Throughout the night, I tried to think of what I had eaten. I thought about what I ate differently from the rest of my family and some friends. I could not think of anything at all that was different. As the day progressed, it went from hot/cold sweats to falling asleep, passing out and not knowing what was happening, and not feeling well. I took a COVID test, to be sure, but it was all clear. To be safe, however, I moved into the spare bedroom and isolated myself until we knew what it was. After six days of this, I finally went to the doctors, finding out it was a severe gastrointestinal infection. In the first five days, I lost 15 lbs; after over two and half weeks, it was just over 20lbs.

The cause of this is still unknown, but we all agreed it was not food-based. The explanation right now is I picked up some bacteria or parasites from mountain biking in the mountains of West Virginia. All the timings for it infecting my body add up and make sense. We think I rode through some infected water that soaked my water bottle, which I then drank. I ended up on a course of bacterial medication and spent almost two and half weeks out sick.

I am now back to almost complete health, albeit getting over being tired and eating normally.

So what did I learn?
There are many worries when you are out sick for that long and work for yourself. I had many thoughts, from what would happen if this is more serious, to why I feel this way, to what do I do with the projects I am working on, to the most important which is when can I see my family and be with them again. I had not been near my wife and kids for over three weeks when I finally got a hug from my wife, I got quite emotional. It did remind me of all those that struggled over the past few years with COVID. Especially those that had to isolate from all their family. I am not comparing, but I now understand.

I also learned that I need to listen to my body more and not just when I exercise each day. I have done so well over the past few years as I have run and biked every day and not injured myself. I learned that I need to listen to my body, also more top wife when she said: “you need to go to the doctors,” and not try to be a martyr. 

I also learned that I miss working; though it often becomes too busy, I enjoy what I do and miss working. I also remembered I missed attending conferences as I had to cancel presenting at 365 Educon in Dallas because of this.

I missed my family and need to do, as my wife often says, “create memories” as often as possible and remember that it is just money that can’t go with me when my time comes. I also learned I need to complete everything to look after my family. Those things we often don’t want to think about now need to be considered and sorted out. 

Overall, it was not great, but I am glad I am on the other side and feeling much better. I worked at the back-end of the week, and I got to exercise for the first time since it began. I feel great this week (well, today); I ate properly, and the day is going well.

I hope that none of you have to experience this at all. There are better ways to lose weight than being sick. I commit to being better, working smarter, spending more time with my family, and enjoying life a little better.

I am still playing catch-up but hope to catch up soon and enjoy each day.

I am excited to get back to working, exercising, mountain biking, upcoming vacation with extended family, hanging out with my family, and coaching boys U12 soccer this season.