‘If you are going through Hell, keep going,’ is a quote attributed to the great former prime minister of Great Britain, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, which he might or might not have actually said it, according to the Quote Investigator.
But that does not matter.
It is the quote itself which holds Power, not the man who, supposedly, said it.
I was reminded of it yesterday when I was experiencing my own version of Hell.
Currently I am doing rounds at the pediatric department within my clinic and as the famous song by Andy Williams goes: ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year.’
Translated into my terms it means that most of the kids who come into the hospital are diagnosed with viruses or bacteria which are causing them have an elevated body temperature, be nauseous, have diarrhea and force them to vomit.
They are highly contagious and it has become sort of a hazing ritual that you have to get ‘vaccinated’ the good old (hard) way when you are working with those small sunrays of happiness.
I love working with children but yesterday I could not help myself but curse those little loafs of fluff to high Heaven when I felt like being trapped in the same room with the Devil himself.
Adding salt to an open wound I must have drunk a glass of wine the evening before which must have been liquid poison for how it made my body shiver and writhe in pain.
And adding PEPPER to the salt to an open wound I also had a very good, but strenuous, session at the gym doing bench presses and deadlifts with auxiliary exercises such as pushups, pull-ups and sprints.
I had a fever.
My stomach felt like filled with balls of lead sloshing around it.
I felt nauseous, wanting to, but not being able to vomit to experience sweet relief.
Everything was spinning around me as if being on a Merry-Go-Round but without the pleasant music. All I could hear was the beat of my pulsating aorta.
I was sore all over my body where each move caused exquisite pain known to all who like to lift with a goal in mind. Fellow weightlifters, you know what I am talking about.
Above all else – I felt so weak.
Breathing was hard for me, let alone moving.
I know I that I was overreacting but Goddamn did I just wish to sleep, forever. And I did, metaphorically, as I slept for 16 hours.
But I had a problem.
Being sick was not an option for me.
I am writing an exam on Monday.
Barely breathing, almost immobile, cramping all over, dehydrated and unfed I had to learn.
‘But how,’ I asked myself lying in my bed, pleading with my heart not to explode due to how ferocious it was beating.
Until it hit me: I am not faced with a question of ‘how’ but with a challenge of ‘wills’.