"To feel keenly the poetry of a morning's roses,
one has to have just escaped from the
claws of this vulture which we call sickness. "
Henri Frederic Amiel
I believe I left you with the opinion after my last post that my trip to the doctor and various labs was uneventful, which in caregiving lingo means no crisis ensued. No crisis with the care-ee, I mean. It never occurred to me that I would take ill so swiftly or severely. For two days I blamed every ache and pain in my body, from my eyelashes to my toenails and each spot in between, on that blasted flu shot. Sweetie stood back smugly and gave me an "I told you so" look. He doesn't believe in flu shots. I got over my hangup of the shot being worse than the disease a long time ago. And it was not a live virus so how could I get sick? I was sure it had to be something else, but what? The plague? MRSA? West Nile Virus? Some virulent new strain of Ican'ttakeitanymore?
Seems I'd been brewing an infection of some sort (probably UTI) for awhile. Do you think that's why I've been so tired of late? I can not say with all honesty that I would have paid attention to any other symptoms but I really don't think I had any.
Let me just say this, I can't recall being so sick. And thank God and all his minions for antibiotics. It is amazing to me that a fever of 101 for two and a half days can wreak such havoc on one's body.
I've always been a bit of a hypochondriac. I think it is side effect from my creative nature. In the beginning hours of my illness I was remembered that I had MSRA a few years back. That nasty little bug killed a woman in Orange Park the very day I got sick. One day she was here and one day she was gone. Oh Lord, I prayed, please let me have something else. I'm too young to die and I'll be danged if I want to fall into that statistic about caregivers dying before the person they care for.
After a couple of day, however, death was looking like a nice option. It is instinctual I think to revert to a fetal position, wrap your arms around your knees and try to will the hairs on your head not to move when you are in pain. I had to take back all the nasty things I've ever said about a certain person who seems to whine and beg for attention when he doesn't feel good. I want to hug each of my children and tell them I hope I took good care of them when they were babies and had no one but me to make them them believe they would be okay. I really wanted to be small enough to fit in someone's arms so I could be rocked.
Here's the good news ... I'm sorry I didn't tell you up front ... although I did not see a white light or any of my pre-deceased relatives I think I have come back to the land of the living. I ache in places now that feel more like being in the bed too long aches.
I don't know what each of you does as preventive medicine. I feel it is imperative to give you some Mother Merry advice and send you right to the drug store to pick up extra bottles of Vitamin C, Airborne, Motrin, Tylenol and tissues. Get a flu shot if you believe in them (neither my sister nor father had any reaction at all. Thank you Jesus.) Drink plenty of liquids. Wash your hands like you were in kindergarten. Have an icepack handy. Get some sunshine. Rest when you can.
And one more thing. My friend Patty is in a state of caregiving way more intense than me. For one she is not a complainer and two it's her husband who is sick not her father. I think that puts a whole different spin on things. Today she posted about going about her business and being "soft" in her world. I read that in the wee hours of the morning and went to sleep counting soft things instead of sheep. Although I think a lamb might count as a soft thing - certainly combed and carded lambswool would. I'm going to start a list here. If you have a moment, why not hop - shhhhh, softly - on over to Patty's blog and surround her with softness so that her world, and Michael's won't feel all jagged and pointy and hard.
Some soft things I thought of:
a cotton ball, chocolate pudding, a down pillow, a worn-in quilt, a 3-minute egg, furry slippers,
a bunny, a mink stole, your favorite tune turned on low, the quiet stillness of the ocean at rest, marshmallows, either end of a baby, a cashmere sweater, a poodle puppy ....
Wishing for each of you good health,
P.S. I was so caught up in telling you about ME, I didn't mention that my Sweetie has just earned his caregivers badge. He not only stepped up to the plate to care for me by bringing me anything I asked for, he also hit one out of the ball park by responding to each and every call from my father. That can get a little maddening, but I never heard Sweetie cuss or complain. He donned his nurses cap and did what was needed. Bravo, Sweetie. You're the BEST!