I have been sick going on six days now. I haven’t written, because there isn’t much to say about time spent blowing my nose, coughing, and basically being bitchy. I sat here tonight looking back over this past week, and trying to find at least a few redeeming moments. I haven’t had much success.
It all started when we returned from our trip to Milwaukee. Emily had stayed home and hadn’t felt well while we were away. Once I caught her illness, I imagined her touching every surface in the house during our absence. Maybe she laid on my bed and sneezed into my pillow. You see, whenever I get sick, I like to place the blame somewhere…anywhere. Eventually, I came to terms with my illness, and I realized that this virulent virus was so crafty that it most likely seeped through walls and floorboards all on its own. It’s mutated cells would probably have an evil, crafty laugh if they could make noise.
By last Friday, I couldn’t keep any food down. My nose was so stuffy that I had to breathe through my mouth. Every single part of my body ached, even my hair. I looked like a wild woman. My nose was flaming red and my face was pasty white. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I also ended up with a stye on my left eye, which meant that I was forced to wear my chunky-ugly black glasses due to the puss draining from my eyelid. (I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought those glasses!) I was so sick that I didn’t care. I just went with the whole mental patient look, slipped on my Pink Panther sweats, and didn’t even bother to bathe.
The weekend was lost to me. I slept. Eventually I was once again able to keep down some food. Strangely, my appetite returned with vigor. I was famished. My dresser and nightstand where piled with plates, cups, candy bar wrappers, and Popsicle sticks. By Sunday, I brought up a garbage bag to clean up my own mess of debris and crumpled Kleenex. I thought that I was turning the corner. I thought that I was getting better, but I was wrong. I began to wilt again by Sunday evening. I could feel a heaviness in my chest and the terrible aching returned. By 3:00 a.m. on Monday, I knew that I would not be going to work in the morning. I spent the night alternating between snuggling up next to T (and my wonderfully warm cat) to try to warm up and wandering around like a ghost in the dark house trying to clear my lungs.
I called my doctor as soon as his office opened. Thankfully, he was able to fit me in right away. He was concerned that this was a repeat of the pneumonia I had a year ago. I had the same fear, but thankfully he didn’t think that this was pneumonia. He prescribed an arsenal of medication and sent me on my way.
I woke up on Tuesday feeling like a new woman, although when I looked in the mirror that woman didn’t look so hot. Still, off to work I went. I think I freaked everyone out. I could see by their expressions that they were afraid to be near me (and my booming cough.) At one point, I had to go sit in my car to cough ferociously and blow my nose into about twenty Kleenex. I didn’t last much past 2:00 p.m. before I’d had enough of being at work. My head was so muddled that I don’t even remember what I did that day. I know I replied to a lot of emails. I hope I made some sense and no promises!
On the way home, I stopped by the grocery store to buy something already prepared for dinner. As I was leaving the store, I saw that my favorite coffee spot was now serving their Fall favorites, and I bought a delicious pumpkin latte. As in most times of trouble, small moments of happiness shine even more brightly. It was wonderful! It was amazing and comforting. I sat back in my car seat for a moment savoring this small gift, this small comfort during this miserable illness.
By Tuesday night, T was coughing. “It’s coming,” he said, and he was right. T is sick now. He was laying on the couch amid a pile of Kleenex when I got home from work tonight. We growled at each other over our dwindling supply of Kleenex. We bickered over what to make for dinner and WHO was going to make it. Emily, who is now hale and hearty, quickly escaped to a friend’s house. Lola stayed outside playing until almost dark.
We have spent our night staring at the TV, coughing, and blowing our noses, each with our own closely. -guarded box of tissues. Pepper the Wondercat is a rock. He looks at our human illnesses with tolerant disdain. He comforts and warms us. Boo the puppy is freaked out. He wants to play. He doesn’t seem to understand why we are sitting inside staring at the TV instead of taking walks and hanging out on the patio where he can explore and play. Boo likes Kleenexes. He likes to rip them up and shred them all over the floor when we’re not looking. He does NOT like the noise they make when we hold them up to our noses and blow.
I hate losing time and energy to something as silly as a respiratory infection. It frustrates me and makes me grouchy. All of these wasted days where I feel like I have accomplished nothing. I suppose though, that it takes these little inconveniences to make us appreciate the daily routine of our otherwise healthy lives.