Monday, February 4, 2008

Confessions of an Invalid

Though my crime may not be so serious as to warrant a confession under the concealed camera of a sunroof while smoking a joint, I nevertheless have found myself in a bit of a mess.  I never thought of myself as a sickly type of person until January of 2008 when I seemed to have acquired every serious virus a person could expect out of the year 2008.  Thrice ill in one month?  I can no longer ignore the signs staring at me from behind the mirror. 

I confess, I should have listened to my stomach that cold winter night when it asked me not to eat the dinner staring up at me from the plate.  But my husband had slaved over this meal with such conviction that it would be something to remember.  It was.  When it later landed in his outstretched shirt/puke bucket.  The rest of the night was spent writhing in pain with my stomach twisting itself up into raw and gnawing knots and my body sweating as it tried to writhe in sync.  My body ached for days from the muscle spasms and I wondered how I'd survived that night and wished it on not even my worst enemy.

Again, I confess that I was stupid to think the aches and pains pulsing through my back and every major joint and muscle were the result of the days jog and late night pilates workout.  I went to bed trying to convince myself that the sudden onset was nothing more than the hot steaming shower giving my body a swift kick into pre muscle aches.  When I awoke shortly thereafter in a damp swamp of a bed and uncontrollably shaking from head to foot I knew I was dealing with another malicious bug.   Over the next two days I pampered myself and told myself it was just a really nasty cold . . . that started in the lungs . . . that happened to create such bad body aches I needed to double up on Advil and Tylenol together to make it through the days.  Then I woke up on the third day.  I told myself I could get out of bed and get the breakfast on the table, but once I got into the shower I crumpled onto the cold hard tiles and laid there until I could regain enough energy to pull myself up and drag myself back to bed (thank Europe for a never ending supply of hot water).  There I remained the rest of the day in a delirium thinking my husband was attuned to me enough to know that he needed to take care of the three kids and had stayed home.  About the time I realized I was out of Advil and the rest was downstairs and knew I couldn't make it that far and the only one who responded to my cries was my most reliable Catherine Daughter Dear did I realize I'd been abandoned.  The flu had taken all my energy and any mental capabilities I'd ever had to begin with and all I could think about was getting my husband home so he could get my Advil and take our kids away from the sight of my misery.  Somehow my daughter found my cell phone and called Daddy and he was giving her instructions to find the Advil, get mommy water, and he'd be home as soon as he could.  But not before Lillian began throwing up all over the downstairs.  I confess that I asked Catherine to clean it up and took little pity on her when she cried and said it was too gross and she didn't want to get any on her dress.  I begged her to just get her sister in her bath.  But as the cries from below became more distressed my mothering instinct kicked in and I dragged those wobbling legs and spinning head down the stairs, stripped the baby of her puke covered pj's and plopped her into a bathtub leaving her sister to watch and clean her while I slipped into another delirium in my own swampy bed.

I confess that because of this illness I was forced to cancel my daughters 8th birthday party.  My wonderful husband had to call each and every one of those girls and tell their parents not to bring them because, "Catherine's mom is sick."  How horrible this made me feel!  The next week when I showed up to pick the girls up I held my head low in shame.  It was not only for the fear of facing those mothers who would look at me and wonder what a wimp I must have been, but that they would always think of me as some invalid.  It was only just a week ago my husband had to bring the girls to class while I slept off my night of torture.  And, trust me, they notice when a mother misses this particular duty.  Especially when the kids are dropped off with serious bed head.

I confess I will eventually forgive myself for my actions during those delirious days of the flu, but will my family forgive me for failing to recover from that dreadful flu?  They've seen enough of a sick mother and a worn out father.  I was beginning to recover from the flu albeit still making a swamp of the bed every night and a persistent aching throat.  I just kept telling myself it was going to get better soon, but I admit to lying.  Before long that ache in my throat was preventing me from drinking fluids or eating food and when it kept me awake all night because my body seemed to think it needed to keep me conscious just so I could breath I knew the next day would find me sitting in a cold doctors office.  I confessed my whole previous 11 days of misery, opened my mouth the tiny slit that I could and told him, "You're the doctor.  Fix it."  He did!  He sent me straight to the pharmacy where a prescription to cure my tonsillitis was awaiting me.  The moment I got home I downed one of those things, wincing and smiling at the same time.  Three days of those pills and I'm already able to open my mouth again and swallow without breaking a sweat.

Now that I've confessed can I have my life back?  I've caught everything that I could have possible become infected with for the year 2008, right?  If not, just turn this house into a hospital and send over Mary Poppins.  I'll surrender peacefully and claim my rightful status as an invalid unfit for human contact.  . . . Nah!  I've got a bit more fighting in me still, but I'm not begging for you to test me, so all you sickies STAY AWAY! 


t i m said...

Aww, hopefully you're feeling much better now. I'm sure you'll be forgiven for canceling the birthday party, it just had to be done.

Take care. ;)

Lisa said...

It's a nasty year of fighting sickness! I'm glad you're feeling better, and I'm always amazed at how moms deal with being sick and taking care of their children - no matter what happens!

Elizabeth said...

You poor poor thing! I will no longer complain about my bout with the flu... I thought I had it bad but no longer! I think you've used up all your illnesses for the year in one fell swoop.