Still Sick!

16 days. That’s how long this upper respiratory infection has been going on. A steroid zpack suppress the symptoms the first week, but they came back full force when I finished the pack.

Yesterday, I finished ten days of an antibiotic. I’m convinced taking them produces its own side effects, so I’m glad to be finished. I’m better, but I still have congestion, a nagging cough, and body aches. I’m starting to wonder if this has more to do with being old than with being sick. Most likely it’s a combination of the two.

It snowed on Friday and the office was closed. I’m also off from Martin Luther King Jr Day Monday. That gives me a four-day weekend to continue to recover. I’m thinking it would do me some good to bundle up and go for a walk, rather then lie around the house like I did all day yesterday.

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Sick!

I went into the New Year weekend on steroids prescribed for a viral upper respiratory infection. A test ruled out the flu, but I don’t see any difference. As I took the last pill on Tuesday, my symptoms came back threefold, with the addition of fever. I never made it to work this week and brief trips out of bed to the bathroom or the kitchen left me weak and breathing rapidly. I’ve been free of fever since Thursday but still—up until this morning I have had no energy and I have felt rotten.

Three amazing women cared for me: daughter, sister, and mother. Ruth shoulder the bulk of it as she was physically here in the house on her last days of winter break. Sissy stepped up with text message check-ins and a delicious, ready to cook meal. Mom is driving up today.

Several friends called or messaged to wish me a speedy recovery. For both family and friends, I feel the support, I feel humble, and above all, I am grateful.

Here are some things being sick has taught me or perhaps reminded me:

  • In general, friends hope you get well soon. Close friends check in with you regularly. Family knows what you need and does it, whether it’s attention (or to be left alone), food, or some task (like cleaning out the litter box or picking up more kleenex). Both friends and family are a blessing.
  • When I’m sick for any length of time, I start questioning my self worth. Unable to work, I begin thinking they’ll realize they can get along quite well without me and I’m going to lose my job. Socially, folks are meeting up for coffees, drinks, dinners, Sisters are bar crawling and going about their ministry, and even the birds that I’ve fed without fail are finding other feeders full of seed. Who needs me?
  • Pets, especially Fred the cat, are a great comfort. He has stayed by my side. My cough might briefly send him off the bed to the floor, but it doesn’t take long for him to come back, sometimes napping on my arm, sometimes sleeping at my feet as he’s is now.

  • It’s hard to be single and be sick. This is the first time I’ve experienced it and the topic deserves its own blog post.
  • I start to wonder if this is forever and if it is, what will that mean? I realize that for many people, sickness is their reality. It stirs compassion within me, and causes me to resolve to be more like family than friend (see above) if I have the choice.

I feel better this morning. I’ll enjoy Mom’s company today and stay home. I’ll shower, dress, and tackle putting Christmas away (but slowly). Monday, I’ll go back to work and step back into that reality.

However, those bullet points raise subjects worth exploring: How do I define my worth? At age fifty-three, I’m single for the first time in my adult life. How am I dealing with that? What kind of friend am I?

Spending time answering these questions may be my New Year resolutions.

Be well.

Happy New Year

Hi, y’all. I’m still here! It is the last day of the year and I’m taking stock, as is customary.

Except I’m NOT! I’ve done that before and I’m not convinced year-end evaluations are the healthiest of activities. Specifically, how does retrospection mesh with living in the now?

I have two friends (not the same friends described below) who challenge me to live in the now, sometimes with patience and sometimes with exasperation. I confess I find it difficult.

How about, in lieu of an end-of-year evaluation, I describe what is happening right now?

Let me begin:

“The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel just queued up from a playlist of similar songs. My mood is mellow and enhanced by a fourth-day dose of steroids intended to relieve the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.

I sit comfortably at a kitchen table sipping my second cup of coffee. I’m full after having eaten a breakfast of two fried eggs, a biscuit with sausage gravy, bacon, and pan-braised Brussel spouts. The table belongs to a friend/lover. His friend/lover is in the other room (also my friend)—and now I hesitate as I struggle to describe not the people themselves but my relationship to them. Why the hesitation? Perhaps I’ll reemphasize how I started this paragraph and restate: I sit comfortably ….

My friend smiles and I interpret it as a question: What are you doing? I read aloud what I’ve written and the conversation between the three of us quickly deepens, touching on topics such as truth, honesty, tmi, perceptions, and, most importantly, the definition and pursuit of happiness.

I write this post via my phone and for a considerable amount of time I stare at the screen, searching for the point. I think the point for now is: comfort and happiness intersect. Right now—in this moment—I am deeply comfortable; right now—in this moment—I am deeply happy.

Happy New Year.

Mood

With a smile, he said, “Lift your head up.”
I smiled back as I replied, “I’m almost there.”

I assume he thought I meant we were almost at the end of our collective work days and, it being Friday, our work weeks. Once off work, we would be free to enjoy our weekends. But my words were a deflection. He had caught me in an unguarded moment. He saw more than I intended for him to see.

This is the interwebs, and this blog is not anonymous. I’m not going to list the issues that weigh on me. Suffice it to say that if I did, that list, while not long, would be major. Several goings on are hitting all three aspects of what make up a person: mental, physical, spiritual. These issues are targeting me simultaneously.

Someone who knows me well recently asked if I thought I needed prescription antidepressants to help me through. Lovely. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t discount the drugs. However, my experience in the past has been that the side-effects of medications were worse than the depression itself.

It doesn’t help that I’m due for a testosterone shot. I have to remind myself that my mood always winds down into a funk just before a scheduled dose. (I took care of that this morning. It should take effect in a day or two.)

It doesn’t help that the circumstances bothering me seem to be forever open-ended with no resolution. (I know they are not. The reality is I am not in control of the endings, neither the when nor the what in most cases, and that lack of control messes with me.)

It doesn’t help that it’s raining. (The sun will come out tomorrow.)

What. To. Do. ?. Inevitably, I simply must follow my colleague’s advice. I have to lift my head up.

But wait: Did I mention I have a pinched nerve? Yep. I’ve been dealing with that for over a month. When I hold my neck straight and back, it fires off. It runs down my shoulder and continues all the way to my fingers, making my arm and hand go numb. So if my head isn’t all the way up, that’s why. I’ll deal with that nerve as soon as I get some of these other things moved a little further along.

Even so, when “soon” comes it will bring it’s own set of problems. Mood, my mood, is my choice. Despite the numbing, I choose to hold my head UP.

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all

First, you have to clean the house…

Then, you have to decorate. I decided to go practical this year…

More decorating…

You can even decorate with the food. In this case, the pies. Chocolate, sweet potato, pineapple

Set the table. This was new for us this year. Usually, we wind up sitting anywhere we can. But this year we cobbled together a common table that sat fourteen…

table

Downton Abbey style, ’cause we’re classy like that…

Cook the turkey. And whatever else didn’t get assigned from The Thanksgiving Menu

Prep the turkey pumpkin centerpiece

Pray the Thanksgiving prayer

Eat all that delicious food (including Mike’s jalapeño poppers)…

Instantly fall asleep…

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Give thanks for years of giving thanks

Double TBT 

I’m posting draft pics until I get tired of doing it. This is from November 11, 2016,in observance of Veterans’ Day. It’s also a picture of my beautiful husband. 

Thank you for your service. 

Something amazing happened last Thursday. It went down like this:

Cashier at West End McDonald’s drive through: you’re not a veteran, are you?

Me: No, but I’m married to one. 

Cashier: your wife is a veteran? 

Me: no, my husband is. 

Cashier: your husband… 

Me: yes, my husband. 

Cashier to manager: does that count? He says his husband is a veteran. 

Me: wait, wait! I’m not asking for anything. 

Manager hands me back my credit card: yeah, it counts. Go on through.

I’m lovin’ it.