Tag Archives: being sick

Down Time

I am relieved to report that I am almost back to normal, after being sick for a full week. I haven’t been that sick in over eight years! In recent years, I’d been guilty of taking my health for granted – you know how when you’re well, you sort of forget what it’s like to be sick? Well, I do, since I’m not sick that often. Let me tell you, I will definitely be more conscious of my good health from now on.

But something else happened while I was sick, something I hadn’t expected. Included in all of the wonderful get-well wishes I received from my friends and family (thank you, everyone!) was a little advice in Carrie’s comment:  “. . . in the meantime, try to enjoy the down time!” It’s not something I’ve ever thought of doing while sick; it just either didn’t occur to me or wasn’t an option in the past, when the boys were younger. And granted, I still had to drag myself out of bed this week to get them off to school, pick them up, and make their dinner.  But aside from that, I actually took it easy. It’s sad how I have to get really sick before I force myself to slow down – because by then it’s not a choice. And so, I found myself with a little down time. I felt pretty lousy during it, but at one point I just sat on the couch, wrapped in my soft, warm robe with a down blanket over that. I drank a cup of tea. And I did nothing else. I just sat there. What an experience!

I just sat there and tried not to think about much of anything, like some of my sporadic attempts at meditating (which I haven’t done for a very long time). Thoughts would come, I would acknowledge them, and let them go. Thoughts of Nigel’s future, of my own, and how intertwined they will be. But the great part was that I didn’t attach any emotions to the thoughts, which was very different for me. Usually all of my thoughts have emotions attached to them. I can easily get emotional about things that have never even happened, just by thinking about the possibility of them. But somehow the illness gave me a sense of distance – a bit of a novelty, I must say.

So I rested. I read. I drank a lot of herbal tea. I forced myself to stay away from the computer. For the first time ever, I read the current National Geographic issue before the new one arrived (barely – the new one arrived today and it looks amazing). I noticed that National Geographic does not use a hyphen in “email,” so now I feel justified in not doing so. Who knows if I would have noticed that had I not been sick? All these hidden benefits – down time, thoughts without emotion, proofreading insight. I’ve been missing out.

But now it’s back to the grind – and Christmas a week away, no less. Fortunately, because I had pushed myself prior to getting sick, I have nearly all of my shopping done. And although I’m not completely 100%, I feel calmer than I did a week ago. I feel sane. I feel like I’m ready for the busyness of having holiday guests, cooking and baking, and getting the boys ready to go to LA to visit their dad. A lot to do, but I am rested and ready. I didn’t see it coming (getting sick) and thought I would totally fall behind, but it turned out all right after all, as things often do when you don’t fight what is. Sometimes, you get the rest you need, and you might even learn something while you’re at it.

Under the Weather

Ugh. Sorry, gang, but I am sick. I usually go a year or more without getting sick, and when I do, it’s brief and relatively painless. I credit that to a mostly organic diet. But this time the bug really got me, probably from burning the midnight oil too much lately. In any case, it’s definitely going to be a few days until I feel human again!

And what’s the meaning behind the phrase “under the weather” anyway? I know I could Google it, but I’m too sick. Meh. Hope all is well with you and yours!

Sick Bay

That nasty stomach-bug thing that’s been going around has made its way to our house. Right before bed last night, Nigel ran to the bathroom to throw up. I thought at first that it was because (I’d discovered) he drank way too much soda that afternoon and evening while I was working in my office. But typically if his stomach’s upset for that reason, it’s a one-time elimination deal. And, unfortunately, Nigel’s trips to the bathroom occurred several more times throughout the night.

Usually, he makes it on time, but at one point in the wee hours, I heard him (the sound at which all parents groan) and went to check on him. It wasn’t pretty. I cleaned him up, got him back in bed and reminded him about using the old pot that I’d put by his side for the next episode, and then cleaned up the carpeted hallway, the bathroom door, sink, mirror, and floor. I didn’t even want to know what time it was.

Nigel has always been a trooper when it comes to being sick. Even as a young child it didn’t seem to faze him. He never whined about being sick – he just took it. He’s still the same way. And he loves saltine crackers, which I only buy when the kids are sick. I think it’s like a consolation prize in his mind – he requested the saltine crackers moments after he vomited his entire dinner. Not yet, I told him. Your stomach needs to rest. I’ll get you some tomorrow. And he accepted that. His stomach probably made him sense that it was best to wait.

Fortunately, though, our family doesn’t get sick much, especially in recent years. Two and a half years ago, we started eating organic food. Not everything – in fact, probably about half of the food we consume is organic – the stuff that we eat every day. But it really makes a difference in our health. In two and a half years, both boys have only been sick twice, and it was mild – over in two days. I’ve only been sick once, also mildly.

But still, even in my children’s teen years, I’m cleaning up puke. At some ungodly hour, no less. Afterward, I manage to get a little sleep. In the morning I get up and get Aidan off to school, check on Nigel, empty and clean out his used pot, wash my hands, and come in the office to work. Suddenly I hear retching sounds in the hallway right outside my office door. It’s one of the cats, about to yak on the carpet. I leap up from my desk and grab the poor thing, herding him into the bathroom and holding him over the linoleum. Then I clean that up, laughing at the fact that I have cleaned more puke in the last nine hours than I have in the past four years. I wash my hands for about the thirtieth time, put on my shoes and coat, and go out to buy non-organic saltine crackers. And maybe a new mop.