I have been sick for days. When I say days I mean, right now, I am wrapped in blankets going on the 7th day of turning this far right corner of the couch into my quarantined personal medical center.
The coffee table is tucked up close littered with Nyquil, antibiotics, elderberry, colloidal silver, cups and bowls of half sipped teas and broths. Ibuprofen and tissues. Lozenges and a thermometer. The whole gamut.
The last 6 months has been strange; getting hit with lengthy health issues. Usually when I get ill I bounce back within a day or two. In fact, I often take pride in that.
The most curious part is that I may have the curse of the facial morph!
What I mean is, each time I have gotten sick, something seems to physically change on my head or neck area, creating a temporary morph of physicality…so to speak.
In October I dyed my hair. A deep dark brown with some bright streaks of teal. I absolutely loved it!! Within the next day my entire scalp felt tight. My neck was rippled with inflamed lymph nodes. I shrugged it off and carried on figuring it was just an irritation that would simmer down.
The following day, I was nearly fainting on the floor because of how strange I felt. My skin was tighter. My neck was robotically stiff. And my forehead had begun to noticeably bulge. My husband rushed me to the ER and on the way we jokingly dubbed me as “The Dolphin” – Morph #1. (I cried though, worried that I would always look like a dolphin. Of course it went away).
In December I was volunteering for my daughters ballet performance in The Nutcracker. I volunteered by putting make-up on the dancers. Getting up close and personal to everyone’s beautiful faces. Person after person. Then a few days later I came down with conjunctivitis. The first time I had ever caught this virus. Hopefully the last.
My neck hurt, I had an ear ache, my eyes were weeping. One eye was bloodshot deep red. It would have been great for Halloween. And then the swelling began. I could hardly open my right eye. The area around my eye was bulging so big that I dubbed myself: “Igor”. My daughter titled me: “Blowfish” …I cried because I didn’t want to look like an Igor…but of course it went away. And then the virus kindly migrated to my chest and left me with a two week respiratory infection – Morph #2
This time, as we were heading up to the mountain I noticed that my throat was hurting. I figured it was nothing. Once we arrived to the ski resort, I slipped on some ice and hyper-extended my thumb, resulting in a sprain. I did a few runs and fell hard 5 times and suddenly it hit me how terrible I was feeling. I checked straight into the lodge to sleep all day and all night, while out on the slopes the most amazing powder was coming down fast. This set the precedent for the next 7 days.
In the past if I got strep throat, I would simply get an antibiotic and be free to get back to life within a couple of days. I have never had such a stubborn case! To follow the trend, of course, my neck swelled up so much that the doctor called it supple… Supple?!! — I looked in the mirror after the appointment and my chin was on a stiff double and my neck had expanded. I could feel it, I was just so sick that I hadn’t taken a moment to look at it. I also lost my voice and it sounded like a gremlin when I talked (just call me Mogwai). I of course took full advantage of my new voice and sent voice messages to some lucky friends and family. It kept me amused. This time I am dubbed: “The Bullfrog” – Morph #3
So here I am, as the bullfrog, sitting on my couch waiting for this to pass. I did cry a few tears of course even though I knew the bullfrog metamorphosis would soon pass…I mean who wants have a supple neck?!!…Ha ha ha… Ohhhh the humor. But mostly I cried because I haven’t been able to swallow anything more than broth or liquid for 7 days!! I think I want lobster, or lamb or duck when I am healed.
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though. My body is slowly getting better each day and it gives me hope.
And as I sit in this spot on the couch I have found myself resting and reflecting on the little things. It is always the little things that I seem to go back to.
In moments like these all of my obligations no longer hold meaning. They become a distant concern.
Sitting here for days I think about how much I love my two children. I listen to them playing together all day long. Entertaining themselves with their imaginations and respecting that I am sick by giving me space. My daughter makes me soup and tea. My son takes care of our puppy for me and brings me more blankets. They both peek in to make sure I am OK. I love them.
My husband is the finest of all men. He cares for me like no other. Not only has he been physically working, but he gets home and does the shopping, the homework, the cooking, the cleaning. He brings me all that I need. He takes the kids out of the house to give me a quiet space. I tell him thank you and he replies, “In sickness and in health, babe, in sickness and in health…” — HEART MELT — He really loves me. The kind of love that takes care of your sickest most unattractive moments with care and gentleness. I feel beautiful even when I know I look a mess, just because of the way he looks at me. With those eyes…those brown eyes look at me with an admiration that no one has ever shown me in this life, except for him.
I am thankful beyond words. I am thankful for the little big things. Those are the things that will always matter the most. The rest contribute in the shaping of my life…our lives, and that is important. I will give my goals and my community and my church and my work a full attention helping of my efforts and care; passion and love and ministry… but my family I will give them my heart. My whole heart. They are my gift. They are my one life gift and I will always hold you in the closest most intimate parts of my heart. That is my promise to you, my family, my one life gift.