"God must love the common man, He made so many of them..." Abraham Lincoln

Friday, January 29, 2010

Being Sick, Part II: Daytime TV

Being sick at home for the last several weeks has led me to ask one of the great questions of all time. How much daytime TV can one person watch? A lot. A better question might be how much daytime TV can one person watch safely? Not much. After a while, you can feel your brain getting mushy and your backside getting numb.

However, those risks certainly didn’t stop me from watching hours of TV dressed in my old green sweats, kicked back in the recliner, with a cat or two draped over my lap and the dog snuggled up under my chin. Comfy and cozy to be sure, but still sick and miserable.

After many hours and many channel changes, I have discovered there are only a couple of shows worthy of my remote control efforts. The funny thing is that both of them are re-runs. It’s a good thing I believe in recycling… Anyway, my two top favorites of daytime TV are Britain’s Antiques Road Show and Wife Swap. Go ahead, mock me if you must, but honestly they are the best of the worst.

You know, the British have way cooler junk that we Americans do. For example, one woman brought an authentic Roman helmet to the Road Show. No kidding! Her family has owned a pub for literally centuries and the helmet was found wedged into the ceiling joists in the oldest part of the building. How cool is that? Another woman brought in a simple golden ring with an ugly blue stone that, according to the expert, was made between 1300 and 1350. Again, how cool is that? A man brought in a little ceramic cookie jar that didn’t have really any monetary value to speak of. But it somehow survived the Blitz while the rest of the house was bombed into smithereens. He even had a photo of his mum standing in front of the rubble pile, with that very same cookie jar in her hands. And once again, how cool is that?

I’m not exactly sure what’s so appealing about Wife Swap. Maybe it’s my family’s polygamist heritage peeking out. After watching Wife Swap, I must say that my husband has nothing to complain about. Neither do the kids. Oh sure, he jokes about being on the show, but I know he’s not serious. He could never survive the rule changes that happen when the new “wife” takes over. And what about some of those husbands? Hen-pecked fraidy-cats, pig-headed chauvinists, and uber-control-freaks all get to show off what great husbands they are. Yikes!

Now, just so you don’t think I’m completely without viewing taste, I did watch other stuff, too. It simply wasn’t as entertaining and didn’t make me wish for a British accent or make me thankful for my husband.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Being Sick, Part I

I must say that I have been blessed with extraordinary good health. As a kid, I remember having the flu, a few earaches, the chicken pox, and a broken cheekbone. I banged up me knee in junior high p.e. and sprained my back wearing stilettos in college. That’s me, no medical history to speak of.

Truthfully, I’ve always been afraid of being sick. My mom was a lovely woman, but she was always sick and it was scary for me as a child. Not that it was her fault by any means. Mom had a bad heart and that created all kinds of complications. But one day, she was really sick. Her gums wouldn’t quit bleeding when she brushed her teeth, so she went to the dentist. He sent her directly to the hospital and Mom’s fight with acute leukemia was underway. Back in those dark days of chemotherapy, patients checked in for weeks. Families weren’t encouraged to visit. It was awful. I was a junior in high school when this started, and it fully cemented my fear of illness.

Mom was a fighter and she fought her way back from the brink to bless our lives for a few more years. I watched her struggle with fear, pain, fatigue, and depression. Cancer is much more than just a physical ailment. She, without saying a word, taught me about grace, courage, love, determination, and faith.

So I got sick the week before Christmas – nothing as devastating as Mom’s, but still scary for someone who fears sickness. According to the doctor, I probably had H1N1 that blossomed into full-blown aggressive double-pneumonia. By the time I was sick enough to go to the doctor, I was almost in respiratory arrest and I won a ride in the ambulance to the emergency room. My winning streak continued with a 5-day stay in the hospital, complete with 24/7 IV antibiotics, chicken broth, and the nicest medical staff in the world.

I’ve been home for two weeks now, and am finally feeling recovered. The pneumonia is finally resolved. The secondary virus-with-fever thing is gone, the new medicine has worked, and my sweetest friends have been serving our family the most delicious dinners. Hopefully soon I will be released to resume my full normal schedule.

The last few weeks in the recliner have given me plenty of time to think about lots of things. I thought about my husband and our life together, my daughters and their lives, my choices, my mistakes, my dreams, and my mom. So, the next few blog entries may be more cathartic than anything else – please accept my apologies. I’ll also share with you my adventures with day-time television, some of my favorite late-night movies, and maybe even a few book ideas. After all, I’m gonna need a book deal and one giant garage sale to pay off those medical bills…