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

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…

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