Remember when Lola was ill not so long ago? I had arrogantly laughed in the virus’ face, thinking that the rest of us (namely me) had escaped the wrath. I now know that the virus was sitting in wait, hoping for the most vulnerable of moments to pounce with vengeance. That’s what evil does.
The Mister planned a trip to the capital for some necessary meetings last Tuesday. As soon as his flight lifted off the ground, the virus set into high gear. I had thought that I would go to the neighbour’s house for a visit since the lady-folk had sent over a gift for me from their travels (a new dress!), and I thought I should wear it to show off their good taste. By 4 p.m., though, I was feeling really terrible. My skin was starting to hurt (don’t laugh, it happens!), and I was just generally uncomfortable. By 7 p.m. a full on fever had hit, rising as high as 39 degrees Celcius/102 degrees Fahrenheit. I sat on the living room floor and had myself a little pity party, along with sniveling tears. Charlie and Lola were happily playing some made-up game on the other side of the divide, when Lola clued into my sorrow. “Are you crying, Mama? Why are you crying?” She quickly switched gears into nursemaid, making sure that I always had a cup of water or orange juice by my side. Remembering her own bout with the illness, she tracked down the bucket that had kept her company and brought it to me. “Here you go, Mama. If you have to puke, just puke in here, okay?” She was such a sweet nurse. Charlie, too, checked on me regularly over the next day and half, making sure that I was comfortable and comforting me with assurances that he was praying for me. While I reject religiousness, my heart warms to active and interactive spirituality.
The Christmas before we moved to the desert, my mom gave me a pair of flannel Betty Boop pajamas. I openly mocked her for such a silly gift since I was moving to the DESERT. Hello? When am I going to ever need flannel in such heat? Well, you shouldn’t sit in chairs that belong to mockers because not only will you get a big butt, but you will not be the last one laughing. Ironically, I have used those pajamas quite often over the years in the desert. So much so, that I’ve often thought that I should invest in a set or two more. You know you are really sick when you are wearing flannel pajamas, wrapped in a flannel quilt, and buried in a bed with sheet and comforter snugly wrapped around your body and you are still shivering. I hate being sick. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.
I know that men are often chided for being whiny babies when they are sick while women are able to still hold down the activities of the house and looking after everyone else without letting out one snivel. I break that mold, squarely down the center. I’m a big, fat, whiner from beginning to end. I cried. I whinged. I snivelled. I pitied myself. Why was The Mister not here to get me tea and make lunch? Why do I always have to be the strong one? Dang it. I just want hot tea brought to me in bed, and every time Lola’s cheerfully concerned face peers over the bundle of covers surrounding my face to check if I want more juice, I felt guilty for causing my children to worry. I’m supposed to be the one taking care of them.
Thankfully, The Mister was able to change his schedule slightly, returning home one day early. My fever had broken overnight, leaving me with a bad headache and dehydration. By lunchtime, I was feeling much better, eating more in one meal than I had over the previous 2 days. When I laughed out loud at a scene in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, Lola said, “Mama. You must be feeling better. You laughed.”
Yep. It’s the best medicine: laughter. That, and The Mister being home, and prayers from sweet, compassionate children.